When Politico reported Tuesday on plans for Mitt Romney's California beach house, complete with a "car elevator," the publication originally didn't mention how the plans were obtained.
Reporter Reid Epstein attributed details of Romney's renovations "to 2008 schematic plans for the renovation obtained by POLITICO that are on file with the city of San Diego." The impression readers would likely be left with is that Epstein dug them up in a city planning office.
But while the aforementioned attribution remains in the article, Politico now also notes that the plans were "provided to POLITICO by a rival campaign, but authenticated independently by POLITICO with San Diego officials." While Epstein did significant reporting into the matter, the updated version signals that opposition researchers had a hand in uncovering details about Romney's massive beach house renovation and helped push them into the news cycle. The result is a potentially negative story for a candidate already dogged by questions about his personal fortune.
Politico deputy political editor Rachel Van Dongen explained in an email to The Huffington Post that editor-in-chief John Harris "thought we should tell readers what we could about where we got the plans, and it was added at his request after the story was posted."
On Tuesday afternoon, The New York Times also reported on plans for Romney's La Jolla, Calif., home, similarly noting that the plans were obtained from a "rival campaign."
In an email to HuffPost, Harris said he "had not seen that the Times had done that at the time we made the change, but sounds like we both came at this from the same perspective -- transparency, when possible, is always preferable."
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