Tracker fear and loathing in Virginia senate race
September 29th, 2011
05:48 PM ET
7 years ago

Tracker fear and loathing in Virginia senate race

Washington (CNN) – Tracking trackers is the order of the day in the Virginia senate race as Republican George Allen runs to recapture the seat he lost in 2006, arguably as a result of the moment that made trackers famous.

Virginia Democrats claim the former governor and senator has something to hide. Meanwhile, Allen's team says it's "disappointing, but not surprising" that Democrats are using the tactic of sending trackers to his events, forcing them to remove them.

And that is the subject of a new web video that shows Democratic supporters getting the boot at five different GOP campaign events.

The Virginia Democratic Party, which released the video Wednesday, pointed to websites that promoted the events as open to the public. But, with camera in hand, the Democratic tracker attending each meeting was asked to leave.

"What's George Allen trying to hide?" the video asked.

Asking campaign trackers to leave an event is not unusual, especially as footage from the events can be spun as ammunition against opponents.

The fact that the state Democratic party is dogging Allen with trackers or that Allen's campaign deems it necessary to remove them should not surprise. Allen's 2006 race was where "trackers" became a household name (at least in political households), as his bid for re-election was derailed after he used the derogatory term "macaca" for an individual of Indian descent "tracking" or filming him at a campaign event.

The tracker had been volunteering for Allen's challenger, Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.

"It's disappointing, but not surprising, that Chairman Kaine and his allies see this as a central focus, while families across Virginia continue to struggle under the failed policies that he championed as President Obama's hand-picked head of the Democratic National Committee," said Bill Riggs, Allen campaign spokesman, in response to the video.

The Kaine campaign says they do not have a tracker on Allen.

A source with knowledge of the Virginia Democratic Party's activities said the tracker in the video is an employee of the party.

Filed under: George Allen • Jim Webb • Virginia
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Phil in KC

    Basically, they don't want anyone listening in who might actually use what they say against them. So they only allow their ditto heads in. Gee, that presents a fair and balanced view.

    September 29, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. IVOTE

    Campaign events should not discriminate against the other parties. Conducting open and honest meetings just might sway opposing voters to consider the view presented and possibly gain a vote or two. Word to the wise.

    September 29, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Kritz

    Shocking! The Democratic opponent sends observers to Allen's events to take note of what Allen says.

    How underhanded! How sleazy!

    It's as if politicians were supposed to be held accountable for whatever nonsese escapes their lips.

    September 29, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Ed DFWTX

    Good for Tim Kaine to expsoe George Allen's closed campaign. He's trying to run away from the "macaca" moment and needs to be exposed. Here's hoping Virginia is smart and elects Kaine next year!

    September 29, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"What's George Allen trying to hide?" the video asked.◄

    MACACA[sic] – that's what!!! And do you really believe that there are NO trackers at Democratic events?? Kaine will beat Allen because Virginians REMEMBER!!!

    Obama/Biden/Kaine 2012!!

    September 29, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. NoTags

    I would hope the voters of Virginia would not be stupid enough to elect George Allen, but since Eric Cantor got elected in Virginia I'm no longer sure.

    September 29, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Allen was a terrible Va Gov.

    Mac-cah?! Is that correct?

    September 29, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. Bill

    Allen is a buffoon and will never hold elected office again.

    September 29, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Little Jimmy Truth

    Obama, did we pay trackers with our taxes?

    September 29, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. BeverlyNC

    Republicans cannot be trusted on any issue or related to any campaign ethics. It's time we make sure Republicans know We the People still care about valies – truth, honor, character, integrity, and being human when dealing with the lives of the PEOPLE you swore an oath to serve. Republicans have betrayed the PEOPLE, have betrayed America and NONE should be elected in any local, state, or national election if we want Democracy back and our nation to recover.

    September 29, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. Jeff Spangler

    Only in the Capital of the Confederacy can a guy like Allen stand a chance of being elected. The "New Dominion" of Northern Virginia rejects his brand of politics, leaving only the Old Dominion (the rest of the Commonwealth) to vote for an intellectually challenged son of a jock.

    September 29, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. CBR

    Oh dear, Let the accusations begin and the all the nastiness that goes with it. Candidates need to be aware of what they say and just what they believe and convey that to the voters. If Allen used a derogatory name then he had to own up to it and make the apologies. It is always very easy to blame someone else whether you are a Republican or a Democrat.

    September 29, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Oh – Can't be open and honest? Ashamed for US to see and hear you? What lies and propaganda you gonna try to spread this time?

    Not a good sign. Not good at all.

    September 29, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    I think a lot of those republicans have a baaaaaaaddddd case of paranoia. At least the ones I've seen. THEY'RE OUT TO GET ME – WAAAAAAAAHHHH !!

    September 29, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  15. Aaron

    Why don't the trackers just wear those video eyeglasses? Any candidate who doesn't want to be filmed at a public rally is obviously doing/saying something that he/she shouldn't.

    September 29, 2011 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  16. LibsLieAlways

    One of several seats the dems will lose esp since the false messiah liar out of chicago is out in one and change.........then watch out Holder will be investigated and incarcerated.......and Americans will probably get jobs.......because the liar out of flatlander land will be headed to his library construction meetings and speaking tours for his left over koolaid and mao Che G lover types.

    September 29, 2011 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  17. Larry L

    Republican "town hall meetings" a always a collection of zeolots in a room throwing soft balls to the candidate. It's like listening to Fox News and expecting something honest and truthful.

    September 29, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  18. Seeing Red in a Blue State

    I would post something, but I can't get past moderation. Guess you just want to hear the hateful, liberal voices and silence any opposing viewpoints. Hateful, you ask? Look up any post with a Republican in it and watch the fireworks. Go ahead and enjoy your hatefest. I'm out.

    September 29, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. thomas

    Sounds kinda like Germany pre WW2 !

    Cant wait till George Allen and friends start wearing some real cute uniforms with knee high boots .

    September 30, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  20. Light In The Black

    Open to the public................................
    Unless you are a democrat.

    September 30, 2011 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  21. Chris Willett, Buffalo NY

    If so many Republicans didn't blurt out racist remarks all the time, then perhaps they wouldn't have to worry about those trackers who might hold them accountable.

    September 30, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  22. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Allen is a typical GOBPbagger scared of the truth and having his own toxic policies revealed as the proven failures they are.

    September 30, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  23. Donkey Party

    Allen doesn't want to be seen in his formal wear (sheets and matching hood).

    September 30, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  24. sara

    What does he have to hide...kicking people out is not democracy. I guess he will represent only "some" of the people.

    September 30, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. rob

    I sense a very high degree of DESPERATION on the Democrats part. With nothing to run on and a horrible economy on their watch, they will apply the scorched earth campaign. I wonder when the NYT and Time Magazine will run editorials or front page stories about the vicious campaigns are. I won't hold my breath.

    Nov. 2012 can't come fast enough.

    September 30, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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