Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"There's something on everybody."

Jack, there's something on everybody. Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption.
~ Willie Stark
With the closing for filing of national, state, and local offices yesterday a new season begins.  A season which is the "underbelly" of the campaigns, the "opposition research", the "dirt" gathering, or the mustering the facts.  Through the Internet or other sources individuals will be scattering and scurrilously looking for information on the candidates.

As a recent headline stated on the NPR web site:

"Opposition political researchers are dedicated to exhuming skeletons in candidates' closets, from past votes to past marriages. They hope to both protect their clients, and to damage their opponents. And the fruits of that labor often winds up in the headlines."

I have seen in the past where "skeletons" and "dirt" can appear on candidates for statewide offices, congressional races, and city and county in the major newspapers or picked up by a major TV station.  For the legislative races it can be done by the small town or community newspaper.  Another way I have seen it with legislative races is the effective rumor mill which goes something like this.  Did you know that____did____.

Many times the "dirt" is dug up by the opposition research and given to the media.  The whole mentality of opposition research could have been a factor why many new faces at the Legislature decided not to run this year.

I would like to suggest something "Refreshingly Honest" as the Iron Ranger would say.
The suggestion is based on fair information principles.  How about this as a rule-

"Any campaign who finds information of the other candidate or knows of others who do the same will contact the opposition and share the data with them.  It will give an opportunity for the candidate to correct or amend the record."

"Refreshingly Honest"

More than likely though my idea will not be given ANY consideration by any campaign.

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