Pennsylvania Democrats use millions of dollars in state funds to do opposition research on opponents

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has this story:

"We are mainly looking for bad things: liens, bankruptcies, homicides ... you get the picture," Mr. Webb advised a dozen House colleagues via their state e-mail accounts. Employees were asked to use LexisNexis, an online search service that makes use of thousands of databases. The state had several LexisNexis accounts that a grand jury later said were used for opposition research.

Mr. Webb told staffers to send results from the searches to Dan Wiedemer, executive director of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee, at Mr. Wiedemer's political campaign address.

Many of those targeted in the project were sponsored by PACleanSweep, a group formed to oust lawmakers who had voted for an unpopular legislative pay raise.

Democrats ultimately won a majority in the state House that year, but the victory was tainted, according to a grand jury report that found that millions of dollars in state resources were diverted to cover the cost of running Democratic campaigns. . . .

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