Rep. Ron Kind (D., Wis.) confronted a tracker from America Rising PAC and attempted to grab his camera during a town hall, telling the tracker he wasn't allowed to record the session with constituents. America Rising posted a video of the confrontation to its YouTube page.
Campaign trackers, who shadow candidates and record their public events, have become an indispensable component of opposition research for both liberal and conservative groups. The presence of trackers on the trail has become so common that they are typically accepted by candidates without complaint.
During the video, Kind is seen gesturing to a campaign staffer to come to the stage to talk to him before the staffer goes to sit down next to the tracker.
"Why are you recording? What's going on?" the aide is heard saying.
"I'm just a tracker," the tracker said.
"This isn't really a place to be recording," the aide said.
"I know, I'm just here for him," the tracker said.
"I realize, so if you wouldn't mind putting it away, that'd be great," the aide said.
"Can't do it," the tracker said.
Kind appears to communicate with the staffer before stepping down off the stage. "So who are you with? Why are you tracking? Do you mind stepping away?" the staffer said, as Kind then approached the tracker.
Kind asked the tracker who he was and what organization he was with; the tracker said he was with America Rising.
"I'm sorry, you're going to have to leave. We don't allow any videotaping here," Kind said before reaching for the phone. The tracker is heard saying "Whoa, whoa" before the video cuts off as Kind appeared to grab the phone.
"WATCH: Rep. Ron Kind already looks unhinged with over a year until Election Day. He loses it on an America Rising tracker for recording a public event and then grabs his camera and kicks him out," America Rising tweeted.
WATCH: Rep. Ron Kind already looks unhinged with over a year until Election Day. He loses it on an America Rising tracker for recording a public event and then grabs his camera and kicks him out. #WI03https://t.co/mj9JBxFzXS pic.twitter.com/alqsKZ0A0k
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) September 19, 2019
Kind's office did not respond to an email request for comment by publication time.