CINCINNATI - A Monday town hall meeting at the North Avondale Recreation Center put on by U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot had a different spotlight as a Cincinnati police officer took cameras from two people.
"The cameras were simply seized because Chabot's people instructed the officer to seize them," said Tim Burke the Chair of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
A spokesman for Chabot said that signs were posted instructing residents not to bring in video cameras. Cameras operated by local TV stations, however, were allowed.
"In previous forums many had expressed they were uncomfortable with being filmed when they were asking questions that, when filmed, violated their privacy," said Jamie Schwartz a spokesman for Chabot.
When asked if he thought the cameras were there to catch Chabot in an unguarded moment or in an unfavorable light Tim Burke said, "I'm not disputing that's what was going on here but that is part of today's politics."
Schwartz said feedback after the incident has prompted Chabot's office to modify their camera policy. Cameras not operated by credentialed media will be allowed into future town hall meetings but the public will be asked not to record residents asking the congressman delicate questions.