Why Have an Attorney Do Your Political Research?

There are plenty of political researchers out there. Why hire an attorney for your campaign’s research needs?

Confidentiality

Asking a political researcher for defensive research about yourself can be scary. Nobody wants to disclose and discuss potentially detrimental facts about oneself.

Tuple Legal is more than just a research firm; it’s also a law firm. As your legal counsel, all sensitive information you share with Tuple is confidential under law. Hiring Tuple as your political researcher adds the crucial layer of trust and confidentiality unique to the attorney-client relationship.

Deeper Research

Quality research can shape a narrative and win a campaign.

Any good political researcher can unearth and compile records. But the significance of records is sometimes unclear, and being an attorney can help a lot. For instance, take the following situations where having an attorney-researcher is/was helpful to figuring out the significance of public records (wave mouse arrow over each card for answers).

Campaign Finance

You've downloaded all your opponent's financial and campaign finance disclosures. You looked at their donor base... But now what? (very common situation)

Find and Report Ethics Violations

Political ethics and campaign finance laws are a tangled mess, so violations are hard to spot. But a attorney-researcher versed in them is able to review disclosures with an eye toward finding violations--which can be forwarded to agencies for investigation.

Boat ... in an LLC?

Why might a Republican candidate have kept his boat in an LLC rather than own it personally? (real situation from 2012)

Tax Evasion

In California, if you sell a boat, the buyer must pay sales tax. But if you sell a company, there is no sales tax. So if you create a shell company that only holds title to a boat, you could sell the shell company (which owns the boat) and avoid sales tax.

Legislative Research

Your opponent voted on a bill supported by her campaign contributors. You read the bill, but the legislative language is confusing and unclear. What to do? (common situation)

Legal Research

When legislation isn't clear on its face, you need to dig in and do legal research to figure out what the legislation actually does. Legislation is often purposefully written to be confusing to the reader in order to obscure the nature of the legislation. An attorney-researcher can help.

Experience with Public Records Laws

Government records are available to anyone under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the California Public Records Act (CPRA). Many federal and state agencies are helpful to people requesting records–but many are not. Those unhelpful agencies may ignore your request, take an exceptionally long time to produce the material you request, or claim there is some exception to providing the documents you request.

Having a attorney-researcher with FOIA and the CPRA experience can help push uncooperative bureaucrats to legal compliance.

Past Campaigns and Clients

Jerry Brown

Governor, State of California

Nanette Barragán

Member, United States Congress

John A. Pérez

Speaker Emeritus, California State Assembly

What Research Services Does Tuple Offer? What Matters Can You Investigate?

Tuple offers comprehensive research services. The firm can investigate a single matter, or look take an exhaustive look at a given person, organization, or company (commonly called “writing a book” about a subject).

Tuple can look into any matter where there might be a trail of public records to obtain through the California Public Records Act (CPRA) or the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Below are some common research areas–but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Tax Liens
Businesses and individuals who fail to timely pay their taxes have liens lodged against them by government agencies–and it happens more often than you’d think.
Nonprofit Records
When a group starts and operates a nonprofit organization, there are many associated public records that give insight into the nature, structure, operations, and success of the organization.
Government Records
Governments at all levels produce records that are publicly available–everything from budgeting, operations, contracts, emails, and much more.
Court Filings
Whether a civil or criminal matter, court filings provide an immense amount of information about people and organizations.
Criminal Records
When an individual is charged with a crime–even minor traffic violations–there is a paper trail that is obtainable.
Property Records
Every parcel of land has a detailed record that gives information about both the land and the owner.
Lobbying Disclosures
Lobbying disclosure records detail the amount of influence an individual or organization attempted to have in a given matter.
Legislative Records
Piecing together a candidate’s legislative history is paramount to building a narrative about the candidate. The records are often voluminous, but they almost always contain information on candidates’ politically risky votes.
Business Records
When someone starts and operates a business, there are a number of public records that can give insight into the nature, structure, operations, and (sometimes) success of the company.
Campaign Finance Reports
No matter what office someone is running for, they have to disclose an immense amount of information. They must account for all money contributed and spent on a campaign.
Media Coverage
News databases are particularly helpful for finding information about individuals’ and organizations’ doings. Recent advances in digitizing print have made historical research much easier.

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Are Rates for Political Research the Same as Legal Services?

No. Services that are political research in nature are less than the hourly rate for legal services. Send a note for more information.