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(22,861 posts)
Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:00 AM Feb 2019

Hi! I am an opposition researcher.

Here's a fascinating thread about how oppo research works, and why something like a yearbook doesn't necessarily come out until much later -- making it important for candidates to disclose as much as they possibly can to their own campaigns.

The thread starts here:

I've edited it lightly to make it more accessible.

Hi! I am an opposition researcher. I don't know how much Gillespie paid for his research but By all appearances Gillespie wanted to be MORE racist than Northam not less (and) that level of scrutiny costs a lot more than many statewides are willing to pay/budget for.

This isn't a matter of "how much does it cost to go looking for student yearbooks." It's a matter of how much it costs for scrutiny deep enough to INCLUDE looking at yearbooks. Gov campaigns I've worked for have ranged from $9K-$12K per book (including incumbent govs!) I'm not looking at yearbooks for $9K and neither will most reputable researchers. It's not a matter of greed, it's a matter of time being finite.

Clips/courts/property/money/etc (standard stuff)= about 5 weeks of work for a statewide. Looking at yearbook level = about 10 weeks Because again, it's the LEVEL of scrutiny. Yearbooks=also student papers, archived theses/dissertations, letters to editor in microfilms, city/town historical societies, every. Single. court venue for every single address going back to 18yo, fraternity events...It is huge. And it's worth more like $30K for an established public figure.

You might look at this and say, 9K for ten weeks x 5.2 = $46,800, profiteering capitalist pig. Well, a basic Lexis-Nexis account is going to start at $3.6K, and it goes up by X% compounded yearly. Other necessary subscriptions run you, call it $2K

Add to that you're going to get billing losses. You get better at avoiding them but travel reimbursements will get "forgotten" or "lost," sometimes you are juggling projects and forget to demand payment before sending material. Call it $5K avg/yr.

Finally throw in advance marketing costs. A trip to DC here, a trip to pitch a caucus there. The occasional business meal. Call it another $5K. So, we've spoken for $15K JUST to even set yourself up to DO research.

And that's assuming you're just some rando working from home (like me). Open an office? Another 15K at least. Hire a decently paid assistant? Call it $35K with health care I'm not trying to justify this, I'm showing why most researchers draw lines around projects.

So in summary: 1 I don't know how much Gillespie paid for his research and don't care 2 Down with racism and fuck Northam 3 PAY 👏 YOUR 👏 OPP 👏 RESEARCHER 👏 MORE 👏 MONEY The end.

12 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies


(3,163 posts)
1. Gibberish piled on top of nonsense.
Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:36 AM
Feb 2019

If this is the type of business management our schools are producing it's amazing that our economy even exists.


(22,861 posts)
4. Gubernatorial elections run to the tens of millions, so it can seem like small potatoes.
Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:09 PM
Feb 2019

But campaigns are ruthless about wages, so there's definitely going to be nickel-and-diming around how deep to dig.


(22,861 posts)
8. Yep. The problem is, you don't know how far to dig until you get there.
Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:32 PM
Feb 2019

Also, there is some speculation that the Gillespie campaign knew of this photo, but didn't use it, but that's just chit-chat on Twitter.


(22,861 posts)
12. Yep. People certainly resist it, though, and in many cases their privilege makes them think they can
Sat Feb 2, 2019, 01:42 PM
Feb 2019

get away with things.

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