Friday, June 15, 2012

Could research release be Blaha's Hail Mary?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Robert Blaha, candidate for 5th Congressional District, El Paso County Republican
  • Robert Blaha

Welcome to the backroom, kids.

This is our complete opposition research package on Congressman Doug Lamborn. It is important that, to maintain the integrity of the election process in America, candidates be thoroughly vetted. We have done what we can to hold the Congressman accountable for his record and we are hopeful that the voters will see through his rhetoric and discover what is really going on when the curtain is pulled back.

This is unusual. Robert Blaha, the businessman running for the Republican nomination in the 5th Congressional District, has released his campaign's opposition research into his opponent, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn.

The 106-page research packet is the kind of stuff a candidate pays someone else to dig up on the opponent — a thorough vetting in a no-holds-barred kind of document.

And now, it's yours to read.


I don't recall ever seeing a campaign release its opposition research in such a way. State Rep. Bob Gardner, a former El Paso County Republican Party chair, says he's never seen it before, either. He calls it a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" strategy.

Typically, campaigns keep this stuff close to their vest, picking and choosing what they think will play best in the media and with voters. And there's a good reason for that: Opposition researchers dig up everything about a candidate, regardless of whether or not the information could be possibly be useful to their candidate or even helpful to their campaign.

For example: this document includes negative information about a member of Lamborn's family. And family, as Blaha's own children complained, is expected to remain off-limits in even contentious campaigns.

Also, there's a lot of stuff that speaks well of Lamborn in this packet, at least as far as his constituency would be concerned. In the "2011 News of Note" section, we have headlines such as:

• Lamborn Listed As One Of Most Conservative Members In House By National Journal.
• Lamborn Wrote Op-Ed Criticizing Administration For Crippling Regulations On Energy Issues.
• House Passed Lamborn Sponsored Bill To Defund NPR.
• Lamborn Opposed Over-Regulation On Fracking.
• Lamborn Accused Administration Of “Slow Walking” Drilling Permits.
• Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn Is One Of Nine House Members Asking That Funds Be Yanked • From Programs That Finance The National Renewable Energy Laboratory In Colorado.

Anyway, there's a lot of information in this packet, including every bill sponsored by Lamborn and his "key votes" in Congress. If you have nothing better to do this weekend, enjoy.

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