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Wolf Campaign Apologizes for Staffer who Struck Feder Worker

Sandhya Somashekhar

Rep. Frank R. Wolf's campaign is apologizing this morning for the actions of a congressional staffer, who apparently struck a campaign worker for opponent Judy Feder after a candidate's forum in Winchester Friday. The incident was caught on tape and posted on the blog www.raisingkaine.com last night by Feder's paid blogger, Lowell Feld.

According to both camps, the two Feder staffers, one carrying a video camera, approached Wolf and peppered him with questions. Dan Scandling, Wolf's campaign spokesman, said the two workers had been "circling" Wolf, his wife Carolyn and congressional staffer Ben Dutton, and asking aggressive questions in an attempt to provoke an angry response.


Marisa McNee, a Feder spokeswoman, acknowledged that Matt Kent and Josh Goodman, both paid campaign workers, were "a little aggressive" but generally polite in their questioning.

At one point in the video, as Kent asks Wolf a question, the camera abruptly shakes and the videographer shouts, "Sir, please don't!" This is the moment at which both camps say Dutton struck Kent. Though you can't see it, both camps say it was with a cane.

Scandling said Dutton, an 83-year-old former Winchester town councilman, felt that Carolyn Wolf "was being threatened" and responded in a "knee-jerk" way.

McNee said Dutton struck Kent a second time, and there is another abrupt shake later in the tape that could corroborate this. Scandling denies this. He said the events transpired behind Wolf's back and that Wolf did not witness anything.

"The campaign apologizes if Ben used poor judgment and hit him with his cane," Scandling said. But he said the reaction was "provoked." The two Feder staffers had been egging him on with questions like, "How does it feel to be in the real Virginia?" Scandling said.

McNee, however, said that Kent and Goodman were trying to nail down Wolf on his position on health care. Moreover, she said, nothing justifies physical violence. She said the two campaign workers, who also approached Wolf at an event in McLean on Saturday, are considering whether to file a complaint with the police. Neither was injured.

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  October 27, 2008; 11:51 AM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Frank R. Wolf , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Next: Let The Games Begin

Comments

Your readers and Congressman Wolf's constituents need to see the video which you failed to link to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_mz3TlRtHs

The real story is that Mr. Wolf's health care policy is identical to John McCain's and for the first time you would be taxed on your healthcare benefits.

Don't the people Mr. Wolf represents deserve a Member of Congress who will answer their questions?

Anyone who thinks the Post is biased toward the Democrats need to take a look at how the paper is trying to downplay this story.

Posted by: write55 | October 27, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, now you've updated your post, but you should indicate that you did so.

Hmmm.

Posted by: write55 | October 27, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Shame the old coot wasnt armed with a shotgun and had a few rounds of bacon grease and rock salt for thse young whipper sanpper punks. Picking rock salt out of there leftist rears would have taught these boys some manners.

20 years ago you would found these communists swinging!

Posted by: omarthetentmaker | October 27, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Man, this is getting ugly. What a creep that old man is!

Posted by: sandnsmith | October 27, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Preston Brooks would be proud.

Posted by: brendy1 | October 27, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

LOL. An 83 year old guy beat up a couple of young whippersnappers; how old were they? 20, 30 year old young men? Excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing....

...Look guys, once upon a time a guy (sheesh, guys, two of 'em...I think) would be too embarrassed to admit they got beat up by an old guy. "Matt" and "Josh" (giggle)(snort) may not be up to the job of being political badasses Borats. I mean, if you're going to play rough, that's fine but don't go crying to the police. It's embarassing. Go have a beer or something and laugh about it. Man up.

And don't give me this crap about how innocent you were.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | October 27, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like these people got just what they wanted. They taunted a 80+ year old man who tapped them with a cane, not injuring either of them. They should be ashamed of their actions and the baiting.

There is no way I will vote for the democrat, if this is the type of actions they use.

Posted by: Natstural | October 27, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I am sadden not only by the violent actions, but by people who condone such actions. Me. Wold has the right to stop the interview. He has been in the house for years and can handle the press.

Posted by: ninaallen | October 27, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

LOL. An 83 year old guy beat up a couple of young whippersnappers; how old were they? 20, 30 year old young men? Excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing....

...Look guys, once upon a time a guy (sheesh, guys, two of 'em...I think) would be too embarrassed to admit they got beat up by an old guy. "Matt" and "Josh" (giggle)(snort) may not be up to the job of being political badarses Borats. I mean, if you're going to play rough, that's fine but don't go crying to the police. It's embarassing. Go have a beer or something and laugh about it. Man up.

And don't give me this crap about how innocent you were.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | October 27, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I am sadden not only by the violent actions, but by people who condone such actions. Mr. Wolf has the right to stop the interview. He has been in the house for years and can handle the press.

Posted by: ninaallen | October 27, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

first: I'm not a Virginia voter so I don't have a horse in this race.

Second: Assaulting anybody is against the rules

With that out of the way, I applaud the actions taken by this guy. These two kids represent the lowest of the low in campaigning thanks in part to the YouTube generation.

This is not a left or right thing. It's a decency thing. If Feder really wanted to ask these questions of Wolf she could have done so at a debate or called a press conference to push him on this matter. But she didn't. Instead she hired two kids to harass Wolf (and his wife who also looked remarkably uncomfortable.)

When George Allen made his "Makaka" remark a few years back it was caught on video. But that cameraman (working for the Webb camp) didn't follow Allen around harassing him until he made the comment. Instead he was videotaping a public rally which is very different and IMHO perfectly acceptable.

Feder should be ashamed that she had to sink to such a low tactic and to borrow on the ideas by other commenters...these guys should be ashamed they got whipped by an 83-year old guy..

Posted by: deltaxi | October 27, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This is outrageous conduct. An 83 year old knows better than to hit somebody. Twice. Is this what "law and order" republicanism is all about? I sincerely hope charges are filed in this incident.

Posted by: goaway41 | October 27, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The Washington area is renowned for the elite delivering cannings to those irritating them. In 1963 Billy Zantzinger, son of a prominent Washington realtor, killed a black waitress, Hattie Carroll, with a cane because she was slow in responding to his drunken commands for more drink; Zantzinger received only a six months sentence for manslaughter. In 1856 Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina attacked Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts with a cane, almost killing him, out of anger at, as Preston perceived it, Sumner insulting his uncle, Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina, in a speech. Who do these people think they are? This event should be noted by those who think we live in a classless society--we are all owners, ain't we?

Posted by: csintala79 | October 27, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Two sad things about this "incident". First, the continuing (IMO) degradation of civility in our society (including on web sites as the WaPo). These two "men" were browbeating to create discord. They were paid to do so. And succeeded. And are complaining about it.

Second, this elderly gentleman acted in a way that, in the past, would have shamed him even to think of doing. By attacking others with his cane.

FInally, both sides will take pride and criticize the other.

The greatest shame is on us for allowing this to continue.

Posted by: hossra | October 27, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I am voting democrat this election, but I do have to side with Wolf on this one. Although the old man probably shouldn't have struck the staffer's, it does seem they deserved what was coming. Politics already has enough immature idiots, lets not add some more.

Act like a juvenile and you will be treated like one.

Posted by: aabuakee | October 27, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Somebody deserves a beating? Right. Welcome to the South.

Posted by: goaway41 | October 27, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks the establishment is really fighting to keep their 28 year grip on power - literally kicking and screaming. I like the symbolism of an 83 year old man whipping people with his cane to fight off legitimate questions...

Posted by: MPeach1 | October 27, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

It shows that Virginians should vote for Mccain. These old Republicans are some bad dudes. A couple of punks harass the Congressman and an old man who is over 80 kicks their wussy butts. roflmao They should not complain...at least he did not break their arms.

Posted by: Scruffy1970 | October 27, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

This is the new "paparazzi" tactic that seems to be in vogue today. Send two idiots out with a camera, act in an aggressive and annoying manner towards someone until they respond the way you want, edit tape and post on internet. It really is a juvinile tactic and I don't feel sorry for any of these "paparazzi" staffers that may get injured as a result (much the same way I feel about the paparazzi in general). For every action there is an equal reaction.

Even though I'm voting Democratic this election, I've noticed that this tactic seems to be used mostly by Democrats (especially locally). It's shameful really.

Posted by: clamb1 | October 27, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

These days, Republicans are just plain mean. They haven't had a decent idea in years, just "leaders" who have convinced them to be afraid of liberals, gays, women who want equal pay, black people, Muslims, immigrants. . . The list goes on. And when you've been afraid of so many things for so long, you're bound to act out a little.
I hate violence, and I'm not a fan of violent talk, but I urge the Republicans to continue to condone both until they've managed to convince the huge majority of people, who are reasonable and not violent, that their party is entirely worthless. In other words, knock yourselves out, guys. You're just convincing more of us that you're wrong for the United States and wrong for Virginia.

Posted by: jlhare1 | October 27, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Natstural

I can never vote for any party that refuses to ever admit they are wrong about anything. The Campaign spokesman for the two cameramen admitted that they were agressive but polite. You on the other hand not only fail to admit fault in the elderly mans behavior but actually are trying to portray him as a victim. They were not even talking to him. Its like the GOP has just decided to develop its own version of the world within its own circle and ignore reality in a desperate attempt to create its own version of reality because it is in denial of its own mistakes. Maybe an election loss would help your party. That last eight years of republican dominance has left you with an overly inflated self impression that you refuse to look beyond. Didn't 2006 tell the GOP anything? Your leaders are failing you and the country and you want to play victim of liberal bully instead of saying we need better leaders and or policy if we want to get voters back. But no, you would rather rely on voter ignorance benefiting you over sound leadership and policy. Remember, you are not losing to democrats, you are actually losing to yourselves. You lost government based on nothing other than your own mistakes. Democrats are just benefiting from not being the controllers of government the last 8 years.

Posted by: gdavis4 | October 27, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm not condoning any violence on behalf of anyone. But, and correct me if I'm wrong, you primarily see this type of harassment among progressive, liberal organizations and campaigns. It's one thing for independent organizations or opponents to harass an opposing candidate, but when this comes from "paid" operatives, it is nothing more than embarrassing to their candidate.

I've worked on campaigns, and despite how much we disagreed with the other side and were frustrated with their tactics, we would never stoop so low as to harass them publicly or we'd be kicked out the door of our campaign before we knew it.

It seems like these kids do this just for fun, not really understanding the issues or interested in a civilized debate. It reminds me of that progressive group Anonymous, that protests the Church of Scientology. They do it more for fun, and because they enjoy harassing people they don't like. But they do nothing more than bring embarrassment upon themselves.

Posted by: RambleOn | October 27, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

brendy1 wrote: "Preston Brooks would be proud."

I was just coming here to write about Preston Brooks. *chuckle* So much for the New South.

Oh, but he was just protecting the wimmenfolk, dontcha know.

Posted by: csdiego | October 27, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Is Rep. Wolf going to call 911 and complain about the KIDS on his lawn next?

Posted by: mvm_ffx | October 27, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I can only hope posters were being facetious when they wrote that someone DESERVED a beating! I realize that this is the south however, I never knew that it was acceptable to assault people regardless of the verbal provocation. I guess what I learned as a child, 20 years ago, was not learned by this octagenarian -- sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

Posted by: originalcutie | October 27, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm pleased that the Wolf campaign were willing to apologize for anything that someone associated with the campaign may have done.

However, it should now be Judy Feder's turn to apologize for directing her campaign staff to harass her opponent.

The aggressive tactics evidenced by the video are enough for someone to fear for their safety or for the safety of a friend.

Is this really the way that you want to win your campaign Ms. Feder? Following your opponent around and praying for some incident - or to possibly provoke one?

It is a sad video that these are the type of tactics to which politics has sunk.


Posted by: Fairfax2 | October 27, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Ummm, please forgive me if I am wrong, but aren't elected officials PUBLIC officials? Public officials are accountable to the public. The person asking questions is a member of the American Public, right?

If you don't want the attention - don't run for Public office. That being said...

Physically striking any member of the public for asking a question - even if you are not a public official - is against the law.

Physically striking one of your constituents (or employing those who do) is an egregious abuse of power.

Now it's one thing to apologize ipso facto - but there was no attempt made at the point of attack to stop the employee from striking the cameraman.

That shows an implicit acceptance of the physical abuse by his employee.

Now Republicans...if that were OJ Simpson and a member of his entourage physically struck a camera man - would you be insisting on pressing charges against the employee AND OJ?

I think we all know the answer.

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | October 27, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I can only hope posters were being facetious when they wrote that someone DESERVED a beating!
------------
Where does the article indicate that a "beating" took place? And the volume on the video is muted out, perhaps conveniently by those who shot it (I seriously doubt these little brats used the word "please"). The old man felt threatened for Mrs. Wolf's and his own safety. If someone gets into my personal space, provokes me and is verbally "aggressive", a natural response may be to poke a cane or whatever at them to keep them at bay. BFD.

This is not assault. No one was injured, and the police will laugh this off if the young ideologues try to press charges.

Posted by: RambleOn | October 27, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Not my election- thank goodness. My god, how dare anyone ask this guy tough questions? You know, it is just like the people who want to see McCain's medical records and the people who ask Palin anything. The questions made Wolf uncomfortable- wow, that is awful- you are only suppose to ask easy questions to candidates. And hey, congrats to those of you who think physical violence is acceptable but asking tough questions isn't.

Posted by: silverspring25 | October 27, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

We have a bunch of people on here commenting on how these videographers should be ashamed of being beaten by a 83 yo man with a cane. So you're saying you would have respected them more if they had taken his cne away and beaten him up instead? You are morons!

Posted by: jimbo1949 | October 27, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse


I dunno, if some brats followed me around harrassing and molesting for a few hours, verbally or otherwise, I'd handle if differently.

Something bigger than a cane. And the camera would jingle and splat as it hit the gound, not jiggle a little.

Posted by: whistling | October 27, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Are you republicans saying that you CAN'T ASK QUESTIONS OF A CONGRESSMAN UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE CANED? It always seems that these Rightwing nuts think violence is par for the course when someone challenges you. Perhaps it from all the vicious righwing talk show hosts that you get this 'violence is okay' mentality. Let's review a few quotes, shall we?

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus -- living fossils -- so we will never forget what these people stood for." (Rush Limbaugh)
"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building." (Ann Coulter)
"I'll tell you who should be tortured and killed at Guantanamo - every filthy Democrat in the U.S. Congress." (Sean Hannity)
"To fight only the al-Qaeda scum is to miss the terrorist network operating within our own borders ... Who are these traitors? Every rotten radical left-winger in this country, that's who." (Michael Savage)

Do you people think that Anne Pressly should have been beaten do death because of her role in the movie "W"? It's sickening.


Posted by: UNLISTED | October 27, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

For the people happy that the 83 year old man beat them with his cane...would you be so happy if they took his cane and proceeded to beat him with it. Noone at anytime has the right to touch another unless they are protecting themselves or someone actually under threat. A question is not that.

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | October 27, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat and Obama supporter but this video is what's wrong with politics. We've got to stop doing the whole gotcha politics thing. The kid got what he deserved, he's lucky the old man didn't give him a worse beating.

Posted by: Route1 | October 27, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

.


.


Let's all review how this year, not decades ago. OBAMA REFUSED TO DISAVOW Rev. Wright and his BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY TEACHINGS.


What is worse is that Obama exposed his children to the HATE OF BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY FOR YEARS.


EXPOSED HIS CHILDREN TO THAT RACIST HATE UNTIL IT BECAME POLITICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR OBAMA TO CONTINUE TO BRING HIS CHILDREN TO THE RACIST CHURCH !


IF A WHITE candidate had a similar church, the Washignton Post would be railing against that candidate.


The bias is great, the racism is unbelievable. The media has given Obama so many passes.


Then they have to go and get some FALSE CHARGES FROM DECADES AGO.


Investigate Obama and his democratic friends in Chicago.


Investigate his friend REZKO who has been indicted and whose story much of America does not know.


Investigate all the connections between Michele Obama and Farrakhan.


BE SERIOUS MEDIA.


YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING DRINKING THE KOOL-AID OF THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN TALKING POINTS AS IF IT WERE TRUTH.


.


.

Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 27, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I think that there are circumstances that a reasonable measure of violence IS an appropriate response to rudeness and harassment. If I were sitting on a jury, I would vote not guilty AND ask the judge to jail the complaining witnesses for a day or two for being jerks.

Civility should have begun with the "reporters" who were playing hardball "gotcha."

Hope the guy has a nice bruise to remind him of the experience.

Posted by: MdLaw | October 27, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I've seen jihare1 and a few of you other ignorant fools posting on here that because an old man felt that his boss and wife were being harassed (which they were) and threatened and decided he'd had enough, that the behavior of an old man represents the mentality of the entire GOP as a party as a whole. So becasue Bill Clinton cheated on his wife, does that make every Democrat an Adulterer? Just because you idiots hate Bush so much and blame him for every ill of this country doesn't mean that the GOP is a bunch of evil, violent bastards (and oh yeah, who has had the held the House and Senate Majority for hte past two years...morons).

Put the shoe on the other foot...Say it was two Republican operatives with a camera harassing one of your beloved, "can do absolutely no wrong" Democrats...You'd probably say that they deserved to get whacked (feebly) by an 83 year old man with a cane...

Those little video retards got the reaction they wanted and probably gave each other high fives afterwards, just like a pooparazzi getting a nice close up of Pam Anderson's botched butt lift...It maskes me ill, as do all of you Haters out there.

Posted by: BandWagonBurner | October 27, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Tensions are high and some democrats are getting a little cocky. How about letting this matter go? If the press wants to publish this, how about a more thorough investigation. Such as, what lead up to this incident? It is possible to think that the producer of this tape did not anticipate or even planned this?

Posted by: peterroach | October 27, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm an Obama supporter and I think these two rude aholes got what they deserved. You don't harass people that way. Give the guy respect, even if you disagree with him!!

Posted by: sickofit1 | October 27, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: deltaxi | October 27, 2008 2:42 PM

so is it your belief that constituents don't have the right to ask their representatives questions in a public place? really?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | October 27, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Don't agree with these kinds of tactics the feder people are employing, but I thought that wolf would have at least said something to stop his person. First time whack, ok, but after the 2nd or 3rd time he should have spoken to the old guy. This guy has been in office a while and he represents some kind of authority figure.

Posted by: jojo2008 | October 27, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Before anyone comments, posters should watch the video. It is shocking when the young man is hit with the thick stick. There is no warning.

No one has the right to strike someone who is trying to TALK to a politician during an ELECTION.

Elections are for communicating your ideas so that people can make a very important decision. If you don't want to talk with people, then, perhaps you shouldn't be running for office.

If you want to be a King, or a movie star -- well, don't run for office.

The young men were doing their jobs. Like it or don't like it, this is a part of modern politics.

Frank Wolf was ducking out on his responsibility because he didn't want to reveal his support for McCain's health care plan.

The old man with the cane was committing assault.

Posted by: rebeccajm | October 27, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

.


.


Old Tape of Obama Revealing His Real Thinking:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck

.


.

Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 27, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I know these guys that were circling Mr. Wolf like vultures and I'm not surprisded they were involved. They can't just debate but have to cross the line. They're just lucky it was this guy and not say, Andrew Jackson wielding the cane. They were largely responsible for the melee that happened when Karl Rove appeared at American Univ.

Posted by: dcist016 | October 27, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, these are sad days for the Virginia GOP, and the GOP in general. With this report, the George Allen video, and the 'real Virginia' comments, all self-inflicted - the GOP needs to regroup. Add to that the Sen. Stevens verdict today, McCain's rants and Gov. Palin's possible upcoming problems with the Alaska pipeline contract process, and times are tough for the GOP. They need another 'Contract with America' initiative - something positive instead of all the negative. Lincoln would be ashamed. They need to jettison people like Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly as their mouthpieces and start to regroup with a positive national message - not based on fear or hate, but based on hope. Obama has touched a chord in the country, the GOP certainly must have good ideas and people too - like Tom Davis or John Kasich for example. Enough with the downers like Boehner and the bigots, bring on the best and brightest. The GOP has them too, their just not front and center.

Posted by: bfjam | October 27, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Being old and not in control of yourself doesn't justify whacking people. Not being able to control yourself seems like a good reason not to be in Congress. Wolf could have avoided the situation by answering a question from his constituents.

And for you "greatest generation" geezers reveling in the caning, do you really think if these two young guys wanted to hurt either of these old fossils, they wouldn't have been able to?

Posted by: hyperbanana | October 27, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

If ol' numbnuts hadn't hit nobody, we wouldn't even be seeing this video.

Posted by: fox_qajgev | October 27, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I just watched the video, doing so after reading the article and the entire page of comments, and I am amazed that anyone would condone what happened. The questioners were speaking politely and not offering any threat or other overtly aggressive behavior besides asking political questions.

Anyone who condones this should be ashamed.

Violence, whether by an 83 year old or a child must be discouraged and lame justifications like many of those posted are not worthy of any of us, even partisans supporting their candidate.

The Mr. Wolf was present at the time of the attack and fled rather than objecting to what was happening. This speaks volumes about his character and what he apparently acceptable public behavior. I guess his supporters feel the same way. Shameful.

Posted by: williams810 | October 27, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

When you run for the House of Representatives, you have to rely on your own security and if it is a 83 year old man with a cane, then that is what it is.

When you run for President, you get US Sercet Service protection from people armed with more than a cane.

I wonder what would have happened if instead of a 83 yr old man, there were US Secret Service agents? Probably a shove to stand back.

Posted by: ahashburn | October 27, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The age of Mr. Wolf's supporter, Mr. Dutton is irrelevant. (That's like saying Sen. Stevens shouldn't go to jails because he is in his 80s.)

Ms. Feder's employees are Mr. Wolf's constituents and Mr. Wolf refused to answer their questions.

Just prior to this incident, Mr. Wolf called Ms. Feder a liar in a debate, because she called him out on his healthcare tax. (The Wolf-McCain healthcare plan would be the FIRST time the government would tax your health benefits. Sounds like "spreading the wealth around to me.")

Forgive me, but if Mr. Wolf had any decency, he would have reprimanded Mr. Dutton on the spot and apologized to the Feder supporters, not task a low level campaign aide to do his bidding.

They didn't initiate any physical contact and they were respectfully asking questions Mr. Wolf refused to answer.

Now you don't you suppose Mr. Wolf would be irritiated if Congresswoman Feder refused to answer his questions? Would he tolerate for one minute Congresswoman Feder's supporters hitting his supporter?

Of course not.

Given the gerrymandered district he represents, Frank Wolf may keep his job, but he's lost my respect given his behavior here.

Northern Virginia deserves better.

Posted by: write55 | October 27, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh jeez, listen to yourselves, all these earnest voices pointing out how serious a matter it is for young men to be beaten to a pulp by an 83 year old man. I think I know what the problem is...

We've stopped teaching all our kids baseball!! It's all those darn soccer fields, kids don't know how to catch anything anymore. I'm pretty sure after the first whack, I could have caught the cane in my hand on the second flail. NO really. Heck, y'all need to get out to a Washington Glory game and see some girls who can hit and catch. They probably could have stopped this out of control octagenarian.

You guys are precious, you really are. You really need to get outside more and get some exercise.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | October 27, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

so is it your belief that constituents don't have the right to ask their representatives questions in a public place? really?
____________________________________

There's asking questions and there's a staged performance to elicit a response. This was a staged performance. Much the same way the Bill O'Reilly sends idiots out to ambush people he's trying to embarass.

An assault doesn't necessarily require physical contact. Circling, getting in somebody's way and getting into somebody's face in an aggressive manner is very close to crossing that line. If you feel threatened you have a right to protect yourself. That was the whole point behind this recording.

Posted by: clamb1 | October 27, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I love how supposed commenters on this thread are supposedly voting "democrat" [sic] and yet are defending this sort of behavior from Wolf's cronies. You've got to be kidding me.

Yeah, liberals and progressives are really known for being big on violence and have a history of this sort of "circling"! WHO ARE YOU REPUBLICANS TRYING TO FOOL!? News flash, you aren't foolin' anybody, and the voters are going to make themselves heard loud and clear in 8 days.

Spare us the lies about being Democrats and Obama voters and being appalled by these young guys.

They were doing NOTHING inappropriate. Any elected official can be reasonably expected to be asked questions while going in and out of such events and should be seasoned professionals at handling such circumstances. Having aides commit violence against anyone and not be reprimanded is remarkable and offensive to the Democratic process.

It's always felt like Frank Wolf acts as if he regards himself as "above" those who he represents but do not support him. Questions on relevant issues are fair game, especially when he regularly avoids them in forums and everywhere else.

Violence is never fair game. Mr. Wolf should be ashamed.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | October 27, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes, who knew congressmen feel threatened when they are asked about health care? wow, he must have really been scared. I never knew policy was such a scary subject.

Posted by: Sterling3 | October 27, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

My gander at the truth is that FRANK WOLF lacks respect for those who he deems, as George Allen put it, those who are not "real Virginians"....

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | October 27, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Why oh why are the Repulicans always the ones who are so angry and violent? They remind one of the National Socialist thugs of the 1930's. The true racist hate filled minds of these fascists are revealing in this election.

Posted by: GOPNAZI | October 27, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Virginia is my name... dirty politics is my game.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | October 27, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

> "The campaign apologizes if Ben used poor judgment and hit
> him with his cane," Scandling said.

IF he did? What kind of an apology is that? He's not even taking responsibility for his own actions.

Posted by: matt731 | October 27, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

If that 83-year old guy were 40-50 years younger, he could have given that whippersnapper a big right cross to the jaw. But since he's already an octogenarian, all he can do is raise a cane to ward off that loudmouth. He knew he's no match for a heated altercation.

Posted by: ry1975 | October 28, 2008 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Shame this didnt happen 40 years ago or these boys would have been found hanging from a tree.

And remember up until recently here in VA if you found your wife in bed with another man you could kill them both and not be charged.

Its time for this country to go back to the origianl 13 states and the Constitution plus Bill of Rights. No other amendments. And you must own property to vote!

Posted by: omarthetentmaker | October 28, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Frank Wolf was a sponsor of IMBRA, a federal law that makes it a crime to send emails to foreigners if you meet them on a dating site. No kidding! Unconstitutional and foolish laws like this must be one of the reasons the approval rating for Congress is 17%.

But he did so at the behest of an NGO that gets millions of dollars of federal funds to enforce the law. We now have real-life dating police paid for with tax dollars. No kidding! And now this NGO is putting its resources behind Judy Feder.

So the upshot is this: Frank Wolf was used and thrown out by an NGO whose water he carried two years ago when he sponsored a ridiculous law to help them get grants and more grants, and now Judy Feder is in bed with the same NGO.

This is truly a den of intrigue.

More details at www.onlinedatingrights.com

Posted by: onlinedatingrights | October 28, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Spare us the lies about being Democrats and Obama voters and being appalled by these young guys."
________________________________

Sorry to ruin your simple view of the world. I am voting for Obama and I condem the actions by these "trackers." You see, people have different points of view that don't necessarily fall into "Republican" and "Democratic." This is why I will never join a political party. I can't stand simpleton partisans.

Posted by: clamb1 | October 28, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I don't have a horse in this race but watched the video. The only aggression was on the part of the Wolf campaign. The Feder campaign workers sounded respectful in asking if they might ask Wolf his view on the Mccain healthcare plan. He ignored them. They repeated the question, politely. They were whacked with a cane, twice. Some of the comments here about them being "commies" or deserving worse than being assaulted... are beyond understanding. On what planet is it objectionable to ask elected officials their views or acceptable for one person to assuault another? Geesh. Shame on all y'all.

Posted by: washpost31 | October 28, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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