Also in the email was this image:
What you’re looking at is a bar, the Two Dot Bar.
The people you’re looking at are Democratic operatives.
The guy with the beard is a tracker paid for by the Montana Democratic Party.
How do I know he’s with the Montana Democrats?
I don’t – that’s what I’ve been told.
From what else I’ve been told, this guy was overheard talking to a lady in Ryegate. He said he's only been in Montana for a month and that he’s actually from New York.
Wow, I find that incredibly interesting.
I mean, nearly everyday we get Montana Democratic operative Jason Pitt bemoaning the fact that Greg Gianforte is from the East Coast.
Then they turn around and hire a PAC to send a New Yorker to Montana to walk around with a video camera.
I guess these are the Montana jobs the Democrats will be trying to create – in-sourced workers to take over the media and tech industries.
Now, video tracking is nothing new.
You might remember the tracker that I took a photo of back at the UM Homecoming Parade in 2014.
That guy was following Amanda Curtis around.
Well, I guess so in case she had a serious fuck-up, he’d have it on tape.
That way it could get in front of you via a 30-second TV ad spot.
My question is…who pays these guys? I’m sure it’s not the Bullock campaign in the case of this new guy, and I’m sure it wasn’t the Daines campaign in the case of that old one.
Nope, I think these are the PACs. More than that, it could be National coordinating things, such as the Democratic Governor’s Association or some other, similar organization.
But what if Montana is coordinating with the national PACs...is that allowed?
It really is hard to tell, but this is what we do know a few things.
The Washington Post had a story up in October 2014 called Tracking the trackers: What it’s like to have the most mind-numbing job in a campaign.
In that article, we’re told that:
“Hundreds of (mostly younger) men and women, armed with little more than a portable camera, have the awkward job of spending every waking hour filming politicians from the other side of the political aisle. Their hope: catch those people saying something dumb, offensive or off-message so it can then be used against them.”
We know that American Bridge, “a Democratic super PAC that employs 44 trackers in 41 states” is likely responsible for this Gianforte tracker.
That’s considerably more than the “17 trackers deployed to key congressional races” that they had in 2012.
American Bridge has an operating budget of $18 million a year and “its trackers have gone to more than 10,000 events, traveled almost 760,000 miles and logged more than 6,600 hours of footage.”
For the most part, these political video-tracking firms are harmless, if not a huge nuisance.
Or are they?
Here's where our Two Dot tracker story gets interesting.
See that woman sitting next to our bearded video tracker there at the bar?
She’s a tracker for the PAC we just discussed, American Bridge.
The national PAC tracker and the Montana Democrats’ tracker were visibly communicating with each other.
I’m sorry, but again, does that qualify as illegal coordination?
I’m not real sure, myself, but perhaps it should be looked into.
Considering a separate ethics violation has been filed against other statewide Democrats today...well golly - I don't think anything will get looked into.