The battle for the Senate is shifting fully into opposition research season after Georgia's Tuesday primary decided one of the final marquee Senate matchups.
Campaigns across the country are beginning to crack their research books to leak embarrassing and incriminating stories about their opponents, seeking to disqualify them as the general election season heats up.
On Wednesday alone, the New York Times reported that Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized much of his 2007 master’s thesis, Michigan papers continued their coverage of questions surrounding Michigan Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land’s (R) financial disclosures (which are missing any record of a joint account with her husband, which she’s said is being used to pump millions of their money into the race), and Iowa Republicans continued to make hay out of Rep. Bruce Braley’s (D-Iowa) poor attendance record at Veterans Affairs Committee hearings.
Opposition research dumps, always a key facet of campaigns, have become even more important with shrinking newsrooms and burgeoning outside groups such as American Bridge on the left and, this cycle, the GOP’s response with America Rising. At the same time, what used to be “October surprises” are now coming earlier as campaigns and super-PACs spend on early TV and candidates look to damage each other in the spring and summer.A tracker for America Rising found an unhappy Walsh coming out of a fundraiser:
In Michigan, America Rising counters on the personal financial disclosure front:
Gary Peters loves to rail against companies that move overseas for tax purposes. He supports cracking down on offshore tax havens, voted for a bill that would crack down of offshore tax evasion, and said that the U.S. needs to keep corporations from exploiting offshore tax shelters.
But, according to his personal financial disclosure, Gary Peters owns between $15,001 and $50,000 worth of stock in Medtronic Inc:
In June, Medtronic bought Covidien Plc. The new combined company will be based in Ireland for tax purposes and the move would free up almost $14 billion that Medtronic would avoid paying taxes on in the U.S.
Peters talks a big game, but when it comes right down to it, he profits from companies that avoid paying U.S. taxes.Meanwhile, Crossroads GPS deploys votes and quotes against Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mark Udall (D-CO):