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It is a well-known fact that I am both a political activist and a part-time political consultant. Not every candidate or campaign I write for pays me, I still engage in a lot of volunteer efforts. However, we all know about the duplicity of “Meg County”… it looks like that duplicity is going to cost us all something if the FPPC gets its way.
In politics, self-righteous pompous arrogance has consequences – as does hypocrisy.
There is a story that involves me that pops up occasionally about when I was thrown off of the Red County Blog for being paid to blog for Steve Poizner. The part that is seldom-told is that 1) I told Red County about my relationship with Poizner’s campaign, and 2) four days before I was expelled, they had taken the first $20,000 of what ended up being $110,000 from Meg Whitman’s Governor Campaign. (They claim that was for advertising – I’d love to get 1/10th of that from a campaign – any takers?)
I also remind people that it was Meg Whitman that attempted to hire me – I got the gig with Poizner because I refused to betray him without warning him. He decided to match the offer I had from Whitman – before I was thrown under the bus because of the negative press.
Now the issue is causing the FPPC to attempt to regulate blogging. The obvious issue is that violates the first amendment and the second is that the regulation is unenforceable.
I was called by a Sacramento Bee reporter relating to a newly proposed regulation requiring public disclosure by bloggers if they are being paid by campaigns.
I am Les Baugh’s general consultant – he is not paying me to blog. So, would I have to disclose that?
As an example, what would happen if Steve Frank called me up and asked me to do some more independent contracting on behalf of some of his clients? No campaign is paying me – do I have to disclose? What do I have to disclose?
What if I wrote a blog lighting up a candidate who is a nimrod, then the opponent called me and bought an ad on the blog? What about my ads that I put up that aren’t paid for? What about my right to kick the crap out of candidates I disdain? People could get really really confused and I could be turned in to a criminal by the FPPC for exercising my right to free speech.
The intent of this regulation is bad enough – but this would not be an issue had it not been for Chip Hanlon of Red County and his self-righteous hypocrisy.
Jon Fleischman gets paid by campaigns and he rarely, if ever discloses it. (Sources tell me.) He gets paid frequently by Dave Gilliard (or Gilliard’s interests). The irony is that Mr. Gilliard may well have been behind the call from the Bee to my cell phone today as Mr. Gilliard has a proven affinity for floating stories to local media outlets. Gilliard’s nexus would be that several of his clients are frequent victims of this blog.
Almost every “major” blogger I know gets paid one way or another.Here is a story that the Bee reporter I spoke with wrote that appeared in a Bellingham Washington paper – and should likely appear in the Sacramento Bee soon. (A portion of this came in to people’s email boxes as a Capitol Alert this evening)
I love the quotes that the reporter gave me in the story:
“A lot of people out there that pilloried me and talked about what I dirtbag I was, they’ve all been on the take for years,” Park said.