Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 Opposition Research Against Nothing-Burger DCCC Recruits Is Going To Be Even Worse Than Usual


Hans-- a congenital liar

One of the problems with the DCCC pretending not to be a bunch of scummy politicians and recruiting "clean" non-politicians is that politicians who have been coming up in the ranks are usually well-vetted by the voters. The garbage candidates the DCCC digs up from under rocks invariably have a little something horrible they've been hiding-- perfect for GOP opposition research firms to find. The NationalJournal gave some juicy Orange County examples-- without even getting into the silliest DCCC recruits of all, Gil Cisneros and Sarah the Quaalcomm heiress, the two super-rich vanity candidates who are destined to provide the biggest laughs of the cycle.

The NationalJournal begins with the DCCC's biggest recruit of the cycle, Hans Keirstead, who looks excellent on paper, but who has turned out to be a really dismal failure on the stump. First off, in a season where the energy of the the voters has nothing to do with preserving the status quo, Hans is the epitome of a status quo candidate-- and immediately sought out and received an endorsement from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, the New Dems. The Journal immediately notes that Hans "has the kind of standout resume that national Democrats [meaning the corrupt slime dogs who run the DCCC and have a decade of serial failures for paying attention to people like Ian Russell; see below] have prized as they recruit fresh talent in a bid to take back the House.
He’s a pioneering stem-cell biologist specializing in spinal-cord injuries whose work has been profiled in the New York Times. And, according to his LinkedIn profile and a biography on his biomedical company’s website, he holds a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of British Columbia.

But that Ph.D, as national Democratic consultants found, is technically in zoology-- a discrepancy, however innocent or not it may be, that could hinder a top challenger to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, one of the most vulnerable Republicans in Congress.

This is just the latest example of what strategists predict will be a trove of opposition research dogging the glut of Democratic political neophytes hoping to benefit from a favorable national climate. And it will be dug up by Republicans and primary rivals alike.

“The Democratic nomination is worth having in 2018,” said Ian Russell, a former deputy executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who now advises several House campaigns. “You’re going to see candidates and campaigns pull out more stops than they would otherwise to win the primaries."
At this point, the NationalJournal probably should have identified Russell as representing one of the Orange County candidates, the wealthy, but otherwise total nothing-burger of a candidate, Sarah the heiress. Maybe Russell didn't tell them. He's like that. He used to work at the DCCC, which he was instrumental in ruining.
Consultants working on House races said they expect a flurry of oppo dumps as primaries begin in earnest, describing rumors they’ve heard or files circulating that reveal potential candidate vulnerabilities. Several operatives described it as routine for campaigns to conduct cursory research into the background of an opponent, even if only to inform strategy.

The problem is particularly acute in California, where a jungle-primary system, swingy open seats, and the state Democratic Party’s endorsement process, which began last weekend, increase the urgency to stand out in crowded fields.

A Keirstead spokesman confirmed the candidate’s doctorate was in zoology, but clarified that it was with a specialty in neuroscience and added that he later became a professor of that discipline after further study at Cambridge University. Keirstead’s LinkedIn page was updated by Monday morning to note that his Ph.D. came from the university’s zoology department.

“Whomever tried to pitch this laughable attempt at mudslinging stands to benefit from Hans’ tireless efforts to boost STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) curriculum in our public-education system,” campaign spokesman Kyle Quinn-Quesada said.

Opponents on both sides of the aisle could use Keirstead’s academic characterization to craft a narrative that he has a tendency to exaggerate. He drew scrutiny this month when he said that Democratic leaders wanted to appoint him chairman of the House Science committee and give him a seat on Appropriations-- something that leadership quickly denied to Roll Call.
In other words, he's already a known liar, as we noted, in all its gory details, a month ago. The DCCC should have dumped him then but they didn't and now they may be stuck with a candidate who can't win (unless the nationalized blue wave is just too strong to not drag him along as well). And it isn't just Keirstead. The other New Dem in the CA-48 race, isn't as bad but... "Harley Rouda, sits on the board of a shoe company that did business with a supplier accused of using sweatshop labor. In response, Rouda’s campaign stressed that he had never been involved in the company’s day-to-day operations." One of his consultants, Mac Zilber, said that "This is the first Harley has heard of this allegation and bragged that Rouda had been endorsed by six major labor unions. Maybe they wouldn't have endorsed him if they knew about the sweat shops.

NationalJournal, which depends a little too much on the DCCC for "facts," then went on to claim that "Elsewhere in Orange County, three top Democratic contenders are running to replace retiring Republican Rep. Ed Royce, including two self-funding multimillionaires. Researchers compiled a 27-page file on one of them, Andy Thorburn, a businessman who seeded his campaign with a $2 million loan." Which are the 3? Can you tell from this graphic below? The self-funding millionaires are Gil Cisneros and May-Khanh Tran (each of whom got one vote from the California Democratic Party pre-endorsement conference last weekend) and Andy Thorburn,who got two votes.

The report showed, among other things, that the IRS took out several tax liens against him [Thorburn] when he failed to pay an estimated $600,000 in back taxes, and that Thorburn’s company bases some of its operations in Guernsey, an island off the coast of France that has been blacklisted as a tax haven by some European countries.

Thorburn’s campaign said it doesn’t view the research as a liability, noting that Thorburn has never hidden his bankruptcy filing and that Guernsey is one of the few places with regulations that enabled the creation of Thorburn’s insurance company.

Meanwhile, Republican outside groups, which dug up much of the opposition research that dogged Democratic folk musician Rob Quist in last year’s Montana special election, plan to have a similar role ahead of November’s elections.

The Congressional Leadership Fund began conducting field research last year in 15 races as part of its $100 million campaign to protect the Republican House majority. Its team of researchers deploys in the districts to scour old court cases, dig up property records, and conduct interviews. CLF partners with America Rising, which plans to target 30 to 40 House districts this cycle in an effort to discredit Democratic challengers.

Corry Bliss, CLF’s executive director, said the effort has uncovered potentially damaging information on several Democrats, particularly those who are wealthy or first-time candidates. He highlighted as an example possibly harmful divorce records that his team found on one highly touted DCCC recruit.

“In a couple of the races, the research is so good we don’t want to use it too early because a candidate may drop out of the race or it may cause their lead in a primary to crater,” Bliss said. “Timing is everything.”

CLF plans to engage in some Democratic primaries and will use its research to guide its efforts, boosting the weakest general-election nominee.

With an unusually large battlefield this cycle, Democrats can dust off research collected on longtime incumbents who haven’t had a competitive race in years. American Bridge, a Democratic super PAC, has trackers on the ground in 25 states who have recorded more than 1,200 House GOP campaign events this cycle. Its video database has more than 25,000 hours of footage of Republicans.

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At 1:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DINO-Whigs think they can win with a slate like this? I'm sure that the win-at-any-cost GOP will quickly disabuse them of that misimpression!

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Harry Truman noted 65 years ago, when voters are given a choice between a real Nazi and a Nazi pretending to be a democrat, they almost always pick the AUTHENTIC Nazi. Authenticity matters.

There's your word again.


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