Political Candidate and Campaign Research
IGI has been helping political candidates, campaigns, committees, and organizations for more than 30 years. Our significant experience includes providing candidate self-research and opposition research to candidates for the presidency, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, state governors and attorneys general, and other prominent political figures to provide their campaigns with crucial information that has been credited with changing the course of elections.
Our deliverables in these engagements consist of clear and concise narratives that can be readily adapted for a variety of purposes, including campaign commercials, polling, earned media, communications strategy, debate preparation, government or public affair campaigns, and rapid response and crisis communications.
IGI conducts self-due diligence research for candidates or committees in anticipation of an electoral campaign, providing comprehensive and detailed assessments of candidates’ personal, professional, and political vulnerabilities.
In our opposition research, we collect and analyze information about the opposing candidate’s political, professional, financial, and personal background to uncover political or ethical vulnerabilities and that could become an electoral obstacle.
IGI also works with political parties to train campaign staff in the fundamentals of opposition research through seminars on subjects including: researching public records efficiently and comprehensively; strategies for conducting interviews; using financial reporting in the context of a political campaign; and tips on effectively and discreetly incorporating the results of research into earned media.
If a potential political crisis is looming, IGI’s investigators and public relations specialists help develop and deploy a response. IGI handles proactive and reactive media relations for clients, including crafting and executing media plans that result in positive news stories for clients and improve their online reputations and public perception following the crisis.
Vetting of Donors, Bundlers and Surrogates
IGI can help campaigns better identify and assess potential political, legal, ethical, or public relations issues related to prospective campaign donors, bundlers, and surrogates.
- A committee supporting a mayoral candidate retained IGI to conduct opposition research just weeks prior to the election. Our team uncovered evidence suggesting that the opposition candidate used his de facto position on the city’s pension board to steer funds to a particular investment advisory firm. IGI’s research also found that just days after leaving public office, the opposition candidate joined the same investment advisory firm.
- A state senator hired IGI to research the client’s general election opponent, who was a lawyer with a business background. Our team of researchers, lawyers and investigators dissected and analyzed the opponent’s professional history, including his legal career. We uncovered a previously undisclosed decision from a state bar authority reprimanding our client’s opponent for attempting to extort another lawyer and engaging in unscrupulous advertising practices. Our research also revealed questionable business practices by the opponent, who eventually lost to our client.
- A political action committee engaged IGI to conduct comprehensive research on 12 candidates in just three weeks. Our approach to political research includes scrutinizing complex financial, business and legal areas of a candidate’s history that are often overlooked or misunderstood by campaigns. IGI’s full-time staff of investigators and researchers with backgrounds in accounting, law enforcement, business, intelligence, political campaigns, the law, and communications successfully assembled comprehensive reports on each candidate within the client’s deadline. We subsequently assisted the client in assuring accuracy and sourcing of statements to be included in their political advertisements.
- A state political party engaged IGI to train their campaign staff in the fundamentals of opposition research. IGI conducted a two-day seminar covering a variety of subjects including: researching public records efficiently and comprehensively; strategies for conducting interviews; using financial reporting in the context of a political campaign; and tips on effectively and discreetly incorporating the results of research into an earned media strategy. Our team of seasoned investigators, researchers and lawyers also trained the client’s personnel on research tools and investigative approaches for understanding a candidate’s professional, financial, regulatory, and legal histories.
- A gubernatorial candidate’s advisors hired IGI to investigate an opponent’s relationship with his campaign donors. IGI uncovered evidence that the opposition candidate had accepted significant financial support from real estate developers linked to individuals convicted in an extortion and pay-to-play scandal. IGI assisted in gathering, organizing, and communicating evidence of these links to the press.
- An incumbent state attorney general retained IGI to conduct self-due-diligence in anticipation of running for higher statewide office. Our team provided a comprehensive assessment of the candidate’s personal, professional, and political vulnerabilities. Our team, including former prosecutors and experienced political researchers, successfully analyzed the client’s record as a private attorney and attorney general for potential liabilities derived from a variety of sources, including litigation filings and settlement agreements.