How not to use opposition research
The GOP sure has the goods on Erica McAdoo. On Thursday, North Carolina House Republicans released a 35-page report — known as “oppo” to political insiders and observers — on the N.C. House 63 candidate from Alamance County. “Meet Erica McAdoo,” the @NCHouseGOP account said in a midday tweet with a photo of McAdoo holding a beer (gasp!) and having a good time at an outdoor event with friends. That same photo was in a news release that described the Democrat’s “radical agenda” and invited people to click an ominous red button to “learn more about Erica McAdoo.”
We did, and we have to say we’re not sure McAdoo will recover from the revelation that she ( checks notes) got a speeding ticket 15 years ago.
Yep. That’s the dirt.
If you didn’t know where it came from, the Republican report sort of reads like a cam- paign flier — for McAdoo. It says she lives in a modestly priced 100-year farmhome with her husband, daughters and “a menagerie of animals.” It says that she manages a law firm and teaches while pursuing a master’s degree at East Carolina University. It notes that she and her husband have no debt concerns. “Their property taxes have been paid on time in all years,” the report says, adding: “we found no indication that they paid personal property taxes late.”
This is oppo?
About that speeding ticket: It was in 2003. She was cited for traveling 18 mph over the speed limit but was convicted of going 9 mph over the limit. That’s it.
As for McAdoo’s politics, the report affirms what McAdoo gladly displays on her website and social media: that she’s a middle-of-the-road Democrat. She attended the Women’s March and thinks the NCGOP is trying to “suppress” voters with restrictive laws. She opposes the Trump administration policy of separating children from parents, and she calls for “sensible gun laws” and expanding Medicaid as most states have done. The report did note that she posted a picture and supported a local veteran who was selling T-shirts with guns on them. “We shouldn’t be tearing each other apart,” the report quotes McAdoo saying later about that post. “I support our veterans and I support local businesses.” How radical.
All of which got a good chuckle on social media late Thursday, turning the oppo report into a political self-own. Still, there’s a good chance most of the GOP’s intended audience didn’t actually click on the “learn more about Erica McAdoo” button. They saw the beer photo and all the references to “radical” and just assumed the rest. Which was exactly the idea.
It’s another example of how sour political discourse has become, and how much of it is untrustworthy. Make no mistake: There’s nothing unusual with doing oppo on a candidate. It’s also common to go public with damaging stuff because, well, that’s the point of trying to find it. But to release the oppo when it shows nothing, yet characterize it in an ominous way? That shows how little N.C. House Republicans think of voters, and how little they think of the truth.
The “radical” Erica McAdoo, center, candidate for N.C. House District 63.