When people blow you off -- and believe me, when you're honest about what your researching, elected officials and public figures do that -- you have no choice but to go the hard route.

Especially with events 35 years in the past, with some of the principals dead, it's hard to get anyone to talk. I never expect to get more than one or two responses to my first-round queries, that's why I spent the weekend tracking down homes, office locations, and planning the next couple of weeks of ambush journalism.

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