Singer has pushed to videotape these meetings as part of her drive for greater transparency in proceedings of City Commission, which administers voting in Philadelphia.
However, several witnesses who were there to testify regarding voting challenges and other irregularities as a result of the May 20 primary election objected to being videotaped. Both Schmidt and Clark then passed the resolution to accommodate them by not allowing videotaping.
Singer refused, however. When Acting Voter Registration Administrator Greg Irving began to approach the videographer to the camera, Schmidt said, â€œWe have no right to remove it.â€ The camera was not touched or turned off or obstructed, Schmidt said.
Singer called for police protection. Police did arrive but left after surveying the situation and the camerawoman remained at the hearing. Portions of the video are posted on her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Singer/170204729690127).
Singer argued afterward there were no grounds to forbid the taping. â€œVideo recording is permitted if done unobtrusively and in a manner that is not disruptive,â€ she wrote. â€œWhile the Commissioners may specify the location from which the videotape is taken, it is illegal for the Commissioners to bar video recording.â€
Singer has sharply criticized earlier online coverage by the Public Record of the hearing. The camera was never in her control, she asserted. But it was noted during testimony the camerawoman was a friend of Singer’s.
Several other persons at the hearing called to keep the camera rolling, Singer pointed out.
Observers note that has cultivated a following in the cityâ€™s progressive community who are inclined to follow her lead.
(This article was updated Jun. 2, 2014)