K. Daniel Glover over at National Journal has a great look at political campaigns’ use of paid bloggers in this election cycle, using campaign finance records to name names and amounts.
With increasing frequency, candidates across the country are paying bloggers to write, develop Web sites, connect with energetic allies on the Internet, respond to online critics, and advise their employers about how to behave in the blogosphere. Others are paid to do more traditional campaign work like communications consulting and opposition research. Their pay scales range from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand, with some of the bloggers earning top dollar for their expertise.
Note that the article isn’t talking about Wal-Mart/Edelman-style flogs (fake blogs set up for marketing purposes), but about bloggers who are working directly with the campaigns, often to write the candidate’s official blog. If they’re established bloggers, though, they’re not always doing it with the knowledge or approval of readers of their regular sites.