17 July 2009 ~ 247 Comments

My responsibility

For those of you who read me regularly on this blog, you know how passionate I am about the causes I support.

You know I am a diabetic suffering with neuropathy. You know this disease is terrible, painful and often debilitating. I truly believe biotech is the only chance we have for a cure—not just for diabetes but for cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many other diseases. That’s why I passionately support biotech and those who are working everyday for better treatments and cures and why I work on behalf of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

If you read this blog, you know my wife and I are life-long animal lovers; we care deeply about animals. We live on a farm and take care of several horses, goats, dogs, cats and other animals that we have rescued or saved. Animal causes are near and dear to my heart. Because I love this cause, I also support, help and work on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States.

And, you also know, when I write about candidates, I passionately and fervently support them. Just one example: I love Jerry Brown. He is a long-time friend. I worked on his ’92 presidential campaign, his ’06 Attorney General’s race, and I will fight with all of my heart for him in the potential gubernatorial campaign. I haven’t been paid by his campaign to date (except a few hundred dollars in reimbursed expenses), but I advise him, support him and I hope to work for him if he runs for governor.

As a reader of this blog you know all of these things. Why? Because you have been following me here for years and you know I blog about these issues because I care deeply about them. But, 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.

247 Responses to “My responsibility”

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