Case Studies

Berrios for Assessor (Cook County, IL)

 3rd Coast Research assisted the campaign of Joe Berrios for Cook County Assessor in a contentious race in 2010.  Berrios faced multiple attacks on alleged ethics grounds by independent candidate Forrest Claypool.  A major allegation was that Berrios, then a member of the Board of Review, received contributions from property tax attorneys who then received assessment (and tax) reductions for their clients.  3rd Coast Research produced extensive documentation showing that Claypool’s donors, many of whom had multimillion-dollar properties, gave money to Claypool’s campaign after they were denied assessment reductions.  Berrios’ campaign used this information to go on the offensive, and he won decisively in the general election.

Alderman Brendan Reilly (Chicago-42)

Will Caskey managed opposition research for challenger Brendan Reilly against incumbent Alderman Burton Natarus in 2007. The research found that the incumbent was involved with a federal corruption investigation in the late 1980s. While the involvement was a matter of public record, it had not been effectively used by previous challengers. The research also noted Natarus’ large contributions from developers, which were controversial with constituents. The attacks were used in television and mail advertisements by Reilly as well as the Service Employees International Union, and Reilly won by almost ten points. The morning after the election, Natarus cited a mail piece with the research as the specific reason for his loss. Video of the attribution is available here.

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