And Cue Republican Whining

by Michael Cook ([email protected]) 106 views 

After reading my blogging counterpart Jason Tolbert’s post about the Democratic Party of Arkansas conducting opposition research, it reminded of a director leading a movie set:  “And cue Republican whining!”

Over the coming weeks, until Election Day, I imagine we’ll hear plenty of it from Arkansas Republicans.

For months, Arkansas Republicans have been crowing — publicly and privately — they’re going to take control of both legislative chambers, with no trouble.  But they seem to have forgotten one thing this year — Democrats are fighting back.

Unlike in 2010 when many Democrats just sat back and took the hits from Republicans and outside groups, this cycle Arkansas Democrats are fighting back against the lies and smears spread by such folks as Americans For Prosperity and the Republic Party of Arkansas.

Governor Mike Beebe last week hit back against AFP and their ad that trashed Arkansas and Beebe makes the salient point that when they trash Arkansas, they’re actually trashing us.

Tolbert’s post covers opposition research as if it’s a new-fangled invention that no one but Democrats use.  Republicans, and especially these shadowy outside groups, are conducting opposition research, and if they’re not they should quit politics.

Opposition research is a part of any modern political campaign, and a candidate’s public record is fair game.

For example, if a candidate is running on his business experience and claims he knows how to meet a budget, but, after researching his public record, it turns out he once declared bankruptcy and left his creditors hanging, isn’t that a fair issue for his opponent to bring up?

Of course it is.

The RPA and the AFP have already sent out mailers attacking various Democratic candidates using information gathered from, you guessed it, opposition research.  No complaints from Republicans when this happens.

When Democratic legislative candidates, and possibly the state Democratic Party, start going after Republican candidates on their public records look for Republicans to sputter and whine: “But, but, Democrats aren’t supposed to hit us on our records! We’re only allowed to do that!”