Opposition Research Used To Mean That You Did Research On The Candidate

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted an article about the Obama Administration’s actions toward a private citizen who donated to the Romney campaign.

Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of Melaleuca Inc., gave $1 million dollars to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney last August. Since then, Mr. VanderSloot has been harrassed and investigated.

Three weeks ago, the Obama campaign website “Keeping the GOP Honest” named eight people who were major donors to the Romney campaign. They posted brief snippets of information about each person that were less than flattering.

The article reports:

About a week after that post, a man named Michael Wolf contacted the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls in search of court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot. Specifically, Mr. Wolf wanted all the documents dealing with Mr. VanderSloot’s divorces, as well as a case involving a dispute with a former Melaleuca employee.

Mr. Wolf sent a fax to the clerk’s office—which I have obtained—listing four cases he was after. He would later send a second fax, asking for three further court cases dealing with either Melaleuca or Mr. VanderSloot. Mr. Wolf listed only his name and a private cellphone number.

Some digging revealed that Mr. Wolf was, until a few months ago, a law clerk on the Democratic side of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He’s found new work. The ID written out at the top of his faxes identified them as coming from “Glenn Simpson.” That’s the name of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who in 2009 founded a D.C. company that performs private investigative work.

It didn’t stop there. Mr. Vandersloot’s children have been harassed, and when Mr. Vandersloot released a statement that the smears against him were false, his accusers doubled down and repeated the lies.

The article concludes:

Mr. VanderSloot acknowledges that “when I first learned that President Obama’s campaign had singled me out on his ‘enemies list,’ I knew it was like taping a target on my back.” But the more he’s thought it through, “the public beatings and false accusations that followed are no deterrent. These tactics will not work in America.” He’s even “contemplating a second donation.”

Still. If details about Mr. VanderSloot’s life become public, and if this hurts his business or those who work for him, Mr. Obama will bear responsibility. This is what happens when the president makes a list.

I don’t have a problem with opposition research, but this is going too far.


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One thought on “Opposition Research Used To Mean That You Did Research On The Candidate

  1. I just called Melaleuca to sign up as a customer. I’d never heard of them until Rush talked about it on the radio. Hope others will support Mr. Van der Sloot’s business. It’s a good way to show through action that Obama can stick it.

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