Sunday's edition of the Stockton Record ran a story about the Jerry McNerney campaign's "tracker" of his opponent, Dean Andal. Now, as most of us know, "tracking" is the practice of bringing a videocamera to all of your opponent's public events in the hopes of getting ammunition--either in terms of a "macaca moment" or something as simple as contradictions in the message of a campaign.
Well, as the article points out, tracking is an inevitable and uncontroversial aspect of political campaigning:
I don't see the need for secrecy. But I did not observe any foul play, either. Neither did Brian Klunk, a political science professor at University of the Pacific.
"Campaigns have done 'oppositional research' just about forever," Klunk said. "There's a long lore of this."
Not a lot of controversy here...but Dean Andal doesn't see it that way. Maybe that's because Dean Andal is afraid of accountability and exposure. Regardless, here's what he had to say about tracking--from the very same article in the Stockton Record:
McNerney was tracked in 2007 as he campaigned, presumably by minions of his rival, Rep. Richard Pombo, possibly by other Republicans.
"I've actually told the few people we've hired, anybody who does that would be immediately terminated," Andal said. "Because I don't believe in it."
Now it's time to find out just how much Dean Andal means it.
Here's a video of Congressman McNerney entering the debate in Tracy on Oct. 11th for the CA-11 Congressional Debate.
At about 10 seconds in, you'll notice someone standing on the raised planter area with a videocamera. Seems innocuous enough. But who is that guy?
Here's a still-shot that allow us to get a better look:
So who is that? Honestly, it looks a little bit like John Franklin, longtime Republican campaign consultant and current campaign manager of Citizens for Andal. Here's John's LinkedIn profile, and here's his website gallery, which contains some more pictures of him.
So, it's time for John Franklin and Dean Andal to answer some questions. Is that indeed John Franklin tracking Jerry McNerney, and if so, will Dean Andal replace him as his campaign manager for the final home stretch of the campaign?