Richard Nixon has his 18 1/2 minute gap. Nick Langworthy has his dead battery.
As the screen shot above shows, there was a second camcorder at the scene of Wednesday's confrontation between Jane Corwin's Assembly chief of staff and Tea Party-line congressional candidate Jack Davis.
The question is, where's the tape from that second camera?
Langworthy, the Erie County GOP chairman, told the Buffalo News there is no tape. The young woman with the camera was operating a device with a dead battery.
Our question, didn't she know the battery was dead? How could she not know the battery was dead? (See our video posted below.)
Our public question to Langworthy: Please explain how the woman could be operating the camera without knowing the battery was dead, and, presuming that's impossible to explain, where's the full, unedited copy of that tape?
In the now widely discussed incident -- perhaps the most bizarre incident in the NY-26 since Shirtless Chris Lee sent a half-nude photo of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist, leading to this special election -- Michael Mallia, an Assembly staffer by day, a Corwin campaign volunteer at night, confronted Davis after a campaign event in Greece.
In the video shot by Mallia, you hear Mallia repeatedly and aggressively asking Davis why he dropped out of a planned debate scheduled for the following day.
Davis is seen saying, “You want to be punched out?” The 76-year-old Davis then takes a swipe at the camera -- it's unclear if Davis hit the 50-years-younger Mallia, or merely slapped the camera, or if Davis connected with nothing but air. After the swipe, Mallia falls away, wailing like a damsel in distress.
Buffalo's WGRZ-TV caught the tail end of the incident on tape and what the footage reveals is that a second person, who seems to clearly be part of the GOP crew, is standing behind Mallia taping the incident.
The tape from that second camera could answer a lot of questions about what really happened.
Besides saying the battery in the second camcorder was dead, Langworthy has steadfastly refused to release the unedited version of the tape from Mallia's camera, saying of the 15-second tape: “It’s the whole story, right there.” (Source, Buffalo News, linked above).
A spokesman for Davis, a registered Republican, has called the incident a "set-up job."
As the Buffalo News story indicates, even many Republicans are critical of Jane Corwin, Langworthy and Mallia over the incident.
Popular conservative talk show host Bob Lonsberry, a lifelong Republican, posted a strongly worded denouncement of the ECGOP tactics on his Web site.
Afraid that Jack Davis was polling too high, apparently unable to argue against his platform, the Corwin campaign and the Republican Party decided to use character assassination, and they got a state employee to do it.
This isn’t the Republican Party that took control of the House of Representatives last fall. This isn’t the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. This is the Republican Party of Richard Nixon. This is the dirty tricks party.
Of course, the second tape would inform us all better whether this was a "set-up job" or whether Davis acted as irrationally as Langworthy would like us all to believe.
So, Mr. Langworthy, where's the tape?