As we head into the insanity of the election season, we are bound to hear more stories of politicians banning cameras from town hall meetings out of fear they might stick their foot in their mouth and be exposed on Youtube for the fools that they are.
And lately, it seems as if it is the republicans doing all the banning.
I know many of my republican readers are already frothing at the mouth of that last statement, so bear with me for a second.
Last week, Republican Ohio Congressman Steve Chabot made national headlines when he had police confiscate cameras from two members of the audience.
And as you know, that took place only days before a federal appeals court ruled that photography is protected under the First Amendment.
So that prompted Politicususa, a liberal website, to come up with the following headline in an attempt to tie in the two stories.
The article didn’t mention any other republicans who have banned photography at town hall meetings, so I asked Photography is Not a Crime reader Mark Mason, who had posted the story on my wall, for some examples.
Mason, who lists his political affiliation on Facebook as “outside the box,” immediately provided a few links that indicate republican politicians do tend to be more camera shy than democrats.
Below is an unofficial list of politicians who have banned cameras at town hall meetings in recent years as well other incidents involving politicians directly assaulting photographers (both democrats).
Some of these stories involve staffers and there is no clear indication that the orders camera from the politician. I’ve included Chabot in the list below, even though I mentioned him above.
Also, I’ve provided a link on each name, but in some cases, you will find the same story on two politicans because it mentioned both of them.
And I’m sure there are more, so feel free to send me links regarding other politicians who have issues with photographers. I’m trying to create some type of scorecard.
- Steve Chabot, Republican Congressman of Ohio
- Lou Barletta, Republican Congressman of Pennsylvania
- Tom Marino, Republican Congressman of Pennsylvania
- Joe Heck, Republican Congressman of Nevada
- Mark Kirk, Republican Congressman of Illinois
- Judy Biggert, Republican Congresswoman of Illinois
- Rob McKenna, Republican Attorney General and Gubernatorial Candidate
- Joe Miller, Republican Senate Candidate for Alaska
- Ron Paul, Republican Congressman from Texas
- Bart Stupak, Democratic Congressman from Michigan
- John Kitzhaber, former Democratic Governor of Oregon who was running for office again
- Bob Etheridge, former Democratic Congressman from North Carolina
- Kevin S. Parker, Democratic State Senator from New York
- Baron Hill, former Democratic Congressman from Indiana
I am a liberal but I am non-partisan when it comes to these issues. I won’t support any candidate who bans photography at their town hall meetings or assaults photographers on the street.
I will be interviewed on this subject as well as photographers’ rights in general tomorrow morning (Wednesday) on an Ohio radio station.
I am scheduled to go on at 7:45 a.m. EST on 610 WTVN. You can listen live to the broadcast here or listen to it later on a podcast.