The next major election in Missouri is almost two years away. But one wouldn't know it from the 2012 campaign activity already under way.
Campaign season kicks off in Missouri with reporters from the St. Louis Beacon getting a copy of a FOIA request from Nathan McCarroll whom they identify as an opposition researcher working for Democrats.
This is a good time to remind researchers that FOIA request letters submitted to obtain documents from local, state and federal agencies become public records as well. Want to know who is digging up dirt on your candidate? File FOIA requests for copies of FOIA requests about your candidate.
Seeing researchers connected with your opponent's campaign is to be expected. Learning that some obscure single issue grassroots group has filed FOIA requests on your candidate would warrant further research. In some cases it will involve an issue in which your candidate has taken a strong position that they oppose. It may also be an issue that has yet to sureface in the campaign and knowning that a single issue group is doing such in-depth research will help the candidate prepare.