Schauer campaign accuses Michigan GOP of spying

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-16 18:42:15-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A video distributed by Democrat Mark Schauer’s campaign for governor is being used to back the claims the Michigan Republican Party and Gov. Rick Snyder’s campaign for reelection have used deception when attending campaign events.

It was a story first reported by the Detroit News.

Mark Shauer

The video was recorded at a private home during a June fundraiser. It was captured from the glasses of a MIGOP staffer.

The Schauer campaign calls the tactics ‘Nixonian dirty tricks.’

In the video, you can hear Natalie Collins speaking with MIGOP intern, Kyle Anderson, about concealing the camera.

“I have to just figure out the best way to hide this,” said Collins. “As long as they don’t go through my phone, then they’ll see I have the ‘Rick for Michigan’ app and Fox News.”

The pair was heading into a private home in West Bloomfield, where a fundraiser was being held for Schauer.

They were greeted at the door by someone who apparently recognized them from a previous event.

The recording tracks their moves, including a conversation about whether they should introduce themselves to Schauer’s running mate, Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown.

They were also caught criticizing the clothing of attendees, as well as the décor.

Schauer communications director Zach Pohl told FOX 17 that he received a text message during the event about two people who were in the home. Staffers told Pohl the pair didn’t seem to fit in. However, Pohl said the campaign couldn’t come up with a reason to simply kick them out, though the video shows they were confronted and questioned.

The interaction led the pair to believe they had been discovered.

“That lady was freaking me out,” said Collins.

“I think she’s on to us,” Anderson said. “I think we’re done.”

The Schauer campaign told FOX 17 it fully expects trackers to follow them at public events and say the Republicans and Snyder campaign are welcome to send trackers. However, Pohl questioned why trackers are lying about who they are and who they represent.

FOX 17 also reached out to MIGOP for comment, but didn’t get a response before this story was posted.

A spokesman told the Detroit News the group did send staffers to that event, even going so far as defending the use of a hidden camera.

This marks the third time the Schauer campaign has accused the Snyder camp of using 'dirty tricks' in an effort to get reelected.

The first happened during a town hall held in Coldwater back in March. That's when a photographer displayed a phony CNN media credential. The Schauer campaign said it Googled the man's name and discovered he was the director of photography for a Snyder campaign ad.

The second incident happened in June when a Snyder campaign intern attempted to get a job with the Schauer campaign. He was fired by the Snyder campaign and a spokeswoman said he acted alone.