Search This Blog

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Old Oppo Handbook

Many posts have discussed opposition research.   Joseph Rodota quotes a 1972 opposition research handbook from a progressive organization:

Although the Handbook went to print in 1972 — well before oppo research moved online — it has some useful tips that are relevant today:

In most cases you are looking for contradictions; turnabouts on key issues, speeches which don’t jibe with votes, telling one group one thing and another something else.

When digging into campaign contributions, oppo researchers should ask themselves:

…who are your opponent’s friends (are any of them disreputable), did your opponent get a lot of money from a single group or groups (how did he serve that special interest in the Congress), and how did he raise and/or spend the money in the last election (in conformity with campaign laws or not).

The Handbook also suggests looking for any failure to bring federal spending back home:

you should evaluate your opponent’s effectiveness in bringing programs and business to your district. In many cases, Congressmen do nothing to secure available funds or inadvertently block grants through sheer incompetence… Believe it or not, there is plenty of federal money passed up each year.

And offers a word of caution:

We recommend you speak to as many people as possible about your opponent, but there is a problem: you may not want it known that you are investigating his background… You are risking disclosure when you talk with journalists, associates of the Congressman, his staff, or supporters.