When the camera rolls, Congressman Ron Kind shows his bad side.
Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI03) apparently is not a fan of being recorded at public events. In video obtained by RightWisconsin, a campaign aide fails to convince a Republican operative, a “tracker,” to stop recording Kind’s speech at a campaign corn roast on September 6. The congressman then took matters into his own hands.
The video shows Kind talking to a campaign aide who then sits down next to the tracker, an employee of America Rising PAC, and attempts to convince him not to record Kind’s speech. After that failed, Kind leaves the stage to confront the tracker himself.
"Who are you?" Kind asked.
"My name is Zach," the tracker replied.
"No, who are you with?" Kind asked.
"America Rising," the tracker answered.
"I'm sorry you're going to have to leave," Kind responded. "We don't allow any videotaping in here, okay?
You can then hear the tracker saying “whoa, whoa,” as Kind grabs the camera to turn off the viewfinder, ending the recording.
After the recording ends, the America’s Rising campaign tracker was then escorted from the building.
The event,”Ron’s 18th Annual Corn Roast,” was at the La Crosse County Fairground and was promoted by the Eau Claire County Democrats with no mention that video recording would be banned at the event.
Trackers are common in political campaigns. Used by both Democrats and Republicans, trackers monitor opposing candidates in public appearances in case something embarrassing or controversial is said.
Given how common trackers are in political campaigns, America Rising Communications Director Chris Martin believes the pressure of a possible competitive election next year is getting to Kind.
“Ron Kind is clearly feeling the pressure after spending decades in Washington pushing a radical liberal agenda,” Martin said. “As a public servant, Kind should control his temper and refrain from physically confronting someone for simply recording his comments. The unhinged behavior he exhibited is unacceptable and the people of Wisconsin’s 3rd District deserve better.”
A poll by the Republican National Congressional Committee (RNCC) in July showed Kind trailing a “named candidate” 43 percent to 45 percent, although the RNCC refused to name the potential candidate. In addition, the poll showed a “generic” GOP candidate leading Kind 47 percent to 40 percent.
Kind’s congressional press office failed to respond to an email asking for a comment, as did the field operative who was listed as an organizer of the event.