‘Bumping Of Bellies’ Between GOP Activist, Dem Over Poll Watching Effort (VIDEO)

October 25, 2010 9:08 a.m.

There was a “bumping of bellies” between a Republican activist and a Democratic official in Indiana after the Republican official allegedly took pictures of voters at a polling place, the Indiana Star reported.

Marion County’s Democratic Party chairman, Ed Treacy, got into a shouting and shoving match on Saturday with Ernest Shearer, a Warren Township Republican Party official, according to media reports.Shearer told police that he was taking pictures of Treacy walking out of the polling location when the Democrat began cursing at him, bumped him and hit him in the nose with a business card, the newspaper reported. He told police that he was chest-bumped three times.

Treacy told the newspaper in an e-mail that there was a “bumping of bellies,” and said that Shearer had been taking pictures of voters “in an intimidating manner.”

“There had been an earlier confrontation with other Democratic volunteers,” he wrote to the paper. “I asserted that Mr. Shearer was behaving in a manner designed to intimidate voters.”

Shearer said he should be allowed to photograph what he believed was a violation of election law.

“I just thought it was odd that the party chairman was out at the polling site on a Saturday afternoon,” said Shearer. “As Treacy was leaving the building, he started calling me an (deleted), asking me what was I doing taking his picture in a very loud, almost a screaming voice. He was completely out of control like someone on the Jerry Springer Show.”

As TPMMuckraker has reported, conservatives are getting involved in anti-voter fraud campaigns — many of which have a monitoring component — ahead of the midterm elections this year. Democratic officials have said that such tactics like taking photos of voters at polling stations have been used as an intimidation tactic.

Here’s local station Fox 59’s report on the squabble.

The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: