We gamed this past weekend, it was... something. The way it was supposed to play out was that they actually investigate Phineus himself, rather than ask random Joe Citizen if they liked him or not. They were supposed to case his mansion and keep an eye on what he was doing. If they saw him leave his mansion they were supposed to shadow him on his outings during the wee hours of the morning to find out that he regularly frequented The Randy Quail. Ideally they would then return to the Quail and surreptitiously find out if he frequents a particular whore, then investigate her background and who she may or may not be. If they had done that, they would have found out that the whore in question has a daughter.
If they continued investigating Phineus they would have found that there was much strife between him and his two children. If they kept an eye on the sons and perhaps followed them on an outing and approached them in a slummy tavern they would have found out that the sons dislike their father and their mother dislikes the official as well.
If they continued to keep an eye on Phineus and the Quail, they would have seen him come in pretty regularly and perhaps if they succeeded at a Perception and Insight check or two they would have noticed that he seemed to dote on a particular lass working in the kitchen and that despite being a Fell Human, she bore a slight resemblance to Phineus the Vyanth.
The way I had conceived of the scenario playing out was that they would pay attention to Phineus, not Walthen Bronson or the citizens of the community and their plight, and kidnap the daughter or mistress and hand them over to Nakmander to hold over Phineus' head. I had conceived of them going the political route and getting someone else elected, but not exactly the way they went about it.
All that said, I had of course assumed they would just barge in through the front door and burn Phineus' mansion to the ground. This is what I like about GMing, I have my plotline written out but I also prepare for what they usually end up doing, and then they do something completely different from both things I've planned for. Heh.