U.S. Congressman, and U.S. Senate candidate, Patrick Murphy held court with reporters Wednesday in a study room at the Palm Beach County Library System’s Palm Beach Gardens branch.
Not invited: Chris Malloy.
Malloy’s a “tracker” for the conservative political action committee “America Rising.” He follows and videotapes Murphy, D-Jupiter, who’s in a Democratic primary Tuesday in a bid to unseat GOP incumbent Marco Rubio.
On Wednesday, Murphy scheduled a “photo op” of the himself doing early voting, followed by a “gaggle” with the media. For the latter, he had reporters and photographers follow him inside the library and into a windowed study room.
When Malloy followed, a Murphy campaign official fended him off, saying, “press only.” And when Malloy tried videotaping through the glass into the study room, a person used a campaign sign to block Malloy’s camera.
“So terrified of saying something embarrassing, Patrick Murphy often deploys his staff to kick video trackers out of so-called public events,” America Rising spokesman Jeff Bechdel said Wednesday in an email.
On Wednesday afternoon, Murphy campaign staff were asked via email about blocking Malloy. They did not respond.
Library system administrators referred inquiries to Assistant Palm Beach County Administrator Todd Bonlarron. He said he was told library staff did not know what was going on in the study room as a press conference and that they were told it was Malloy who was bothering Murphy, not the other way around.