Dwight Morris and the Campaign Study Group
The Campaign Study Group is a for-profit media consulting firm specializing in campaign finance research and public opinion analysis. The company was formed in January 1996 by Dwight L. Morris, former editor for special investigations at the Los Angeles Times, and Murielle E. Gamache, former senior editorial researcher for special investigations at the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times. The Campaign Study Group is dedicated to helping the media better understand and cover political campaigns and electoral politics.
Morris, the firm's president, began his news career at the New York Times, where he served for six years as director of the New York Times/CBS News Poll. In January 1984, he joined Louis Harris & Associates, where he became a vice president responsible for research commissioned by the firm's telecommunications clients.
For two years, Morris was vice president of Opinion Research Corporation before he returned to the news business as assistant managing editor for special projects at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. There he established the paperís first in-house polling operation and coordinated the computer analysis for a groundbreaking study of redlining by Atlanta banks. The series, called "The Color of Money," won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.
Named editor for special investigations at the Los Angeles Timesí Washington bureau in December 1989, Morris designed the first-ever study of how money is actually spent in House and Senate campaigns. The paper nominated the report for a Pulitzer Prize in 1991. That project gave rise to the "Handbook of Campaign Spending," a race-by-race analysis of House and Senate campaigns published by Congressional Quarterly Books following the 1990 and 1992 campaigns.
Gamache, the firmís research director, joined the special investigations unit of the Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau in 1990. There she managed the teams responsible for the paperís campaign finance research. She helped design and execute studies including the impact of Defense Department downsizing; the Resolution Trust Corporationís effort to dispose of assets acquired following the Savings and Loan industry's collapse; Medicare funding issues; and travel abuses by Clinton Cabinet officers, among others. The Cabinet project was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1996.
The Campaign Study Groupís clients currently include ABC News, NBC News, CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Albuquerque Journal, USA Today, and WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. In 1996, Mr. Morris wrote the Money Talk$ column on campaign finance issues for PoliticsNow, an internet consortium sponsored by ABC, the Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and National Journal. In addition, the Campaign Study Group conducted a nationwide survey of nonvoters in 1996 for the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and WTTW public Television in Chicago. The MacArthur Foundation funded the study, which ran in more than 30 newspapers nationwide in August 1996.
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