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Update- 2018 Robert Paisola National Feature on 

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Western Capital Political Candidate Opposition Research Services.

This is perhaps one of the most “in demand” services, that we as an organization face.  This is the secretive world of Political Campaign Research.  It has just recently become not only an essential part of what we at Western Capital offer out clients, but an ESSENTIAL part of the national, state and local election strategy process.  Let me explain what this is.   Have you ever wondered how, during election season, it is possible to be watching an ad on TV, and all of a sudden you see an ad that says that your favorite political candidate was “just indicted by the federal government” for taking financial kickbacks, or that he was caught with a prostitute in his Washing DC Hotel room…. just days before the election?   Do you think that this information was released because of “bad timing” or because of simple bad luck?   The absolute answer is NO.  It was because the candidate running against him, hired a research firm like ours to DIG AND DIG AND DIG.  Many of you may be asking yourself “Why would a candidate NEED someone like Western Capital to research someone since the day he/she was born in order to win an election?  Isn’t that a little invasive? After all you saw his polished performance during the debates?   ABSOLUTELY NOT.  Then WHY do candidates have us in their corner working around the clock DIGGING FOR INFORMATION…. BECAUSE IT WORKS.   This is now the digital age and information spreads in milliseconds.  Let’s look at the facts.

Western Capital Candidate political opposition Research
This is a chart presented by the Western Capital Team, that looks at all of the negative political ads used by all reporting campaigns since 1960. Notice what happened in the year 2000, with the advent of the internet.

Here is an example from the Presidential election of 1800.

It was a contentious campaign, with charges of sexual misconduct, corruption, and greed. One candidate was labeled a criminal, the other a coward. Personal attacks came on a daily basis.

The presidential election of 1800 was nasty, just like the United States’ current one. In the end, Thomas Jefferson defeated incumbent John Adams, and the two didn’t speak for years.

Sound familiar? It should, says Robert Paisola, the CEO and President of Western Capital. “Negative campaigning has been around as long as campaigning,” Paisola says. “It stays around because it works.”

Negative impressions

The closest elections are usually the most negative, Paisola says. People tend to remember negative traits more than positive ones.

“When you tell voters two positive traits about a candidate, they tend to average those out,” Paisola says. “But if you give them two negative traits, people add them together, and it makes a more lasting impression.”

Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney

Negative campaigns have been on the rise. In every presidential election cycle from 2000 to 2012, campaign advertising was for the most part more negative than in the previous one.

The 2012 clash between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was the gold standard for negativity. In that race, almost 90 percent of ads were negative, meaning that the ad mentioned the candidate’s opponent. Between June 1 and Election Day, 64 percent of the ads aired were “purely negative,” meaning that only the opponent’s name was mentioned.

“The rise in negativity is probably correlated with changes in outside funding, though that is not yet clear,” Paisola says. There are likely several factors at work, including a general increase in spending and increasingly conflict-oriented media coverage.  This is what most political analysts will credit as the beginning of the POLITICAL CANDIDATE RESEARCH SERVICE, LIKE WESTERN CAPITAL.

Twitter vs. traditional ads  (Donald Trump v Hillary Clinton)

Perhaps surprisingly, while the 2016 presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has been strikingly contentious, the campaigns have actually run fewer negative ads in the last month than their counterparts in the 2012 presidential race.

But that’s in large part because they’re only running about half the number of ads. Candidates are relying less on paid advertising, and more on social media, to get their messages out. Trump has nearly 13 million followers on Twitter, and Clinton has 10 million.

This is where we come in. The senior investigator for Western Capital dealing specifically with our clients on this service, Lou Colagiovani, based in our Las Vegas Office ( ) is the nations foremost expert in this area.  He is known as THE SHADOW, because NOTHING can happen once Western Capital has been engaged to stop Lou.  Do you remember the explosive story of New York Senator Anthony Wiener.  He was the Democratic congressman who represented New York’s 9th congressional district from January 1999 until June 2011. He won seven terms as a Democrat, never receiving less than 60% of the vote. Weiner resigned from Congress in June 2011 after an incident in which a sexually suggestive photo that he sent to an adult woman via Twitter was captured and publicized.

Who was the team that released this material? Lou Colagiovani and Team Western Capital.   Just think… six terms in office and WE were the ones to show the nation WHO THIS GUY REALLY WAS.   Without Lou and our team, it would have been swept under the rug… like most things.  Do you remember the photo?

How did that get here?

One of President Bill Clinton’s favorite Arkansas political sayings was, “If you see a turtle on a fence post, it didn’t get there by accident.”

Many campaign accusations and revelatory news stories about a candidate or elected official are the fruits of what is euphemistically called the research division of campaigns and political parties, where low-profile aides search for dirt.

“The crackpots get routed to research,” said Tracy Sefl, a veteran Democratic practitioner of the dark arts of oppo.

Much of the job that we do at Western Capital is fielding too-good-to-be-true (or simply unverifiable) charges via furtive phone calls, manila envelopes and untraceable email accounts. Working in the Democratic National Committee’s research department in the 2004 campaign, A campaign staffer recalled during a meeting with Western Capital’s Opposition Research Team, meeting a woman with a story to tell about President George W. Bush.

“She said she worked as a dancer and accused President Bush of doing very specific drug-related activities on her,” The Insider said. The accuser offered no proof, and the Democrats could do little but share the tale with one another.

Where does it come from?

As any term-paper writer knows, material is drawn from two sources: primary and secondary. The first of these include government documents, such as legal filings and financial disclosures. Remember accounts of the car elevator that Mitt Romney was building inside his oceanside home in California? Those came from renovation plans submitted to the city of San Diego, which were dug up by President Barack Obama’s campaign.

Or how about the $400 John Edwards spent on a haircut? That too was exhumed by the Obama campaign from a campaign finance report.

And that story five days before the 2000 election on George W. Bush driving under the influence in Maine back in 1976? Chris Lehane, a former aide for Al Gore and a native of Maine, does not admit to the paternity of that leak, but he does not deny it, either.

So, now that you understand WHAT we do, let’s look at the details.

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