A case of ‘stalking’ in the 12th District GOP race

Brief sidebar: U.S. Rep. John Barrow has decided that, without a NASCAR event, there’s no reason to go to Charlotte in September. Now back to our original programming:

Things are getting tense in east Georgia.

Last week, Maria Sheffield spoke to the Greater Columbia County Republican Women. She and her staff noticed an extra video camera in the crowd. Her Republican rival in the 12th District congressional race, Wright McLeod, had hired a paid staffer to track Sheffield and keep track of her statements.

Sheffield, the only female candidate in the race to replace Democrat John Barrow, this afternoon accused McLeod of “stalking” her. She also seemed to think that only Democrats engage in the practice. Said Sheffield, via press release:

“I want to apologize, specifically to the wonderful ladies of the Greater Columbia County Republican Women’s Club, and to Republicans across GA 12, for the negative tactics of Wright McLeod. Wright has made the decision to stalk me by using the Democrat tactic of tracking.”

“I call on Wright McLeod to renounce the tactic of tracking, to apologize for stalking me on the campaign trail, and to [publicly] state his campaign will no longer use this Democrat tactic against ‘fellow’ Republicans.”

Now, it is true that one of the great political stories of 2006 was the collapse of U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia. Allen had tried to spar with a tracker that Democrats had set upon the Republican senator, calling the young man of Asian descent a “macaca.” Big mistake.

Allen is back this year. And the National Journal recently made this observation:

At any given Allen event, somewhere in the crowd, Alan Piracha is a living, breathing, filming reminder of what can go wrong on the stump. Last year the Virginia Democratic Party tapped Piracha, a soft-spoken 24-year-old, to videotape Allen’s every public utterance this campaign. He also, like S.R. Sidarth, the young man Allen called “macaca” six years ago, is darker-skinned and is of South Asian descent.

But is tracking something that only Democrats do? In 2010, a videographer tracked every public move made by Democrat and former governor Roy Barnes. The tracker’s paycheck was picked up by the Republican Governors Association.

All that said, candidates – or the organizations behind them – generally spend money only on real threats. That McLeod has singled out Sheffield as a worthy rival says something.

This is what Sheffield ought to be emphasizing, rather than relying on a word like “stalking,” which implies passivity, victimhood and a lack of control. Not qualities endearing to a GOP primary crowd.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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47 comments Add your comment

Jesus Malverde

June 26th, 2012
5:11 pm

The recent video antics regarding ACORN and Planned Parenthood demonstrate the Conservatives are equally capable of playing the “gotcha” card. Politics 101: If you’re going to run for office, be prepared for intense scrutiny and choose your words carefully.

Romegaguy

June 26th, 2012
5:21 pm

If Maria could raise money, maybe she could hire her own tracker

DannyX

June 26th, 2012
5:24 pm

Expect the crazy state Republicans to introduce a video-graphing drone ban next session.

Pam Davidson

June 26th, 2012
5:25 pm

What if your tracker is an AGL lobbyist? I am running for the Georgia Public Service Commission and, Shawn Davis -AGL lobbyist shows ups up to campaign events handing out flyers for the utility, uh, I mean my opponent: Stan Wise.
If that’s not being cozy with the utility, I don’t know what is.

td

June 26th, 2012
5:28 pm

Pam Davidson

June 26th, 2012
5:25 pm

That should be a blessing. Are you using this fact and pointing the person out at every appearance telling all the people that Wise is in their pocket and asking the people is this the person you want to represent you? If not then you a missing a huge advantage.

David Osburn

June 26th, 2012
5:40 pm

You really need to study up on your Georgia state geography!!! Columbia County is no where near South Georgia!!! Columbia County is far enough north to be considered North Georgia. Waycross/Ware County, now that is South Georgia!!

jgalloway

June 26th, 2012
5:43 pm

David Osburn:

You’re absolutely correct. Will adjust the copy……

Auntie Christ

June 26th, 2012
5:46 pm

Life is really hard being a repub, always being victimized by the librul media and the democrats who would actually dare to quote them when they say something stupid. It’s just not fair. Thankfully they are so strong and resoulute, that they would never complain, well at least not much, just maybe 24/7/365.

td

June 26th, 2012
5:47 pm

This should make you libs on here happy:

“Augusta U.S. Rep. John Barrow will skip the Democratic National Convention in September, adding to a growing list of Democrats distancing themselves from the national party’s major quadrennial get-together”

I guess he does not want to be seen anywhere near Obama, Biden, Pelosi or Reid.

td

June 26th, 2012
5:48 pm

Auntie Christ

June 26th, 2012
5:46 pm

See my post above. Looks like it goes both ways. Barrow is scared to death to be caught in the same picture as Obama.

td

June 26th, 2012
5:50 pm

“U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have said they will not attend the convention, where Obama is to accept the party’s nomination. A handful of House members, from mostly Republican-leaning districts, also have announced they will not make the trip.”

Now what does this say about the toxicity of Obama?

Stop....Just Stop

June 26th, 2012
6:01 pm

To someone as narrow sighted as you it says everything. To someone who thinks with a critical, rather than a partisan mindset it says that the district in which their seat lies has a significant number of voters from the other party and it would not serve their campaign well to be on a jumbo tron at a convention. GOP candidates did the same thing when GWB ran for his second term so it is no giant surprise now.

Unless, of course, you completely lack the ability to see things in any shade other than black and white.

td

June 26th, 2012
6:06 pm

Stop….Just Stop

June 26th, 2012
6:01 pm

I remember 1 person not showing up in 2004 for GWB convention. There is currently 9 not showing up for Obama. Let me guess, they must be racist.

td

June 26th, 2012
6:08 pm

Stop….Just Stop

June 26th, 2012
6:01 pm

So what you are really saying is that it is ok to pretend to fool the voters that put you in office as long and you support the President once you get re elected.

DannyX

June 26th, 2012
6:08 pm

“U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have said they will not attend the convention, where Obama is to accept the party’s nomination. A handful of House members, from mostly Republican-leaning districts, also have announced they will not make the trip.”

Looks like Obama is really bringing the Democrats together?

Stop....Just Stop

June 26th, 2012
6:14 pm

To quote Reagan, “there you go again”. All day I’ve been here and all of my posts here and on the previous Galloway post spoke directly to the fact that partisans, be they left or right, lack the ability to think critically. The absorb “facts” and regurgitate them like slurry. I have not once said I support either side or either candidate. Yet in all of your wisdom and insight let your knee jerk to the conclusion that I must be a”librul” or a demoncrat.

And that, my good man (or woman), is what is wrong with American political discourse. For a physical manifestation find yourself a mirror.

yuzeyurbrane

June 26th, 2012
6:15 pm

If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

td

June 26th, 2012
6:19 pm

Stop….Just Stop

June 26th, 2012
6:14 pm

I can not help it that you do not have a philosophy or an ideology that you believe in. I believe you my friend are lost and would not want to be walking around in a grey mist all my life and believe in nothing.

BehindEnemyLines

June 26th, 2012
6:19 pm

Jim’s last statement is actually pretty insightful IMO. Any negativity I’d attach to this goes straight to Sheffield for whining.

DannyX

June 26th, 2012
6:26 pm

“Looks like Obama is really bringing the Democrats together?”

Can’t wait to see George W Bush rally the troops at the Republican convention! Romney will probably lose 6% points that night.

Stop....Just Stop

June 26th, 2012
6:27 pm

td,

I never said I didn’t have a philosophy I believe in. I absolutely do. The difference in me and you is that I am strong enough in my beliefs that I don’t need to constantly validate my existence with false affirmation disguised as political discussion.

What I actually said, if you are at all interested in accuracy, is that I never revealed it on this blog in any post. Therefore, your immediate reaction to me was very revealing as to the level of your ability to think past the partisan glasses at the end of your nose. You want to be taken seriously and I can sympathize with you as I see your inner child screaming for acceptance. (It’s kind of sad, really.) The problem is that you can’t think in terms other than “I’m right and you’re wrong.”

And with that I bid you goodbye. I’ve made my point (actually you made it for me and for that I thank you) and I am going home. You may rail against me all you like now, I won’t be here.

Ronnie Raygun

June 26th, 2012
6:45 pm

“So what you are really saying is that it is ok to pretend to fool the voters that put you in office as long and you support the President once you get re elected.”

Ironically, pretending to fool the voters is the entirety of Willard “the outsourcer” Romney’s campaign.

GaBlue

June 26th, 2012
6:51 pm

“….the Democrat tactic of tracking.”

HAHAHAHA! Wow, she must think the members of her audience are complete idiots!

td

June 26th, 2012
6:57 pm

Ronnie Raygun

June 26th, 2012
6:45 pm

“So what you are really saying is that it is ok to pretend to fool the voters that put you in office as long and you support the President once you get re elected.”

Ironically, pretending to fool the voters is the entirety of Willard “the outsourcer” Romney’s campaign.

Well since you claim Romney knows how to create jobs in other countries then at least we know he knows how to create jobs. Now since he had to send all those jobs overseas to make a profit for his venture then he should be an expert at what to do to make sure we change the policies and laws so that we can compete and excel in this country and bring all those jobs home.

Sounds like a very good reason to vote for Romney. BTW: Can you clue us in to how many jobs Obama has created since elected?

Centrist

June 26th, 2012
7:08 pm

At least until the general election when a Democrat automatically gains his favor, Mr. Galloway gives advice for who he obviously favors for the GOP nomination in the 12th District (wherever that is):

“Sheffield ought to be emphasizing rather than relying on a word like ’stalking’, which implies passivity, victimhood and a lack of control. Not qualities endearing to a GOP primary crowd.”

Right

June 26th, 2012
7:17 pm

Georgia….the next Florida.

hiram

June 26th, 2012
7:19 pm

@ronnie 6:45
You are both right. That is what sucessful politicians do…lie. The willingness to lie, and the ability to do it well are the primary qualifications for successful politicians. Even though the party faithful really have no input into the process of choosing the candidates, they dutifully fall in line once the robber barons make their choices. A prime example if our current governor.

detritusUSA

June 26th, 2012
7:58 pm

Conservatives are DISGUSTING!

DannyX

June 26th, 2012
8:02 pm

“Even though the party faithful really have no input into the process of choosing the candidates, they dutifully fall in line once the robber barons make their choices.”

So true hiram. Mitt Romney is a prime example. Notice how Republicans around here never, ever, ever, write about Romney and his policies? Nada, nothing, zilch. They only want to bring Obama down. Confidence in Romney making a good president is about nil, Republicans ignore him.

Do Republicans even know that Romney is their candidate?

td

June 26th, 2012
8:32 pm

DannyX

June 26th, 2012
8:02 pm

We only care that Romney will pick good people to run the military and NSA. We care that he has said he will appoint strict constructionist to the SCOTUS and we feel he will be able to appoint the right people to OMB and Treasury. We will leave it up to the Tea Party in the HOR to drive the domestic agenda.

hiram

June 26th, 2012
8:34 pm

@ Danny
The political strategists issue daily talking points to their surrogate entertainers, some who masquerade as reporters, who then spoon feed their intellectually vulnerable flock. The true believers then enthusiastically regurgitate the talking points, as they best they can understand them, in forums like this. Their only rebuttals today is to repeat today’s talking points, for further rebuttals, you will have to wait until tommorrow.

Kris

June 26th, 2012
8:37 pm

Dannyx

“Expect the crazy state Republicans to introduce a video-graphing drone ban next session.”

Until the ban that will it be called Drone 1 or stupid1?? Will the control of the drone be outsourced to Mexico?

as for “Do Republicans even know that Romney is their candidate?”

Not sure and really not sure if that can spell romney….

OBAMA 2012

wkeef

June 26th, 2012
8:42 pm

td, you describe Barrow as “Augusta US Representative John Barrow”. Barrow originally was from Athens then his district was changed. He moved to Savannah and now the district is changed again. He moved to Augusta in the past month or so.

double

June 26th, 2012
8:53 pm

If elected Mitt needs to bring jobs back to america,along with his money.

td

June 26th, 2012
9:16 pm

wkeef

June 26th, 2012
8:42 pm

Not my description. I put it in quotes because it was from an article is this paper.

Just Nasty & Mean

June 26th, 2012
9:22 pm

If McLeod wants to follow Sheffield around hoping to catch her in a “gotcha” comment, Sheffield has every right to point it out that is what they are doing.

Does McLeod have such thin skin they don’t want people to know what they are doing? What’s the problem, here?

And besides, Sheffield is WAY too experienced to fall into such a shallow trap.

Jeff

June 26th, 2012
9:35 pm

IIRC, Maria’s good buddy John Oxendine has employed similar tactics, as did a wide variety of other Republicans in the 2010 Ga Primaries….

Hell, many of them used MY footage of various events in the SWGA area as part of their research. Interestingly, Jim Marshall never did – or perhaps he would still be in Congress.

Auntie Christ

June 26th, 2012
11:40 pm

td at 5:48 posted: See my post above. Looks like it goes both ways. Barrow is scared to death to be caught in the same picture as Obama.:

I’m not sure exactly how in your upside down world this pertains to my comment about the incessant whining that is the hallmark of every republican, but I’ll try to explain things so even you can understand. I don’t even care if Obama doesn’t go to the democratic convention. It won’t matter to me if no one goes to the dem convention, let alone a bunch of republican lites like mccaskill. Because i loathe the republican party, its leadership and all the idiocy they advocate, does not mean I am a democrat or hold any esteem for reid, schumer, feinstein, the clintons, or the other posers tarnishing the legacies of Roosevelt, Hubert Hunphrey, the Kennedy’s, and other liberals who were unabashed in their support for programs that aided unions, the poor, minorities and the middle class. Obama was, and still is towering over whatever clowns the republicans can put forth, but if someone like Russ Feingold or Bernie Sanders ran against him, he’d get no support from me.

Stupid Republicans

June 27th, 2012
12:08 am

How utterly insane to equate a political research tactic with “stalking.” Maria Sheffield demonstrates just how unqualified she is to serve in ANY public office.

Hope she gets pounded into the ground on July 31st with less than 5% of the vote.

Buckhead Boy

June 27th, 2012
5:26 am

Political terminology is becoming about as amorphous as the poicy prescriptions uttered by Mute Romney. “Dirty tricks” is now “political research”. And, “pump and dump”, “junk bonds” and “corporate raiding” is now “private equity”. No, Mrs. Palin, you can put lipstick on a pig, which Joe the Plumber will readily accept as Angelina Jolie.

Edward Ruffin

June 27th, 2012
7:04 am

Why doesn’t Barrow go ahead and switch parties so he will feel more at home?

Rob

June 27th, 2012
7:48 am

The “tracker” was a staffer of McLeod’s who is a member of the Columbia County GOP Women’s group:

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/elections/georgia-elections/2012-06-26/maria-sheffield-campaign-accuses-wright

honested

June 27th, 2012
7:58 am

edward ruffin,

Better yet, why doesn’t barrow and that old fool from Young Harris who used to be Governor switch parties so Democrats won’t have to apologize for having such dullards among our ranks.

What reason is there to have you in the party if you always vote with the enemy?

honested

June 27th, 2012
8:01 am

Buckhead Boy,

The definitions are definitely morphing.
Just think of ‘less intrusive government’, ‘pay as you go’, ‘personal responsibility’, etc.

What worries me are the legions who don’t seem to see the change.

Barry

June 27th, 2012
8:38 am

WOW

June 27th, 2012
8:49 am

What reason is there to have you in the party if you always vote with the enemy?

Because he doesn’t always vote with the enemy. I invite you to look closely at his voting record, Besides the healthcare vote, Barrow has been there when the party really needs him on major votes. While I don’t always agree with him, but he has always been respectful when stating why he will vote a certain way.

And besides party purity is for Republicans. Democrats are the party of diversity, not just racial and gender, but of thought as well.

Attack Dog

June 27th, 2012
10:15 am

For the most part, “dirty tricks” are a Dixiecrat tactic. There is no difference between a Southern conservative Democrat and today’s conservative Republican.