After watching the video below you will no longer have to wonder how Josh Mandel is handling the stress of this year’s Senate campaign. The short answer: not well.

No one likes being following around by a guy with a video camera all day, especially when you’re already stressed out by the latest Dispatch poll showing you losing your race by 10 points (or the pending public records complaint filed by a blog).

But that’s still no excuse for a sitting office holder – or anyone for that matter – to behave the way Mandel does toward this tracker for American Bridge.


In case you didn’t recognize him, the reporter in the video is Joe Vardon.  Joe was there to interview Mandel for an article he was writing, but he was so distracted by Mandel’s actions in the elevator that a good one-third of his article ended up being about the confrontation with the Tracker.

Here’s Vardon’s take on the incident:

During his interview with The Dispatch, which included a brief walk from the treasurer’s office to a deli on Broad Street and back, Mandel was followed by a political tracker from the American Bridge 21st Century political-action committee, which is dedicated to making video recordings of Republican candidates.

The tracker followed Mandel into a public elevator in the Rhodes Tower, where Mandel’s treasurer’s office is located. Mandel approached the tracker, called him loudly by name, and at one point grabbed the monopod attached to the tracker’s camera.

The tracker said “please don’t,” and Mandel relented, asking the tracker “how you been” and said “good to see you.” He also asked the tracker if he knew a Dispatch reporter who was in the elevator.

After Mandel and the Dispatch reporter got off the elevator, an unidentified woman who was also on the elevator can be heard on the video remarking to the tracker that she saw Mandel come “right over there to block” the camera.

  • missskeptic

    A pushy bully – describes Mandel and pretty much every other Republican office holder, especially in OH.

  • naim

    I’m all for getting evidence on tape. But no matter who it is, being on camera without permission is annoying. Political matters aside, this incident does not prove anything more than general hostility on both sides, both agressive and passive. Try again.

  • oldmomma

    If he can’t handle some local video recorder, following him onto an elevator, doubt he can handle the stress levels of Washington….as a politician he could have handled that a little better….juvenile, at best…

  • Okay, for serious, how does a tracker just walk into the Riffe Building? Does he have press credentials that allow him free access to the building?

  • Issues please

    Sorry, non issue. Love the Mandel pieces, keep it up but post only real issues please

  • John W.

    What exactly is a tracker?

  • Trackers follow around candidates with a video camera and record their every move, hoping they will slip up and say something stupid. NPR has a good piece on it.

  • This was a public elevator at Rhodes, not Riffe.

  • Red Rover

    He probably was also frustrated by having trouble finding his office. Embarrassing, I’m sure.

  • My mistake. Although, I still wasn’t aware that Rhodes had any public areas either. I always assumed all state office buildings were like the Green Building, meaning customer service areas are in the lobby and you need a pass to get on an elevator. Maybe I shouldn’t be giving Mandel any ideas, though.

  • Not exactly.

    O’Keefe actually sets up situations in which he can ‘punk’ someone. The cameras are often hidden.

    Trackers aren’t necessarily trying to be sneaky or dishonest. They just follow the candidate around and record what he or she says, hoping they slip up.
    A short video clip can literally change a campaign overnight. (think Macaca or 47% or anything Sarah Palin said)
    Republicans have trackers on Brown all the time too. It’s just part of modern campaigning.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!