Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/52428.html#ixzz1ISqubQYB
Tired of being on the receiving end of damaging stories developed by liberal groups such as Media Matters and the Center for American Progress, conservatives are looking to launch their own opposition research army to dig up dirt on the left.
In the last year, a mix of big-money Republican-allied independent groups, tea party non-profits, guerilla videographers, and some scrappy bloggers and talk show hosts has created a raft of fledgling investigative research and reporting efforts to uncover and publicize alleged corruption, flip-flops and plain-old gaffes by Democrats and their allies headed into the 2012 elections.
The effort attracted notice last month when one of the deepest-pocketed conservative groups, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies – or Crossroads GPS – launched an initiative called Wikicountability to crowd-source investigations of President Barack Obama’s administration by collecting government documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. As a start, Crossroads GPS pushed three relatively low-impact findings based on FOIAs – including that $3.66 million in taxpayer money was used to pay for an ad promoting last year’s Democratic healthcare overhaul.
“The left is still beating the right at the game of doing investigative reporting, but I think the right has finally realized both the need and the problem,” said Erick Erickson, editor of Red State, an influential conservative blog that occasionally features or aggregates researched reporting by conservatives critical of the left. “After a couple of years of thinking the right was dropping the ball, I finally think the train is moving and building up momentum.”