The growing role of political trackers and spies

Read TIME magazine’s fascinating profile of the “for-profit spies” and “freelance mercenaries” who have become a more prominent part of the American political landscape in recent years, and you will find this interesting nugget:

The effort to destroy Hillary Clinton’s unofficial campaign occupies a spare third-floor suite amid a sea of cookie-cutter buildings in Arlington, Va. The sign on the door reads America Rising, the name of an opposition-research shop that tracks blunders by Democratic candidates and hawks the evidence to Republican campaigns.

Inside, the place has the vibe of an underfunded startup, with a cubicle farm of young researchers in denim. One Friday in January, the staff erupted in applause as executive director Tim Miller awarded a Hello Kitty–themed Chia Pet to the 20-something who unearthed a 2011 clip of embattled Democratic Senator Kay Hagan beaming alongside Barack Obama–a damaging visual in North Carolina, where Obama’s approval rating hovers around 40%. The hit drove negative headlines for 24 hours. “With complete information awareness,” Miller says later, “we can define and destroy Democrats in 2014 and beyond.”

One suspects the Hagan campaign might hope for a little less “complete information awareness” when it comes to her support for the Affordable Care Act and the president’s agenda.

No comments yet. You should be kind and add one!

Our apologies, you must be registered and logged in to post a comment.