Stanford Campaigns
Opposition Research for a Post-Truth Era


News from the field.

In 2016, Stanford Campaigns helped break new ground for women

As we at Stanford Campaigns gear up for the 2017-2018 election cycle, we like to reflect on some of our successes from the previous cycle. We worked with many exciting candidates, several of whom won historic, hard-fought races.

Stanford Campaigns is proud to have been a part of two glass ceiling-shattering elections in particular: Stephanie Murphy (FL-07) became the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to U.S. Congress after winning one of the closest and most expensive House races in the country against a 12-term incumbent, and Beth McCann became Denver’s first female District Attorney in a race she won by 46 points.

Prior to the election, Stephanie Murphy was a teacher of business and social entrepreneurship at Rollins College and served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. She was motivated to run for office by the Pulse nightclub shooting, which occurred just outside the district’s boundary. Murphy was endorsed by Emily’s List and the League of Conservation Voters, as well as President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, among others.


  • February 2017 Filed a bill in response to President Donald Trump giving Steve Bannon a seat at the National Security Council. The bill would provide that no person whose “primary or predominant responsibility is political in nature” could be designated as a member of the NSCl or be allowed to regularly attend its meetings.
  • February 2017 Authored a letter urging the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney General, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to address the significant number of bomb threats that had been called into Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) across the nation. This letter was signed by over 150 Democratic and Republican Members of Congress, in a strong showing of bipartisan support. Additionally, the letter has been endorsed by several dozen Jewish organizations throughout the country, including The Jewish Federations of North America, JCC Association of North America, The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, and the Roth Family JCC of Greater Orlando.
  • March 2017 Helped introduce the bipartisan No Budget, No Pay Act, encouraging colleagues to work together and pass all 12 appropriations bills before the Oct. 1 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
  • March 2017 Introduced a bill that would repeal a 1996 provision that has essentially prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other Health and Human Services agencies from conducting research on gun-related incidents. The research would allow lawmakers to craft policy based on evidence and facts, not partisanship or misperceptions.
  • March 2017 Alongside U.S. Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09) and U.S. Rep. Val Demings (FL-10), announced that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime is awarding nearly $8.5 million to assist victims of the June 12, 2016, Pulse nightclub shooting. The funds, which will be provided through the DoJ’s Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance program, will be used to help victims, witnesses, and first responders receive vital services, and to reimburse local agencies for the costs they have incurred to operate the Family Assistance Center.
  • April 2017 Led bipartisan coalitions (in House Armed Services and Small Business Committees) in support of federal initiatives to reduce drug-related violence, help entrepreneurs and small businesses grow, and strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

Beth McCann previously served as Denver’s Deputy and Chief Deputy District Attorney, Deputy Attorney General in charge of Civil Litigation and Employment Law in the Colorado Attorney General’s office, and most recently served nine years as a State Representative. In the early 1990s, McCann became Denver’s first female Manager of Safety, where she started the Safe City Program to help kids stay out of gangs, drugs, and violence. This program contributed to reducing juvenile crime in Denver by 20 percent. While serving as a State Representative, McCann passed legislation that required universal background checks for gun purchases to keep guns away from convicted domestic violence abusers in addition to as a bill providing funds for survivors of domestic abuse and a law to prohibit gender bias in health insurance premiums.


  • January 2017 Announced that she would not seek the death penalty in any cases, and would support statewide repeal of the death penalty, either by voter referendum or a repeal bill in the legislature.
  • Expressed intent to explore a juvenile restorative justice program, which would help young people reconcile their crimes with victims and the community in hopes of avoiding more harsh sentences.
  • Laid out plan to work on mental health programs and possibly create a veterans court to help military veterans deal with addiction and mental health issues.
  • Plans to increase accountability and transparency by establishing community advisory panels to help her stay in touch with the city’s residents and hear their concerns about the criminal justice system.
  • Intends to prioritize the prosecution of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and human trafficking perpetrators
  • Announced plans to address the disproportionate incarceration of people of color and building trust between law enforcement and the community
Sonia Van Meter