Zach Wurtz is a paid Democratic operative who shows up at Republican events and records them with a video camera. This is nothing new. These days every major political campaign--Democratic or Republican--gets trailed by folks like Wurtz who are there to catch any potential gaffes or "macaca moments" that have viral potential.
So how should a modern major politician deal with the incessant eye of unexpected cameras?
Probably not like Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna did here.
The event was a monthly meeting of the Young Republicans on July 7. The place was the North Bellevue Community Center. The rental agreement signed by the YR made clear that the event was public and open to anyone.
That didn't stop McKenna from ordering that Mr. Wurtz turn his camera off "now" or leave. And it didn't stop the Young Republican organizers from placing a total of three 911 calls asking that police come a remove Wurtz from the premises.
McKenna's Chief of Staff Randy Pepple tells Seattle Weekly that this situation is "laughable" and "not news."
"The point is that a private organization should be afforded the choice of whether to be recorded or not," says Pepple.
To be sure, it wasn't just the "private organization" that didn't want to be recorded, but McKenna himself--a public official who's running for the highest public office in the state.
Reesa Kossoff at the Washington State Democrats, meanwhile, takes the most issue with the three 911 calls that were made to try and remove Wurtz.
Here are the calls.
"Rob McKenna is the state's top cop," says Kossoff. "Does he believe three calls to 911 is really a valuable use of police resources? If he's running for governor, what was he planning to say to that group that he wasn't prepared to say to the public at large?"
Who knows. Probably a bunch of stuff about tax cuts, job creation, repealing Obamacare, etc.
But throwing out a person with a video camera just gives the impression that there's something to hide. And tying up 911 services with that kind of "emergency" makes the whole thing seem a little pathetic.