By Robert Romano
January 18th, 2010, Springfield, MA—A cameraman working on a ballot integrity initiative with Americans for Limited Government Foundation was wrapped up in a large Martha Coakley campaign sign by her supporters as he tried to video the campaign rally.
YOUTUBE VIDEO FOOTAGE
Coakley supporters wrap ALG Foundation cameraman Erich Heyssel in sign:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeDVVZUC2jI
Coakley supporters wrap Erich Heyssel in sign (Erich's point of view):
Coakley supporters wrap Watchdog.org reporter Paul Soutar in sign:
According to Erich Heyssel, who was attempting to film a Coakley campaign event, "While filming at a Martha Coakley event I was approached by two men holding a 4×8 sign. They proceeded to hold the sign up in my line of sight, I tried to move, and was continuously blocked by these men and their sign."
Heyssel continued, "The situation escalated as they forcibly held me in place by wrapping the sign around me."
Dan Tripp, the project leader for Americans for Limited Government Foundation's coverage of the Massachusetts special election, defended Heyssel, saying, "Martha Coakley needs to calm down her bullies."
Tripp said "things could get ugly out there tomorrow as tensions rise in this close election. As we seek to identify, publicize and prevent election fraud tomorrow, I have instructed my crews to travel in teams. If Erich had been alone, this could have been worse."
As previously reported at Washington News Alert, Americans for Limited Government Foundation launched a ballot integrity initiative in Massachusetts last Friday.
The initiative features over 40 members of a media team working with poll watchers in targeted precincts across Massachusetts. Once the polls open, a real-time news stream of ballot integrity initiative activities can be viewed at www.washingtonnewsalert.com.
Robert Romano is the Washington News Alert Bureau Chief.