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I'm not sure which is more revealing: The fact that Republicans keep on doing stuff like this to Mark Schauer in his Michigan gubernatorial bid—or the fact that they never seem to be able to get anything for their efforts.

For the third time this year, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer is accusing Republicans of attempting to spy on his campaign.

But this time, the suspected political subterfuge involves a high-tech hidden camera and a video memory disk that fell into the hands of Democrats.

And Republicans are defending their campaign snooping.

The short version of what happened: The Michigan GOP press secretary entered a Schauer fundraiser wearing eyeglasses with a concealed camera. She didn't manage to capture anything scandalous, but she and her blundering cohort did somehow manage to lose the memory disk on which they had recorded their shenanigans—and they lost it at a pro-Schauer union hall after a Democratic Party event. Schauer's campaign had been suspicious of the pair at the event and after reviewing the contents of the video, their suspicions were confirmed.

Amazingly, the Michigan GOP is defending their staffers' Inspector Gadget routine. I suppose there might be some temptation to draw an analogy with the recording that captured Mitt Romney's 47 percent remarks, but (a) that wasn't recorded by a Democratic staffer and (b) it was released through a media organization.

The issue here isn't simply about secret recordings, or about the propriety of tracking, which is now ingrained in campaigns. It's whether political parties and their candidates should be systematically using subterfuge to spy on opposing campaigns in private venues. Michigan Republicans see no problem with this, but I doubt they'll have much company.

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