I almost titled this one You’ll Never Give Blog In This Town Again. (Would have made for poor SEO though!)
It doesn’t keep me awake at night that bloggers get paid, sometimes, to blog. That’s a good thing; most sure need the paycheck. What bothers and troubles me deeply is when they don’t disclose to their audience, with full transparency, who exactly they are blogging for… if indeed they are blogging for a client and/or a campaign.
Andre Walker of Georgia Politics Unfiltered and Peach Pundit (where I too blog) was “outed” by Atlanta Progressive News’ Matthew Cardinale:
Political blogger Andre Walker wrote dozens of blog items in favor of US Rep. David Scott (D-GA) this year but did not disclose to readers he was on Scott’s payroll. Walker runs a blog called Georgia Politics Unfiltered and also is a blogger at Peach Pundit.
Previously, Walker had faced scrutiny in the local blogger community for failing to disclose at least $1200 in payments from the Vernon Jones for US Senate Campaign 2008. According to the FEC reports, Walker was doing legislative updates; according to Walker, he was maintaining a blog for Jones called “Jonesin’ for Georgia.”
And then, it gets just downright creepy:
“I said, this young man was working with the Party, so I’ll give you a chance,” (former State Sen. Donzella) James said. James said he asked Walker not to be campaign manager anymore a few days later after Walker made public statements inconsistent with her campaign.
Now, James is wondering whether Walker was an undercover operative for Scott.
“Someone told me before I hired him, do not allow him in your office, he is with David Scott. They told me he had campaigned in the first campaign for Scott,” James said.
“Andre said that’s behind me, it’s a new day. He could have been sent to my campaign by David Scott in 2006,” James said.
James said she was leery when Andre pressured her to tell him if she had skeletons in her closet. “He said during that one week, what could they possibly say about you? You’ve got to tell me. When you look at your record, you look great. We’ve got to make sure we protect you if you have any skeletons. He said, are you sure, is there anything?”