Dirty Politics – Oppositional Research
by Shari Dovale
If you’re not familiar with the term “opposition research”, that is the term used to describe the gathering of information that can be used against an opponent, most commonly seen in politics.
It is not a crime to get oppositional research against a political adversary. There are no laws forbidding or regulating it. If there were, you would see every politician, from local to national, in jail.
In the politics of the United States, opposition research (also called oppo research) is the practice of collecting information on a political opponent or other adversary that can be used to discredit or otherwise weaken them. The information can include biographical, legal, criminal, medical, educational, or financial history or activities, as well as prior media coverage, or the voting record of a politician. Opposition research can also entail using “trackers” to follow an individual and record their activities or political speeches.
The research is usually conducted in the time period between announcement of intent to run and the actual election; however political parties maintain long-term databases that can cover several decades. The practice is both a tactical maneuver and a cost-saving measure. The term is frequently used to refer not just to the collection of information but also how it is utilized, as a component of negative campaigning.
Examples of effective oppo-research include the 2000 Presidential election between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush. That research team, headed by Barbara Comstock, successfully crafted a negative “storyline” about Al Gore that eventually took hold in the public mind.
From the Atlantic:
The operatives’ sophisticated understanding of the media and their ability to manipulate the reporting of political news helps explain how Gore’s public image shifted from that of stiff but competent technocrat at the outset of the campaign to that of serial exaggerator who would say anything to get elected.
Roger Stone is a well known consultant for oppositional research. He has worked both sides of the aisle, and has gotten himself into trouble for it on occasion.
However, though the Democrat Party continues to use this tool at all levels of government, they whine and complain when a Republican politician uses the same tactic.
Washington State Rep. Matt Shea has been vilified by his opponents in the media for doing “background checks” on rivals. Yet, this partisan “media?” refuses to acknowledge that their candidates do the same thing. This partisan “media?” even assists in the misrepresentation when these radical progressives do it so badly that it reeks of dirty politics.
- What do you call it when negative publicity hits the campaign trail?
- What do you call it when the partisan “media?” spend what appears to be a majority of their articles on smearing an overwhelmingly popular incumbant?
- What do you call it when a local sheriff seems to spend more time defaming a fellow elected official than he does working in his job?
And how did they get this information to begin with? From Oppositional Research.
The difference in this particular local election is that the Democrat Party have gone just a little too far. They have decided that their smear campaign was not quite enough, and they have now forced the taxpayers to fund more of this Oppo-Research.
The Washington House Democrats are spending $120,000 of the people’s money to conduct Oppositional Reseach of Rep. Matt Shea. They have hired Kathy Leodler’s Rampart Group and given her a non-binding, voluntary investigation that will focus largely on internet posts.
The public will foot the $120,000 bill for these folks to surf the web, check campaign reports, and otherwise conduct very expensive Oppositional Research for the state Democrats. The Olympia Dems hope to come up with something … ANYTHING … they can use against him.
These Liberal Hatemongers attempted to shut him down during the last election. They brought out an admitted informant who knowingly made violent statements in his attempts to entrap Shea supporters. The radical socialist democrats thought this was a good tactic, however, Shea still won the election with a resounding majority.
The people are getting tired of the garbage coming out of the left. They are not listening. They have seen the damaging bills coming from the Democrats in Olympia. They have seen their rights whittled away.
The people do not want to live under a Communist Rule. They want their Freedom and Liberty. They want Rep. Matt Shea.
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