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The Latest Money In Politics Innovation: Open-Source Oppo

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 7 2012

Roll Call reports:

Opposition research is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, and it’s one of the major services that the campaign committees provide to a candidate. In an effort to avoid the duplication of resources and to keep the party on message, the committees are sharing more and more of the information online.

Because the research is public, it isn’t considered coordination and all four Senate and House campaign committees have used a network of websites to communicate messages in the past and will likely do so again.

The websites might seem innocuous, but they are actively read by party strategists on both sides of the aisle and staffers in each committee are assigned to comb the sites each day for new information. “There is nothing illegal about it,” according to one GOP insider, who added that both sides use the tactic.

Roll Call points to pages on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's website like this one, for Ohio Republican Jim Renacci. It provides much of the raw material needed in opposition research: YouTube videos of campaign appearances, regularly updated news clippings, and more.