Pssst Politico…NJ’s ‘Influence Alley’ Has Arrived

NJ has officially launched “Influence Alley,” a new digital community for news and analysis on the people, relationships,  companies, and finances that make Washington’s influence industry run. At the helm of the feature is former Politico reporter Chris Frates.

Things could get ugly. Some may recall the dust-up that occurred when Frates first moved to NJ in June and allegedly inappropriately used a list of Politico subscribers. Frates and NJ disputed the theft claim by Politico but still agreed to pare down the list. Another stinging detail: Politico‘s own lobbying blog is called “Influence” and is run by Anna Palmer and Dave Levinthal.

A media observer told FBDC, “I notice a pattern here: Politico has a real good idea, executes it well, so NJ copies them and executes it, well, not as well.”

Frates will essentially do just what he did at Politico — as described in an NJ release, he’ll report on fundraising efforts, advocacy campaigns, talent acquisitions, media buys, the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street, and all the news that lands at the intersection of money, politics, and policy.

Not surprisingly, NJ Editor-in-Chief Ron Fournier has high hopes for the new blog. “Anyone looking to be successful at their work in D.C. – or simply to understand why and how the levers are pulled here – needs the kind of insight and reporting that Chris Frates is producing at ‘Influence Alley,'” he said.

To sign up for the “Influence Alley” email newsletter visit here. Follow on Twitter: @InfluenceAlley.

UPDATE: Another “media observer” wanted to weigh in with an opposing view this afternoon. “Roll Call had a full-fledged special lobbying section before Politico existed and NJ magazine has covered lobbying for many years. And Legal Times long ago dubbed their lobbying coverage ‘Influence’ and I believe used the URL. The point is that everyone copies everyone in this world, and the idea that Politico broke so much ground here is kind of silly.”