[Ed. – Gee, no wonder this guy thinks he can run for president in 2020.]
Avenatti got his start in 1989 at St. Louis University working on the campaign of the late George “Buzz” Westfall, who was elected St. Louis County Executive the next year. …
The Westfall campaign was being advised by the Research Group, a political consulting firm with a generic name that specialized in opposition research. It was run by Rahm Emanuel.
Then and now, Emanuel was known for a brutal, high-intensity style that began with “oppo.” (“All I can say is, ‘take no prisoners’ works,” George Stephanopoulos told the Washington Post in 1992 of Emanuel, after he went from research in Chicago to raising millions for Bill Clinton’s campaign — and since then to the White House to Congress back to the White House and is presently mayor of Chicago.)
Irwin said that Emanuel’s firm requested a reliable staffer within the Westfall campaign with whom it could coordinate tasks like pulling public documents in St. Louis County. The campaign appointed Avenatti for the role, and Irwin said that he quickly excelled.
“Rahm always said this quote, ‘Politics is the last true meritocracy,’” Mike Plante, a seasoned opposition researcher who worked closely with Avenatti and Emanuel, told BuzzFeed News.