Politico reporter who covered Palin quits for Democratic Party job

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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A Politico reporter who often penned stories about Sarah Palin and other Republicans has quit journalism to work with the Democratic Party in Arizona, sources tell The Daily Caller.

That reporter, Andy Barr, has covered national politics for the publication since 2008. Barr leaving to help elect Democrats will likely fan the flames of critics who say Politico has a liberal bias.

It’s not exactly clear what his new job duties are. Barr wouldn’t say, but told FishbowlDC, which first reported that Barr was leaving, that he left Politico on “very good terms.” That report said Barr, who is from Phoenix, is taking a “political job,” but didn’t say where he is going.

Barr is not the first Politico reporter to leave for a Democratic gig. Congressional reporter Jonathan Allen left Politico in 2009 to work as an aide to Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida Democrat, but he returned to Politico in 2010.

Politico’s editor-in-chief, John Harris, responded to questions about Barr’s departure, writing in an email that the website’s management does not “worry about someone’s personal ideology so long as it is understood that their responsibilities at POLITICO mean leaving personal views at the door.”

“Andy did that, and had a very good reputation for professionalism with colleagues, sources, and readers,” he told TheDC.

“One of our first and most successful hires is someone who in a previous phase of his career worked as an aide for Republicans,” he said, “and we do have some folks who have written for more ideological platforms on right and left.”

But have any left Politico to work for a Republican? “I don’t know of any, but haven’t made any effort to keep track of where folks land,” Harris said.

While at Politico, Barr was a prolific writer of stories about Palin, including more recent ones titled: “Sarah Palin’s political mystery tour,” “So unfav: Palin’s poll plunge” and “Sarah Palin on Barack Obama speech: ‘WTF’.”

A staffer at the Arizona Democratic Party said the state party’s executive director, Luis Heredia, is out of town and unavailable to comment.

UPDATE: Harris emails us two examples of ex-Politico reporters who went on to work in Republican politics: Richard Cullen left Politico to work for Rep. Eric Cantor and then Rep. Ben Quayle. Reporter Jeff Patch left the publication to work for Iowa Rep. Tom Latham.