Wright said Dabakis "has been on the offensive playing 'gotcha' politics and taking personal comments out of context," referring to Dabakis hosting a KRCL radio show last week in which Utah Republican Party Vice Chairman Lowell Nelson and Secretary Drew Chamberlain did such things as criticize the party and call for the abandonment of public education.
After their appearance, Todd Weiler, a former Utah GOP vice chairman, said he would take a resolution to the party's central committee seeking to restrict those party officials from speaking for the party.
As for Dabakis, "he needs to stop this 'gotcha' politics and trying to divide our party in two," Wright said.
The GOP chairman said the party is not trying to catch Dabakis saying something stupid as "much as we are just trying to hear what he is saying. We refuse to give him a pass, or simply accept what the media reports or what is posted on Twitter or Facebook." He said the party is not violating any privacy or rights, and merely is trying to keep up with Dabakis' claims so it can rebut them.
He adds that it was good that the cameraman was at several of the events, which he said were poorly attended so that was captured, along with what was said.
Dabakis said he figured the cameraman was working for the Republicans and didn't think that "it was the Libertarians or the Green Party."
Dabakis said he and his aides asked the cameraman about who is employing him. "He said that he just wanted to do this," Dabakis said, noting the cameraman followed him from Provo to Kanab and Moab and more remote locations.
"He's a very genial and nice chap, and he has been at every public appearance," Dabakis said. "I couldn't be more thrilled that Republicans think that it's worth videotaping everything I say."
The Pride in Utah website, which bills itself as "the Eyes and Ears of Utah's Queer Community," first posted that the cameraman is following Dabakis, guessed he was employed by Republicans and said the GOP may be seeking its "very own Macaca."
That refers to an incident in 2006 when former Sen. George Allen, R-Va., was seeking re-election and pointed to an Indian-American aide of an opponent who was filming him. Allen called him by what he said he thought was the made-up name of "Macaca." It turned out to be a insulting term for people of color in some European countries. Allen's campaign never recovered.
When Dabakis was asked if he had said anything on camera so far that could cause trouble, he said, "I'm always saying stuff. But I don't care who tapes it. Everyone is welcome to our meetings."