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Island Cab Driver Gets Physical With Republican Cameraman at Warren Event

At an Elizabeth Warren event this Sunday in Oak Bluffs, her cab driver came to blows with a Republican Party video tracker

A video of a scuffle between a Republican Party video tracker and a Martha’s Vineyard cab driver hired to drive Elizabeth Warren this past Sunday, has gone viral. The fight happened when Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren was leaving a canvass kickoff event held Sunday at Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs.

The video shows the tracker following Warren to the cab where, once Warren is inside the cab, the driver pushes him and tells him to get away. The camera man then follows the cab driver as he walks to the driver’s side of the cab at which point the cab driver turns around and says, “Dude, get out of my face or I’m going to call the police.” The cameraman repeatedly tells the driver that it is a public event to which the driver finally says, “You are messing with the wrong people.”

The Republican Party denounced the behavior. In a statement made by Nate Little, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Republican Party, said, “Yesterday on Martha’s Vineyard, a campaign aide for Elizabeth Warren physically assaulted and threatened an employee of the Massachusetts Republican Party. In addition to knocking the camera from the employee’s hand, the individual also threw a punch. This type of behavior is completely unacceptable and has no place in our public discourse. Despite witnessing this assault first-hand, Professor Warren took no action and allowed it to continue. As Professor Warren falls further behind in the polls, we expect that she will become more negative toward Scott Brown. However, that should not be an excuse for her staff to lash out in violence. Professor Warren needs to address this situation and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

However, the Warren campaign insisted the man in the video is not a campaign staffer, but a cab driver and also denounced the behavior. The cab company, Martha’s Vineyard Taxi, has not been willing to comment.

John H Bunker Sr. August 28, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Looks to me like Martha's Vineyard Taxi doesn't want any Republicans on board...
Bill Carson August 28, 2012 at 01:24 PM
The campaign trail for Elizabeth has been marred by gaffs and misspeaks . The campaign started out in South Boston when Professor Warren was looking for the "Hick Vote." When Martha Coakley went to South Boston she wouldn't shake hands with people because it was too cold outside. U-Tube - Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J3KPL6i8j0&feature=youtu.be The whole Indian story dragged on in the news that took her three months to explain. The claim today is that the driver of the SUV was a cab driver ? Where do you get a cab driver on Martha's Vineyard on Sunday afternoon . Why would a cab driver use the "F" word and tell a cameraman you don't know who your messing with ?
Bob Horne August 28, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I called MV Taxi yesterday, (not realizing it was the owner in video), and told them that the taxi employee should be fired. The person who answered the phone at MV Taxi began shouting at me and claimed that he has "watched the video numerous" times" and told me "the cameraman punched the driver first! It's on the video!" (Screaming) I told him he must be watching a different video. I also said I would not be using MV Taxi when on Island, given the fact the driver has such a short fuse, he is a danger to the public.
Bob Horne August 28, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I didn't do any of the screaming....it was the cab employee screaming at me.
Michael West August 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I don't know who is packaging Elizabeth Warren, but it is time for a change and a very strong counter offense. Old Scott good ol' boy has been doing well because of far superior media work, endorsements from Democrats (?) like Ray Flynn and the like. Meanwhile, Warren comes across as an uptight technocrat with good intentions, but ineffective political skills. Time for a redo or she is is going to be on the losing end of a landslide.
Michael West August 28, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I think the cabbie was just pissed at the intrusion, not the politics. Papparazzi are a pain in the butt no matter when or where they show up. It is a low-life profession, trolling the bottom for gaffes like this one.
Susanna J. Sturgis August 28, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Way to blow a very minor incident way out of proportion. I know, I know: it's much easier and more fun to carry on about Cabbie vs. "Video Tracker" than to discuss the very significant differences between the candidates and the sources of their money.
Will Hunter August 28, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I use MV Taxi regularly, I have had this very drive give me a ride, and I am openly not a supporter of Elizabeth Warren for several reasons. I have found their service to be excellent and assume they would be concern by intrusion on any customer by a stranger standing over them with a video camera. The video is very brief. I would like to see the full extent of this video before casting judgment on a what may just be a good cabbie over-reacting to an over-zealous politically-charged camera man.
Michael West August 28, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Yes?
Will Hunter August 28, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Mr. Carson, If you knew much about the island, you would know that MV Taxi is a Vineyard Haven taxi company that uses a few SUV's for cabs. I have been a fare in this SUV with this driver and I am not a Dem party staffer, just a former school teacher trying to get by. Also, I am a supporter of Scott Brown. I know from causal conversations that the Ms. Warren used their cabs once before for her appearance at the Old Whaling Church and I assume they found the service excellent as I do. And where do you get a cab . . . simple . . take the business card of a cab company that has given you good service (they offer them with your change) and place it in your wallet. Then when you need a cab on a Sunday in August, call the day before and get on the schedule. I have one of the cards in my wallet it reads MV Taxi . . . I am assuming Ms. Warren's staff has the same one.
Yout moyhers ass August 28, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I don't care what the cab driver did he didn't wanna be on video whatever. Warren's staff comment was she didn't see anything... BS if your in the video you saw what happened. Don't say : "The person featured in the video was not a member of the Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts staff,” she said. “He is a cab driver. Elizabeth did not see what happened. The photographer has a right to film in public locations, and the campaign had allowed him to film the entirety of Elizabeth’s event. The confrontation was wrong.” Blatant Lie
Alida O'Loughlin August 28, 2012 at 09:53 PM
I was at the Elizabeth Warren event on Sunday and learned that the rather impolite young man with his video/record camera was a so-called "Tracker".It seems this tracker films and records any movement and records any utterance made by this candidate for the Senate in the hope of catching any off-guard moment a real person like Ms. Warren may have. This young man pushed himself up to any conversation Ms. Warren had with any bystanders and moved himself the moment she moved. How impolite and how intrusive! Thanks to the Scott Brown campaign the "Big Brother Is Watching You" world has arrived indeed in Ocean Park! Fisticuffs are not the answer but I rather applaud the cabdriver who did not let this young man get away with his inappropriate behaviour.
Michael G August 28, 2012 at 10:03 PM
The cameraman and the cabbie should both be ashamed of themselves.
DorOthy Koerner August 29, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I will definitely seek out MV Taxi when I need a cab on Martha's Vineyard.
sparky August 29, 2012 at 01:47 AM
so punching and throwing the camera on the ground is appropriate behavior???? are you serious??? the camera guy could easily press charges on that idiot hothead
sparky August 29, 2012 at 01:50 AM
exactly
sparky August 29, 2012 at 01:52 AM
So who's the cab driver? Is it Morgan Reitzas ???
sparky August 29, 2012 at 02:05 AM
My question has been answered and yes it was politically motivated.... http://freebeacon.com/captain-morgan-unleashed/
Hookeye August 29, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Morgan is a great public figure and father who provides excellent service to this island for its guests and natives. Situations like these get hot very quick and I believe Morgans intention was trying to protect ms. Warren.
Lisa Madison August 29, 2012 at 03:00 PM
exactly. thanks for that.
Lisa Madison August 29, 2012 at 03:00 PM
exactly.
Lisa Madison August 29, 2012 at 03:02 PM
i bet the cameraman gets up every morning waiting to get into a confrontation with someone just to keep that "sue' mentality alive in his head... bet it din't take that long for him to call a lawyer lol
sparky August 29, 2012 at 03:28 PM
why do you defend the cabbie? even Ms Warren said the cabbie was wrong in what he did and had filmed the whole event with no problems at all.
Michael West August 29, 2012 at 03:58 PM
sparky, why was he continuing to film ms warren even after she entered the cab? i wonder what he was really all about. seems like he was waiting to provoke a reaction to his intrusiveness. maybe i'm wrong and his assignment was to make sure he got every single moment. but that doesn't really seem credible.
Susanna J. Sturgis August 29, 2012 at 04:14 PM
And so should the people who are blowing a regrettable incident into an event of Cosmic Political Significance. There are serious issues involved in this campaign, and substantial differences between the candidates. Let's focus on them instead of a rude provocateur and a cabbie who lost his temper.
joy August 29, 2012 at 05:13 PM
me too
sparky August 29, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Michael, from what I read it sounds like both Dems & Reps have what they call "trackers" that film the other sides events possibly hoping to catch something on video. If the cabbie was just mad about being filmed it was a HUGELY exaggerated anger. What if it was a tourist just standing there filming, would he have the same reaction? I mean Eliz Warren is running for Senator...she's in public, what's the big deal if people are filming as long as they don't do anything illegal????? Notice all we hear from the cabbie is NO COMMENT...that's because he knows he screwed up and there's nothing he can say to defend his actions. I'm sure it was political on his part. (or maybe he will comment and tell us otherwise)
Meadow August 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Isn't this driver the same fellow that worked for the steamship authority last year and got suspended for fighting?
Lisa Madison August 31, 2012 at 02:18 PM
sparky you will eat your words when you understand that the cabbie was defending his young daughter... geeze people see a small clip of film and they immediately rush to judgement
sparky August 31, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Lisa, Where do I begin?? 1- I would never take my 4 year old in a cab where strangers & drunks would be sitting next to her, etc. (Assuming she was really in the cab). 2- Why didn't he say that in the first place instead of "no comment" ??? 3- Should a father be cussing out, punching & throwing a camera in front of his daughter? Sounds like she should be protected from him, rather than a cameraman. 4- As Scott Brown said...“As a public figure, I encounter ‘trackers’ daily,their constant presence is part of the political process, and candidates and their staff need to respect their right to participate in that process. When candidates bring in outside help, they need to make a good faith effort to make sure those individuals do not overreact to people who are just doing their jobs. In this instance, it is clear Mr. Reitzas was not educated about the dos and don’ts of the campaign trail.” 5- I will be the first to admit I'm wrong, if I am. I don't know him personally, but seems like if he's such a great guy, who lost his temper, (like we all do at times), he would have apologized by now.

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