Much of Democratic opposition researcher Jason Stanford's work is done in a hermetically sealed world -- locked in strange hotel rooms, legislative libraries and obscure courthouses, poring over documents and clues that can wound opponents.
"What we do is hold politicians to publicly documented facts," Stanford said. "This job is tailor-made for a high-achieving debate nerd."
Stanfordís career choice is considered a social faux pas in some circles, and even his own mother is hesitant to talk about it.
Despite the judgmental treatment he often receives, Stanford says his research is still a satisfying replacement for his original dream job: espionage.
Stanford studied Russian at Lewis & Clark College and spent time in Moscow, determined to become a Russian spy for the United States.
But his dream of becoming an international man of mystery was quickly dashed when the Cold War ended in 1991 and spy jobs dried up.
Stanford returned home and, in 1994, took a research position in Texas with Gov. Ann Richards' reelection campaign.
Although the governor was unexpectedly defeated by newcomer George W. Bush, the campaign proved a valuable training ground for research methods, as Stanford became obsessed with the private business of politicians.
Stanford opened his own firm in 1997, and it grew rapidly.
The initial startup fee for a research consultant from Stanford Research ranges from $15,000 to $20,000, with additional charges for long-term consulting work, he said.
Stanford's salary lies in the low six figures, he said.
Why aren't WE in the political consulting biz again?
Heck, I haven't touched base with you in so long you may BE in that biz by now! :)
Nah, so far I've always declined opportunities to be paid in politics. And I'm pretty far out of the game right now anyways...although I could get back in any day. heh.
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