Raising Kaine: Virginia Bloggers Who Make Money

I’m looking sharp on RK, not on the topic of paid bloggers, but “bloggers who make money” and continue their craft.

The short list:

*Shaun Kenney (Shaun Kenney): RPV, Bob Marshall for Senate

*Jon Henke (Q&O): George Allen for Senate, Mitch McConnell/Senate Republican Caucus

*”Loudoun Insider” (Too Conservative): Broad Run District Supervisor Lori Walters

*Vincent Harris (Too Conservative): Huckabee for President.

*Alton Foley (I’m Not Emeril): Jeff Evans for Senate 2007 (consulting)

*Brian Kirwin : Martin Williams for Senate 2007, Nick Rerras for Senate 2007, past Treasurer for Del. Bob McDonnell. (others added)

*James Walkinshaw (James Walkinshaw): Bruce Roemmelt, Andy Hurst, Gerry Connolly

*Josh Chernila (RK): Webb for Senate

*Lowell Feld

(RK): Webb for Senate, Feder for Congress 2008, Bowerbank for LG 2009, South Dakota Democratic Party

*Eric Grim (RK): Bowerbank for LG 2009

*James Martin (RK, Virginia Progressive): Colgan for State Senate, Whipple for State Senate, Mathieson for Delegate, Rishell for Delegate, MacIver for Delegate, Heretick for State Senate, Oleszek for State Senate, Pollard for State Senate

*Jerome Armstrong (MyDD): Mark Warner, Brian Moran

*Kenton Ngo (750 Volts): Former campaign manager for the Ramona Morrow for School Board campaign.

Of course, I never worked for Bob Marshall for Senate (though I was a huge supporter) and I never took money to blog on SK.com for RPV (or anyone else for that matter). And I’m certainly not taking money for Ken Cuccinelli’s 2009 AG race or McDonnell/Bolling ’09 either, but I’ll certainly blog about it.

Which is why Lowell is talking about the ethics of “bloggers who make money” rather than those individuals who take money to blog at the behest of their superiors

.

It’s one thing to make money in politics and blog about the surrounding world. It’s something quite different to push a story, an opinion, a piece of misinformation, or a smear — for a paycheck.

Now I don’t have too many problems with paid bloggers… so long as they are upfront about their status (Lowell falls into this category plainly). Bloggers who have since travelled on beyond their craft and earned jobs aren’t “paid bloggers”.

For instance, if Lowell had never been up front about his status with the Webb campaign in 2006, I’d have called shenanigans too. That he is “making money” from his book deal I don’t find scurrilous at all. In fact, more power to him.

Lowell makes one worthwhile point:

What’s even funnier about all this is that, back in 2005, Waldo Jaquith proposed a “blogger code of ethics” at the Sorenson Institute’s blogger conference, and I clearly remember a number of Republican bloggers objecting. Gee, I wonder why… 🙂

Most libertarian-streaked bloggers in the room (left and right) objected at the time because there was a sense we could self-police our own. Of course, the camaraderie between Democratic and Republican bloggers back in 2005 was much more substantive than it was post-Webb campaign… and the rift has sadly never quite healed.

Short version: If you take money to issue information on behalf of someone else, be up front about it and don’t have the temerity to paint it as something else. Think of it this way — it’s the difference between “paid journalists” who talk about stories for a check bribe, and journalists paid to write about stories. Credibility isn’t a resource that should be sold cheaply.

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