* I don’t recall ever seeing an opposition research dump attempt backfire so badly…
[Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s chief campaign consultant John Kupper] emailed Tribune reporters to suggest several potentially negative stories about [Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. The pitch came in response to a Tribune story Wednesday about Blaine Elementary Principal Troy LaRaviere criticizing Emanuel for trying to silence critics of his education policies. […]
In the email, Kupper included what he called “some story ideas that might actually matter to readers.”
He then offered a list of story ideas, many centering on Preckwinkle’s handling of county government that could present her negatively, some based on rumor.
* Kupper eventually fell on his own sword…
“This morning, of my own volition and without consulting anyone, I sent what I considered a private email to a couple of Tribune reporters complaining about a story they wrote and what I believe to be generally unfair reporting about Mayor Emanuel,” Kupper said in an emailed statement.
“I regret any discomfort that I have created for Mayor Emanuel, County Board President Preckwinkle or anyone associated with their offices,” Kupper wrote. “From now on, I’ll keep my media criticisms to myself.”
* From David Ormsby’s Facebook page…
PR Rule #1 - Nothing is ever off the record.
* Professional opposition researcher Will Caskey responded…
Kupper shouldn’t have done that but this is about as newsworthy as if someone tried to blow up my clients based on the times I’ve mouthed off on Rich Miller’s comments sections.
*** UPDATE *** A source close to Emanuel just called to emphasize Kupper’s point that the consultant acted alone and without anybody else’s prior knowledge.