Jerome Armstrong is the latest of the Big Box Bloggers to be shamed. First we had the vitriolic Armando who was outed as a corporate lawyering shill for WalMart, now we have Jerome who apparently was a pump and dump kid back in the day. Chris at OH02 has about the best take, where he includes this quote:

some people…compare the blog boomlet they helped create for Dean to the work of online bulletin-board posters who touted dodgy Internet stocks during the boom market without disclosing that they were being paid for their words.

Which, interestingly, is precisely what the Securities and Exchange Commission, in court documents filed last August, alleges that Jerome Armstrong did in 2000. (The original S.E.C. complaint is here.) In a subsequent filing, the S.E.C. alleges that ?there is sufficient evidence to infer that the defendants secretly agreed to pay Armstrong for his touting efforts? on the financial Web site Raging Bull.

Without admitting or denying anything, Armstrong has agreed to a permanent injunction that forbids him from touting stocks in the future. The S.E.C. remains in litigation with him over the subject of potential monetary penalties.

I’m wondering now if there will be a movement to force Jerome (without admitting or denying anything) to forbid him from touting candidates on his and his blogson’s blogs?

Anyone remember the classic (and poorly timed) flip flop of Kos and others on Hackett once Jerome’s employer Sherrod Brown entered the Senate race?

Chris sure does:

Candidates interested in trying to force the blogosphere by hiring such professionals as Armstrong need to look no further than to the barren landscape that is the opinion that many Ohio democrats have of Sherrod Brown online. Armstrong?s ham handed efforts at manipulating online opinion for Brown were a disaster, and dozens of Ohio netizens that should be Brown?s most fervent online supporters have written his campaign off entirely. Many blame Congressman Brown. Personally I see him as just another babe-in-the-woods investor lured into the flashing web of internet hucksters, and then systematically sucked dry. As a dot con veteran it?s something that I?ve seen many times before.

What all of this does, the Armando WalMarting, the Kos flip flopping, the Jerome pumping and dumping, is give us a bad name and sours what we work hard to do. I will also point out the irony of these same folks (Armando and Kos at least that I know) personally attacking a homegrown blogger and silencing his important voice. Tim Russo actually admitted to what he did. He paid for it. He asked only to be able to do what we do, blog. There was no “without admitting or denying” or some other spin cycle bullshit explanation. That these same people used personal attacks to silence legitimate criticism shows their true character.

It might remind one of Enron: Pump something you know is shit. Cash your checks. Leave victims in your wake. It is our responsibility to see this for what it is and not get duped. I fear many are duped. There are many good things about the Big Box Blogs. It is a wonderful distribution channel. But when the channel begins to control the message, we then have major problems.

If you read these blogs and comment there, my advice would be to start a blog where you are…and begin connecting with others in your state and towns. And beware the big box blog!

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  • dirtgirl

    Forget his own blog, Mark Warner hired Jerome to be his Internet Strategist. How bad does that look, knowing as we do they type of “strategies” he’s been known to employ on the internet? The attacks kind of write themselves.

    Meanwhile, Armando is taking the “big box” blogging thing a bit too literally.

  • AmberCat

    I don’t mind the so-called “big box” blogs but I often find the most interesting things are not posted by the blog’s front-pagers. I just like that there’s a lot of STUFF on Daily Kos, and I’m perfectly capable of sorting through it and reading what I want to read. I don’t trust the people who puff themselves up the most.


    You might want to check this link regarding Armando and Walmart. If you got your (mis)information from the National Review, well, that’s your fault. Calling him a shill for Walmart is about as gross a misrepresenation as calling George Bush a “compassionate” conservative.

  • Eric


    You know what? I got the information direct to me. I did nothing with it. It was shopped all around. Armando was going down regardless of what I said or did. If you think there is nothing there, then why would he fold up shop and take his pen and pad home? Of course there is something to it, on both sides. The bottom line is the guy reaped what he sowed – and he sowed a ton of vitriolic filth.

    There is nothing wrong with repping corporations…but not the ones who appear to be on the opposite freakin’ spectrum from you politically. So maybe shill was a bad word. I must have saved up some of his vitriol to use back on him.

    And don’t feel sorry for this bastard. He pulled the same hijinks on one of our own here in Ohio. He had it coming.

  • Eric

    On second thought, shill is not a bad word at all. How can you not feel duped to find out one of the high lieutenants of the progressive blogosphere is, in fact, a corporate lawyer representing Walmart?

  • “High lieutentant?” Seriously, you need to take a step back and get some perspective. He’s was a front page blogger on DailyKos for one year who, at the outset, stated he was a corporate lawyer, and from what I remember, blogged extensively (but not exclusively) about legal issues, especially the Supreme Court. Show me a post where he said “Hey folks, Walmart ain’t all that bad, and here’s why….” Probably can’t.

    The company I work for uses Choicepoint, ya know, the company that helped “alter” the felon voter rolls in FLA back in 2000 to help Bush win the state. Just like it isn’t Armando’s firm, and he can’t dicate the clientel, I’m not the boss, and I can’t say, “what the hell, I’m not working with them.” Unfortunately, I have to bills to pay, so I can’t take an ethical stand and quit my job over the hiring of services from a company I don’t care for.

    I really do not understand the vindictiveness of people out to get Markos, Jerome, Armando, etc. These are blogs that people choose to or not to visit, choose to or not to read. So Markos talks a lot about Mark Warner, so what, it’s his freaking blog. You don’t like Warner, don’t read the post. So Jerome did some quasi-unethical stuff regarding stocks, great, so did Jim Kramer, and he’s doing nicely on MSNBC. If I got a DUI when I was in college, should I not be allowed to blog because my character is suspect?

    And he did not fold up shop and go home. A new batch of front page writers at DKos are, from what I understand, brought in each year. His time was up, and he started blogged on his own at and now occasionally blogs at Dkos as an alum.

    No, I don’t feel duped, because the majority of people I know who are of my same political idealogy don’t have the luxury to pick and choose A) their occupation and/or B) who their business/firm works with based on political idealogy. I have a personal life and I have a professional life, and like most adults I can separate the two, even when there are conflicts. As long as my ideals and beliefs are never compromised, then I have no complaint, and as far as I’m concerned, with regards to what Armando posted, regardless of his tone or attitude, I never saw and indication of compromise, and until someone actually proves it, the accusations are meritless.

  • Eric


    The point could not have been missed worse than if Cheney himself had shot at it. Others referred to Llorens-Sar as a “top lieutenant”…high lieutenant – whatever. Point being he was a front page poster and pretty much Kos’ bulldog who would literally bite your head off for going “off message”.

    Your wanting to compare your working for a company that uses another company that did some bad shit to Armando being a partner in a law firm? Seems off to me.

    There is no vindictiveness versus these guys. People are merely pointing out the bullshit that has gone down and the hypocisy of it. Did you not pay ANY attention during the Hackett/Brown primary? Maybe a quick search of OH02, BSB, and here would be in order. These guys shit all over Ohio and you are OK with that. I’m not.

    Quasi-unethical stuff with stocks? You are kidding, right? The point is that the stock stuff is very similar to the politics stuff when it comes to pumping and dumping. 2 days later Kos changes his mind and asks Hackett to “stand down”? Give me a fucking break! Your DUI analogy is poor. Of course I wouldn’t say that – and I hope you didn’t!

    If I remember correctly, Kos himself chose to front page the Russo info…and Armando chimed right in. So they don’t seem to live by your same standard there and it is what I mean when I say reap what you sow.

    He quit. He ran off crying and tried to muster as much sympathy as he could get. The lemmings gave it to him.

    So you can be an apologist for them and we can agree to disagree. Fine by me.

    PS – I don’t bother with Kos since the Hackett flip flop, but you are probably right that there are probably not posts espousing the virtues of Walmat. That would be dumb now wouldn’t it? He did, though, have alot to say on Kelo. You should check some of that out sometime.

  • I forgot, Sherrod Brown is a neo-con Bush flunkie who plans to work towards banning abortion and killing kittens. Yes, I even blogged about the whole thing even after working for Hackett in the special election vs. Schmidt. Feel free to read my blog for past postings on that. You know what, even though that went down shitty, that’s politics, and politics is a shitty game. I like Hackett, and I like Brown, but I agree with Brown on more issues than Hackett, and he’s leading DeWine right now, and defeating the Republicans in every possible race is the only thing I give a shit about.

    All I’m trying to point out, the same thing Mimus Pauly pointed out in the link I provided about, is that people are making a lot of accusations without any evidence. There are all of these elaborate conspiracy theories about “motivations” and “presumptions” behind why Dkos or MyDD highlight this or that, and no evidence.

    As far as Russo, I don’t know him, but he’s always come across in his postings on his blog as either an asshole or unhinged, and that was long before I ever read anything on Dkos about him.

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