Thursday, February 14, 2008

Democratic Operative Allowed To Film For Political Purposes In Restricted Area

Today's story in today's Star by Mary Beth Schneider tells you that the video tape recording was made by a Democratic partisan staffer from a balcony in the Indiana House of Representatives' chamber. What it doesn't tell you is that the balcony from where the video taping took place is an area restricted from use by the general public. Access to the south mezzanine balcony is limited to lawmakers, special guests and staff granted permission by the Indiana House Democrats and members of the news media. A guard stands outside the door on the fourth floor leading to this balcony while the legislature is in session. This suggests that either a member of the House Democratic staff or a Democratic lawmaker had to provide access to the political staffer who filmed State Rep. Jon Elrod preparing a mailing himself using letters, envelopes and postage paid for by his campaign. Schneider reports:

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said Democrats had heard that Elrod was working on his campaign while in the House chamber, so they sent a staff member with a video camera to watch.

From a House balcony, the aide twice videotaped Elrod, once Feb. 5 and once Tuesday, signing the campaign letters.

“It raises questions about Jon Elrod’s ethics,” Parker said. “Here he is on the floor of the House doing campaign work. That says that politics is more important than the people’s work.”
As I previously pointed out, there is nothing illegal about a part-time lawmaker tending to other matters, including campaign-related matters while working at the State House as long as he isn't using state resources to do the work. If Parker is so concerned about the ethics at question here, what about a state employee granting access to a restricted area for the express purpose of video taping an opposing political candidate, in this case a state lawmaker, for political purposes. I think you will find over at the State House as many Democratic lawmakers upset about what happened here as you will find Republican lawmakers who are upset. This is a point Ms. Schneider should have investigated as part of her story if she was interested in fair and balanced reporting. Instead, she simply took what Democratic campaign workers spoon fed to her and spun the story as unfavorable as she could towards Elrod. Absolutely pitiful reporting on her part. Turnabout is fair play. Will there be an investigation into why someone on the House Democratic staff was enabling the surrepticious filming of Elrod for purely political purposes in a restricted area of the legislature?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Coming from a Cemocrat, this surprises you?
Was it Wilson Allen???

Questioning said...

Let me get this right....It is the democrats' fault that Elrod got caught doing something stupid and illegal. Gotcha!

Anonymous said...

No doubt there is a huge sleaze factor here on the part of the Dems, but isn't it interesting that Bosma has basically thrown Elrod under the bus on this, no doubt due to Jon's support of gay issues and opposition to SJR7.

Advance Indiana said...

Anon 11:21, You think it is okay for the Democrats to engage in the very conduct on which they seek to criticize Elrod to gather the proof they claim makes their case. Hypocrisy as usual.

Anonymous said...

I thought Wilson's specialty was still photography. Good to see him branching out into cinema.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Would you be upset if it was a taxpayer from Jon's district that did the filming?

That room is where the public's business is conducted and filming should most definitely be allowed of anyone at anytime by anybody with a camera.

This is a PUBLIC office that Jon holds and that includes the taxpayer scrutiny that goes with it.

Advance Indiana said...

Melyssa, Your only interest in this race is sabotaging Jon Elrod by helping Sean Shepard's campaign. You know every vote for Shepard translates into a vote for Carson. This isn't about conducting the people's business and you know it. You spend a great deal of time during the day working on political matters. Should you be fired from your job for conducting political work on your employer's time?

Eclecticvibe said...

It's is mere party rhetoric to say a vote for Shepard is a vote for Carson. Surely there are differences in the viewpoints between Shepard and Elrod. If you feel this way, please elaborate more, instead of accusing someone of wasting their vote, because they vote for the candidate that they favor. Our corrupt two party system does not deserve such a stranglehold on our politics. When a 3rd party appears with new ideas, it deserves a shot to be heard, and if people agree, then their vote for a 3rd party candidate is hardly a vote for either the D or the R. It's a vote that truly means change. And no, I'm not a Libertarian.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, you mean that Melyssa has a real job?

Jen said...

Gary,

Not to throw your theory for a loop, but our tracker was not given special access. He filmed that video from the public balcony.

Anonymous said...

11:21 granted extremelys stupid though technically not illegal..not making excuses though, he was on the clock for the taxpayers (supposedly)

Melyssa said...

Gary, I'm 100% commission sales and meet my goals. I also often work late. Not all my markets are in our time zone.

I'm not a public employee paid by tax dollars, Gary. I get paid based 100% on what I produce, just like you.

There's a big difference.

Anonymous said...

Gary, Andre Carson in Congress is the next to last thing I want.

The last thing I want is for every candidate to not be fully considered by the public and for the best candidate to not get the most votes.

Thanks for letting me speak about Sean here.

And tell that fool I've got a real job. You think you live in M/K for 10 years for free without a trust fund?

Anonymous said...

Melyssa and Jen both working to undermind Jon Elrod. Politics makes for strange bedfellows indeed.

Anonymous said...

Typo. Undermine.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand -- there's a public balcony accesible from the 4th floor and a media balcony accessible from a staircase that's directly off the House floor itself. Did the staffer use the 4th floor or the other? Because if it's the 4th floor, anybody can go up there and film.

Anonymous said...

That side balcony is easier to get into than a frat boys pants. You can go up the stairs inside the chamber from the 3rd floor entrance to get to the balcony. I don't work for the House, but I know that no one would stop me from going through those doors, I've done it many times before.

Plus, someone else made a good point, it's a PUBLIC building, there should be no "off-limits" areas.

Your boy got burned, just face the facts.

Anonymous said...

The idealistic view that a third-party candidate can run for office is a nice ideal to hold onto. It's actually kinda cute.

But one thing it is often not: real.

Sure, anyone can run for any office. For some offices, such as President, there are some minimal state-to-state qualification standards. But for the most part, anyone can run. For anything.

But politics is not a zero-sum game. Sean cannot and will not win. He has zero chance. So, your vote for him is strictly a protest vote. If the Mar 11 election is not close, which I suspect, your protest vote can make a statement.

But if it is close, your Sean vote wastes an opportunity to elect someone.

I appreciate the argument, and have found many Libertarian candidates' platforms admirable. Sean is not one of them.

Blog on.

Anonymous said...

Democrats? Ethics? Shouldn't be used in the same sentence.

Hey Melyssa! Sam who??? Please. The only Libertarian who had a case was Kole. He spoke for himself.

Anonymous said...

Gary, It was funny watching the local news reports tonight. Their TV cameras filmed Jon at his desk from the South mezzanine balcony. The angle lined up exactly as one of the angles on the videotape the Democrats turned over to the media. Yet, Ms. Wagner and that wanker over at Blue Indiana are protesting that only the public gallery balcony was used. The same stupid reporters who fell for the original story fell for the second Democrat lie.

Anonymous said...

You win, Gary. The Star has removed the video which offered proof of Elrod's unethical practices. I just hope someone has a copy as it would make a great campaign commerical about sleazy unethical behavior while on the taxpayer dollar.

Money77guy said...

Woody Burton gave my son's scout troop a tour of the state house this winter. One of the interesting things that he said was it was amazing how much time legislators hang around the state house and do nothing. That most of the work is done in the final days before the session is over. During the day it is not unusual for law makers to leave and either go home (if they live close enough) or back to their apartments that they rent and catch up on personal business.