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Learn about Opposition Research and its Importance from One of the Best!
Researching yourself and your opponents are two of the first steps in gearing up any campaign. The problem is that most people don’t do the work and many who THINK they do, don’t do it well. There are a lot of misconceptions about what opposition research is, why it’s important, whether it’s just all about mud-slinging or lying or some-such. I hope that today’s interview will help give our listeners much more information about the subject!
Today we’re talking about campaign intelligence and opposition research with the man responsible for quarterbacking the internal vetting and research of all staff, coalition members, endorsers, volunteer leaders and more on Ted Cruz’s Presidential campaign.
John Lappe is a Chicago native, naturalized Texan and graduate of the University of Dallas. He serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Intellz Opposition Research and Strategy. In that capacity, John leverages years of experience with campaigns of every level to craft winning narratives for candidates and the opposition research solutions necessary to ensure their success.
The importance of their mission is embodied by a powerful quote from George Washington: “There is nothing more necessary than good intelligence to frustrate a designing enemy, and nothing that requires greater pains to obtain.”
Prior to joining Intellz, John was the Assistant Executive Director of OpenTheBooks, a national government transparency organization that focuses on exposing waste, fraud and abuse by government units and agencies of all levels.
John lives in Dallas, Texas with his bride Fiona and daughter Nora.
Links from the Podcast:
Important Time Stamps and Descriptions:
00:00 Podcast Introduction
00:26 John Lappe Bio
01:45 Scaring people away from running for office!
05:28 How John got involved in politics
09:44 How Intellz got started
11:04 What approach do you and Intellz use when you’re doing your research?
13:01 The importance in telling a story
13:48 When did you decide that you wanted to work full-time in politics?
14:56 As a company, what does Intellz do in terms of political and corporate intelligence?
16:58 What does your normal working relationship with clients look like?
23:58 What is the interplay like between you, the candidate you’re working for and the general consultant?
25:58 Biggest client pet peeves
37:01 Tell us about what Intellz did for the Cruz campaign
43:04 What Candidates need to know about opposition research
46:02 Be Careful how you Use Oppo-Research
51:27 What are the top attributes that you look for when analyzing the health of a campaign?
56:22 How can potential candidates start preparing to run?
1:00:32 Is opposition research becoming more widely adopted across more sizes of races?
1:01:52 How is Facebook and less individual privacy going to impact opposition research and future campaigns?
1:07:40 Where can people find you online?