Dems running opposition research on Brock

A Texas-based opposition-research firm hired by the Shumlin campaign in 2010 to dig up dirt on Brian Dubie is at work in Vermontagain, this time to scrutinize the record of Republican candidate for governor Randy Brock.

A senior research analyst at Stanford Campaigns, which specializes in negative tactics, filed a public-records request late last week seeking information related to Brock’s single term as state auditor, in 2005 and 2006.

Vermont Democratic Party Chairman Jake Perkinson confirmed Wednesday that his organization has hired the company to conduct background research on Shumlin’s GOP rival.

“They’re a political research firm and that’s what we’ve hired them for, and that’s about all I’d be comfortable saying at this point,” Perkinson said. “Obviously there’s not much benefit to us to revealing exactly what we’re doing with that research, especially in the midst of a political season.”

Stanford Campaigns won plaudits from Shumlin campaign officials for tailoring an attack strategy in 2010 that helped turn the tide for the Democrat.

The campaign work conducted on behalf of Shumlin for Governor is among the “case studies” featured on the group’s website, The site includes a testimonial from Shumlin aide Christopher Klose, who said that “as a media consultant, the thing I like best about Stanford Campaigns is when you make an attack based on their research, you know it will stick.”

Alex MacLean, Shumlin’s campaign manager in 2010, is also quoted on the firm’s website.

“The committed professionals at Stanford Campaigns were a big reason we were able to pick up a Governor’s Mansion despite a significant Republican wave that day,” reads the quote. MacLean now serves as secretary of civil and military affairs for the Shumlin administration.

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