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Roe apparently had it in for Rinehart. Larry Dougan, a former candidate for state representative, says he overheard Roe tell another man at a festival in Rock Port: "We're going to do a C-section on Cathy Rinehart and throw her guts out on the floor."
The temperature fell below 10 degrees on the January night Charlie Broomfield held a campaign fund-raiser at the Old Pike Country Club in Gladstone.
Broomfield, a former Clay County commissioner and state representative, hopes to represent Missouri's 6th District in the U.S. Congress. Broomfield has run for the seat twice before and lost. In trying to displace Graves, a well-financed incumbent, he faces another rough road.
As the fund-raiser wound down, at about 8:20 p.m., Broomfield told his wife, Marsha, that he was going to start the car. Broomfield pulled on his coat and stepped out into the cold, dark night.
At the moment Broomfield reached his wife's Chrysler, a car approached. A man got out of the vehicle, leaving the engine running and the door ajar. He moved toward Broomfield, his face concealed behind a camera.
Broomfield thought at first that maybe a supporter wanted a picture before leaving the fund-raiser. "You know," Broomfield says, "politicians are glad to have their picture taken."
But the man with the camera did not put Broomfield at ease by yelling. "Are you Charlie Broomfield?" he called. "Are you Charlie Broomfield?"
"Yes, I am," Broomfield says he answered. "Who are you?"
The man, not answering, kept coming until he was within a few feet of Broomfield's face. Now Broomfield was worried. He says he keeps himself in pretty good shape, but the 66-year-old was not thrilled with the prospect of having to fend off an attacker.
The man snapped one last picture, turned around, and walked back to his car.
Broomfield felt his composure return. "If you don't tell me who you are," he said to the photographer, "I'm going to get your license number."
But the photographer sped away without revealing his name.
What happened in the parking lot felt to Broomfield like a crime. Half an hour later, he filed a report with the Gladstone police. "I think it was fairly close to assault, if not actually assault," he tells the Pitch.
The plate number Broomfield jotted down corresponded to a Mazda sedan owned by Jason Klindt, Graves' deputy press secretary.
Cathy Rinehart, Graves' previous Democratic challenger, filed a similar report in 2002. She was walking in a Gladstone parade, throwing candy and waving, when two men with cameras circled her for several minutes along the route. "They were screaming and saying to each other, 'I got her!'" Rinehart tells the Pitch.
Rinehart says the photographers melted into the crowd whenever her section of the parade approached a police officer. She says she later saw them wearing Graves T-shirts.
There's no crime in taking a picture of a politician, of course. It's quite common, in fact, for rival campaigns to obtain images of the opposition and use them in campaign literature -- the more unflattering the image, the better.
But Broomfield and Rinehart both believed that a line had been crossed. They felt that the cameras had become tools of intimidation. Rinehart says she was stalked by photographers at several different events. "We live in a civilized country," she says. "You should be able to walk in a parade and not be afraid."
At one parade, Rinehart, fed up with feeling harassed, volunteered to stop and pose for her interloper. The Graves campaign ended up using an image from that session, Rinehart says; she thought the picture made her look pretty good.