Dirty campaign tactics

Patricia Bence is chair of the Tioga County Democratic Committee. She and Martha Robertson were harassed at the Owego Strawberry Festival parade on Saturday, June 21, by Reed’s agent. She writes:

At the Strawberry Festival parade in Owego on Saturday, Tom Reed’s campaign had a tracker follow us and Martha all through the parade route. Not on the sidelines but video camera in our faces. We tripped over him, tried covering up his camera and just got darn mad. Not Martha, she remained calm. 

He followed us all the way to the end of the parade. And we had to hide because he wanted to know where we parked! It was all so disgusting. I was looking for a security officer the whole way, but didn”€™t see one. People were noticing toward the end that something was wrong and we were trying to stop him from videotaping. This was not the usual tracking it was harassment and totally uncalled for. Reed should be called to account for this act of stalking. Or am I wrong? This kind of aggressiveness is something I have never seen. 

Here are her pictures:

tracker 1tracker 2tracker 3tracker 4tracker 5tracker 6 tracker 7tracker 8tracker 9

What do others think? Was this reprehensible?

© William Hungerford – June 2014



About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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24 Responses to Dirty campaign tactics

  1. Anne says:

    Another class act by a class guy. I’ve heard from people who had to deal with Reed in a preofessional capacity, and before he was in Congress, that he’s mostly just a bully (and not a very bright one at that, as bullies are not wont to be), and this just seems like more of the same bullying behavior. And yes, reprehensible. Let’s just hope this tracker doesn’t try to get out there with more phony ballot petitions!


  2. Susan says:

    Im curious…can anyone just decide to walk alongside a group in a parade and film? Do they have to register with the parade? This is obnoxious and intimidating.. Was Reed there as well?


  3. Barbara Griffin says:

    Not cool.


  4. Deb Meeker says:

    Tom Reed was at the Strawberry in Owego, but he was not the center of attention. It appears he took a back seat at this event – a rare and most likely disconcerting position for him. Poor Tom, on the periphery.
    Here’s a picture of Reed that is on his “Tom Reed” campaign page, trying to offer candy to a baby who is obviously too young to accept it.

    Even though this is a reversal of Reed’s Modus Operandi, (that of being the one taking the candy) – hiring a cameraman to specifically harass, is a new low, and a study of how Tom Reed has great disdain for all things ethical.


  5. David Soule says:

    Just puzzled: was this filmer just assumed to be working at Reed’s direction, or was there some confirmation that he wasn’t just a lone wolf that Reed can distance himself from?


  6. pystew says:

    This article should be a warning to look out for this type of activity at other parades and be prepared for a good defense.


  7. He was asked if he worked for Reed. His reply “No comment”


  8. josephurban says:

    It is certainly legitimate for a reporter or citizen to take photos of an event. There is a point, however, where it becomes “stalking”. I believe “stalking” is against the law. If a man is following and photographing and filming women I would think we might suspect he has some psychological issues. A potential felon? Maybe ? Since he refused to identify any connection to a campaign or newspaper I would be very suspicious. You have his photo. Turn it over to the police. File a complaint.


  9. Deb Meeker says:

    Excellent suggestion.


  10. Anne says:

    Thumb full of vaseline or hand cream across the lens ought to do the trick.


  11. Herb Wild says:

    I see the guy doing nothing wrong . Where did he harass you ? And how do you know he was working for Tom Reed ? Lots of questions here hand no answers other then you felt uneasy. I also felt uneasy when I was literally attacked by a Robertson supporter at the VA Sattellite in Elmira a while back. His Vulgarity showed me what Martha is all about. Foul people have foul mouthed supporters.


  12. whungerford says:

    Herb, thanks for your comment. Since Tom has done this before and no person or group not working directly or indirectly for Tom has a motive, evidently the photographer was working on Tom’s behalf. The expense doesn’t show up in Tom’s campaign expense reports, so it is likely the money was laundered to hide Tom’s involvement. This shows that even Tom recognizes that this is not to his credit.


  13. whungerford says:

    Anne, even though I am sure you are joking, I must say that your suggestion would surely be ineffective and counter productive. Even though Martha is currently criticized by some for being insufficiently aggressive, I think it is far better for her to take the high road while Tom Reed takes the low road. As my spouse reminds me from time to time, a woman can’t get away with all that a man can. Reed’s aggression may backfire if it offends voters whose votes he seeks and needs.


  14. josephurban says:

    Herb. You think the guy was doing nothing wrong? Let us assume he is in NO WAY connected to Tom Reed. You think it is acceptable for a man to stalk a woman, follow closely behind her, take pictures or videos of her without her permission? Then, refuse to identify himself? Would you want a strange man following your wife ? Or daughter ? Or granddaughter ? I do not think this is acceptable behavior. I respect your opinion but I guess that is where our values differ.


  15. Deb Meeker says:

    It’s high time women are seen as equal,. whether in good actions or bad. To allow this kind of harassment in general because we are women, and take the high road – may be admirable (and I do admire Martha’s mature actions in this case), but it will not encourage the bullies and small minds to ever acknowledge their misdeeds. If the Suffragettes followed that advice years ago, chances are I would not be allowed to write on this page.


  16. Anne says:

    Herb, were you “literally attacked” by a staffer from the Reed campaign? Or by a supporter–there’s a difference. Everyone who has commented on any of these blog posts has been ‘attacked’ by a Reed supporter, and while that is unfortunate, and I do agree we can all tell something about Reed’s character by the company he keeps, it would be a far different thing if these individuals were on the payroll: we all know that Reed has had his staffers engage in dubious (and sometimes, apparently, illicit) tactics before. I am referencing, of course, the false Green Party ballot petitions.


  17. whungerford says:

    Last Sunday, Dorothy Cotton suggested that any action, however small, to combat injustice may have important consequences. If we see the videotaping as injustice, certainly non-violent protest is warranted. But Martha is running for office rather than protesting injustice. There is a reason that no female members of Congress went for a disreputable swim in Lake Tiberius–they know better even without Eric Cantor’s instruction.


  18. solodm says:

    Heavens, I’m not suggesting Martha herself apply petroleum product to a camera lens – I’m suggesting that Tom Reed is way too old to be playing ‘boys will be boys” and get away with it.


  19. solodm says:

    May I ask if you were calling Martha “foul”, or also harassing her just before the alleged “attack”? Do you have proof it was a Martha supporter, and that she paid this individual to attack you?
    Since you feel free to judge someone you have probably never met – “foul”, the rest of your judgments are in question.


  20. whungerford says:

    Tom will only get away with it if reelected; we need prevent that if possible. Tom’s evident disrespect of his opponent should help defeat him, if those offended by him turn out to vote.


  21. Susan says:

    Herb…..What was a “foul” supporter doing at VA satellite clinic? I don’t think literally means what you think it means…did you call security?


  22. josephurban says:

    Herb, were you injured ? Did you file a police report? Did you require hospitalization? If I were attacked those are the things I would do. No one, of any political party, should be subjected to being attacked or assaulted.. Call the police.


  23. Keith Loomis says:

    Video tape Reed. See how he reacts.


  24. whungerford says:

    Grant Breit


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