Joe Trippi, who has been working secretly for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) in her primary challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for more than a month, posted an odd "apology" for his deception (which occurred here, at Huffington Post and with several reporters) on his website yesterday.
First of all, the only reason Trippi "apologized" was that he got caught by PolitickerNY reporter Jason Horowitz, who looked up Maloney's second quarter FEC filing and found a $10,500 check to Trippi dated June 5.
Trippi's diary here was on June 24, and he essentially stated (in response to questions in the comments) that he was not working for Maloney on that date.
Trippi's "apology" does not mention his recent embarrassment here, or indeed Maloney at all.
More on why Trippi's "apology" is self-serving crap, below.
Trippi goes into some detail about his "passion" for some causes and politicians, including the Biotechnology Industry Organization (which he relates to his suffering from diabetes with neuropathy), the Humane Society of the United States, and Oakland, CA, Mayor Jerry Brown.
Trippi assumes that anyone reading the post has "been following me here for years and you know I blog about these issues because I care deeply about them."
Maybe his blog is a cozy place, where a few thousand Trippi fans read everything he's written there for years, and trust him implicitly.
Remember, Trippi's only "apologizing" for his deceptions because he got caught, and he's only apologizing, so far, to his fan club -- not to us.
Presumably Trippi senses that only his fans would buy this "apology":
In recent weeks, it’s become clear to me that no matter how many regular readers of this blog know my passion for these issues, there are people who haven’t been following this blog and don’t know me, including reporters and bloggers I respect, who have appropriately asked whether I write out of passion or for pay.
I know I write out of passion, and, while I have never been paid by anyone to post or blog anything by anyone, it doesn’t matter. I have a responsibility to disclose my professional relationships—not only here, but everywhere I post—even though my motive is my passion. The fact that anyone was confused by my motives is not their fault, it’s mine. It’s my responsibility—not my staff’s or anyone else’s—to make not just my motives clear, but my professional relationships clear.
From this point forward, no matter how passionate I am about a cause or candidate, I will disclose any professional relationship. As someone who has watched the online progressive community grow, I owe this community an apology. It was my mistake that I didn’t recognize that outside of this community, I haven’t made my professional relationships clear and I need to – it will never happen again.
There are several problems here which compound the original deception -- the biggest one is this: "I have never been paid by anyone to post or blog anything by anyone."
Trippi got a $10,500 check from Maloney on June 5, then 19 days later wrote a pro-Maloney diary for the two largest liberal blogs.
Does anyone believe that those two events are totally unconnected?
Or that this is the first time that Trippi blogged for a client, with or without disclosure!?
Another problem is this bit -- "I didn’t recognize that outside of this community, I haven’t made my professional relationships clear." -- which clearly implies that Trippi's been all-full-disclosure with his little-blog fan club.
That is not true, the Maloney puff piece was also posted there, with the same mendacious hope-to-work-for-her-some-day disclaimer that we got, after DKos commenters wondered if he was on her payroll.
And Trippi made several posts on his little blog promoting unsuccessful Virginia gubernatorial primary candidate Brian Moran, none of which carry any disclaimer, though I'll bet my house some money changed hands.
So his fan club has been deceived, also, presumably for years.
Soon after Maloney paid Trippi to be her chief campaign strategist, she began a media tour, mostly in NYC, that was relentlessly negative about Gillibrand.
Trippi undoubtedly had a hand in kicking off the Maloney campaign on a nasty, negative note -- all tobacco, guns, immigration, and "character," tangential issues in the midst of the worst economy in most people's memories.
Also, at least six people registered here in June and posted derogatory anti-Gillibrand diaries and comments, before disappearing. Trippi's fingerprints were all over that astroturfing effort.
Here's my full disclosure, which is, unlike Trippi's, truthful -- I have supported Gillibrand since I first heard about her here from Andrew C. White in late 2005, volunteered a bit and gave a modest amount along the way, written dozens of diaries and hundreds of comments about her, and have met her several times.
I have never received any money from her or any of her campaign committees.
I think Gillibrand is doing a great job as Senator, just as she did a great job representing NY-20. And I'd prefer to write more about that.
But since the Maloney/Trippi campaign is determined to be negative and nasty, responding to the lies, mischaracterizations, name-calling and, in this case, a weird "apology" by the guy behind most of that, has become the more immediate concern for Gillibrand supporters here.
And it became even more necessary after that $10,500 check was cut on June 5.