(Chron: Scary "new" trend of big money in politics hits Houston! Kevin Whited, BlogHouston)
Now, we certainly wouldn't want to dissuade any Chron journalists from digging into campaign finance records and looking for conflicts of interest. Goodness knows, that would be a welcome change from the sorts of rah-rah stories that too frequently show up in the newspaper.
But "new national trend?"
Former newspaper of record (and current largest local blog) responds...
(Remainders on anonymous donations, Bradley Olson, ChronBlog)
Actually, yes, it is rather new, at least on the scale it has reached in this election, as these stories show. It's a big enough deal, in the estimation of some pretty seasoned journalists, that it could be the source of the next Watergate.
I encourage you to go read both posts, follow the links in both and see the sources each are using to make their case. Then, probably, you'll side with whomever is closest to your partisan leanings.
Hell, I'm just glad that ChronBlog has decided to join the conversation again, instead of banning certain blogs and bloggers from their site. Debate is good.