Just don’t call the cameraman “macaca”

Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew and state Senator Nicholas Asselta had a press release spat over the videographer who’s been tracking Van Drew.

Yesterday, Asselta put out a press release saying that Van Drew had attempted to kick out a cameraman working on behalf of the first district Republicans.

"What is Jeff Van Drew afraid of, and why is he trying to prevent someone from documenting what he says in public?” asked Asselta. “What is up with the Democrats and their continuing insistence on secrecy?

Van Drew is challenging Asselta for his state Senate seat. Asselta has pledged to have a “clean campaign,” and questioned why Van Drew would care if a camera was present.

Van Drew responded today that the cameraman was collecting material for negative television commercials, an “ultimate irony” considering Asselta’s pledge to run a clean campaign.

“As difficult as it is to believe, while my opponent is pledging to run a clean, up-and-up campaign he is simultaneously resorting to a new negative strategy that has never been witnessed in a First District Legislative race,” said Van Drew.

The practice of having trackers tape politicians’ public appearances garnered national media attention when former Virginia Senator George Allen was captured on tape calling Jim Webb’s Indian-American cameraman “macaca,” which may have been a racial slur. Many say the incident turned the election in Webb’s favor. Just don’t call the cameraman “macaca”