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Kuster Grabs Bass Staffer’s Camera at Biden Event [VIDEO]

WATCH IT NOW: Candidate tracking gets heated in Congressional race.

A video clip of Democratic congressional candidate Ann McLane Kuster grabbing the camera of a staffer for U.S. Rep. Charles Bass, R-NH, at last week’s Statehouse rally with Vice President Joe Biden is going viral on the Internet after it was posted online by NHJournal.com.

The video purported to show a Bass staffer, later identified by the New Hampshire Union Leader as Bryan Klepacki, tracking Kuster while she was talking with former 1st Congressional District candidate Joanne Dowdell at the Biden event on Sept. 21.

Klepacki, while recording, attempted to get Kuster’s attention on a number of occasions before she grabbed the camera from him. Klepacki requested the camera back and Kuster said, “Nope,” before asking Klepacki if he is harassing her.

“I’m not trying to harass you,” Klepacki stated.

“I’ll call Charlie,” Kuster countered, “and I’ll tell him when you can have the camera back.”

As she walked away, Kuster could be heard saying, “F-him.”

The video tracking of candidates has become a popular phenomenon as rival campaigns attempt to catch the opposing side in an awkward, uncomfortable, or embarrassing moment. 

At the Biden event, the vice president heaped praise on Kuster, saying it had been great getting to know her on the campaign trail. 

Bass addressed the video in Salem on Wednesday, calling video tracking of candidates a "sad reality" but also "the way of life" in campaigns. He called Kuster's reaction in this instance "a little bit unexpected."

Scott Tranchemontagne, a spokesman for the Bass campaign, said in a statement that it is "routine" for candidates to ask questions on camera at events about opinions and political positions.

"There are certainly several people that canvass such events with cameras on behalf of the Kuster campaign," he said. "What makes this incident unusual is that the candidate ripped the camera out of the hand of someone attempting to ask her a question, refused to return it, and then verbally insulted him.” 

In an emailed statement, Kuster claimed that Bass sent the staffer to track her at a public event and "nearly hit me in the face" with the camera during a conversation with Dowdell. 

"I briefly took the camera from him and asked one of my supporters to return it moments later," she noted.

Kuster compared it to the "political bullying by Congressman Bass and the House Republicans (that) has resulted in a failed, do-nothing Congress. Bass's political bullying hasn't worked in Washington and I won't let it intimidate me or my campaign in New Hampshire." She said this kind of bullying is "what politicians do to try and save their political careers" in Washington. 

"I am eager to debate the issues with Congressman Bass in a respectful and civil way, but I won't tolerate the Bass campaign’s attempts to intimidate me," she said.

Follow-up: Political experts wonder: Did tracker cross the line or did Kuster lose her cool?

Bass Addresses Kuster Video Flap

Seamus Carty September 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM
"Extreme Republicans believe that when our daughters are being raped they should lay there and enjoy the inevitable." Really? What makes you think Republicans believe this? Most Republicans would support the victim defend herself with a gun.
Hilltopper September 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Mr. Victory, "Takes no guts at all to spit criticisms while hiding behind a fake name." Funny you and the rest of the "Namers" stand fast with these claims against posters that don't share your beliefs or opinions, but yet you are silent with posters that agree with your beliefs or opinions----say like "Watts" or "Oedipus".
Oedipus September 27, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Not the best response to a provocation. She was wrong, he was wrong. Penalties offset, replay the down.
Oedipus September 27, 2012 at 01:58 PM
This is not quite as bad as Scott Browns racist henchmen mocking Elizabeth Warren last week. Why is it that Republicans are always trying to childishly disrupt, antagonize and taunt their opponents?
Atlant September 27, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Patch's sense of what language is appropriate and what language isn't seems to vary from time to time and poster to poster, doesn't it? > she'll be just another bend-over-the-couch rep > constituents who kiss her ass > we still remember the white trash
Atlant September 27, 2012 at 02:27 PM
> Why is it that Republicans are always trying to childishly disrupt, > antagonize and taunt their opponents? Because some Republicans are, by their very nature, childish, disruptive, antagonizing bullies. And they demonstrate that every day here on Patch.
News Flash September 27, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Krazy Kuster is now blaming Bass. How dumb is that.
News Flash September 27, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Krazy Kuster is now blaming Bass. How dumb is that
Joe A. (Average) September 27, 2012 at 03:16 PM
It's because Republicans are having a hard time handling their own morality issues and crossing them with a choice they wouldn't have made.
Atlant September 27, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I wonder why my comments are stuck in "Pending Approval" state?
maribeth schonberg September 28, 2012 at 02:01 AM
No four letter word, she said literally "F him".
kelly longo September 28, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Give me a break. If you are in politics you should be representing all of your constituents, even if they are Bass supporters. The fact that she was extremely rude fior not even aknowledging the staffer calling her name speaks wonders about what she really cares about. She cares about no-one but herself and what her own party believes. She states that she represnts all of the people of New Hampshire, not just Democrats, that is a complete lie. What a lyong self serving poor excuse for a candidate!
kelly longo September 28, 2012 at 03:09 AM
What a horrible woman! I am a democrat in New Hampshire and she has lost my vote! Thank you Annie for helping me make my final decision on who I will vote for. My family an I were appauled by your unbelievably un-professional behavior! If you can't keep your cool in this situation, how can anyone espect you to keep in in congress. So again, thank you for helping me and my large extended family to vote for your opponent!
Jack W September 28, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Kuster lost my vote, just do not need that kind of temper.
Paul Mercury September 28, 2012 at 04:21 AM
@ Hill I hear you. It's true that many people here on Patch use screen names - from both sides of the political divide. NF has a tendency to relentlessly attack and harass public figures and those running for office - people who have to put their true identities "out there" in a way he/she will not - which is why I made the distinction.
Paul Mercury September 28, 2012 at 04:22 AM
4 posts to say the same thing?
Paul Mercury September 28, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Sad. Kelly, in the post above you say "I am a democrat in New Hampshire". And in the post above that one you say "she cares about no-one but herself and what HER OWN PARTY believes." So forgive me, but I smell an elephant pile. Go Annie!
News Flash September 28, 2012 at 05:01 AM
I agree David. Annie should just GO, home that is.
Jan Schmidt September 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Kathy, the man with the camera was not a Bass supporter. The man was attempting to find a vulnerable spot of the opponent of his employer. If he couldn't find one, he'd make one. The clip is too short to see how long she put up with the attack on her personal space, it is too muddled to hear his words, and all I can see is a woman who was irritated past endurance by the behavior of an annoyingly aggressive male. Around the world people are taking this kind of thing to court and winning. The behavior of the man was wrong and so was that of Bass and anyone who condones this treatment of any woman.
Jan Schmidt September 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM
And another person falls for fake journalism...
s. savoy September 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Wonder how many points she dropped in the polls because of this. has to be a lot
News Flash September 28, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Kuster is a second rate politician.
Jack W September 28, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Its Ann Kuster that made a fool out of herself.
Hardy Har Har Har September 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
"Kusters Last Stand" Hardy Har Har Har
Hilltopper September 28, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Mr. Victory. True but the others do too so how can there be distinction?--otherwise "Hypocrisy"
Jack W September 28, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Fake Politician on the attack. She was the bully.
Reality Geezer September 28, 2012 at 06:59 PM
David--so what you are saying is that there are different laws for politicians. Is that another GOP interpretation of the constitution and the law, or just your opinion??
San Quentin September 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Has Ann Kuster apologized yet?
bob September 29, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Her skin is too thin for politics.
Barry Pietrantonio October 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM
This is part of politics now. Get use to it Kuster! Her behavior is unprofessional. She should know this is what politics is like now.

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