Dayton calls for less aggressive 'trackers'by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Democratic candidate for governor Mark Dayton is calling on the state Republican Party and Tom Emmer's campaign for governor to tell their political trackers to stop harassing him.
At a news conference today, Dayton said GOP staffers who follow his campaign with video cameras are making it difficult for him to meet voters. He showed video of the Republican trackers blocking the entrance to his campaign booth at Game Fair in Anoka over the weekend.
Dayton said trackers used to stand at a "respectful distance," but said that has changed.
"The tactic has changed and it's clearly one of harassing me and trying to provoke me and it's one of intimidating citizens so they can't have a conversation with me," Dayton said.
Dayton said he wants his campaign and the DFL Party to only tape candidate speeches and public forums.
The Republican Party won't stop what it's doing, said Mark Drake, a party spokesman.
"If you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen. This isn't 1982. Tracking is a routine part of politics now," Drake said. "I've never seen this sort of bizarre, weird, erratic reaction."
He accused Dayton of trying "to hide from Minnesotans for the next 90 days."
A spokeswoman for the DFL said the party review his request. Dayton is also asking the trackers to wear clothing identifying themselves and maintain a respectful distance.
- All Things Considered, 08/16/2010, 5:50 p.m.