Phil Bump Reappears

A familiar name showed up out of the blue today, in a New York Times article looking back at the trial of the 85-year-old Anthony Marshall, who was found guilty this week of defrauding his mother, the late Brooke Astor. The article, which tells the story of the trial through the eyes of the jury, quotes one Philip Bump—the man Fly and many others believe was the poison-pen author of the now-defunct anonymous attack blog, San Jose Revealed.

The Times piece recounts the deliberations that led to the conviction of Mr. Marshall in a trial that stretched out for six months. It reports that the most contentious topic was a charge that Marshall had committed grand larceny by giving himself a retroactive $1 million raise. According to the Times, it was Bump that swayed the jury toward conviction on that count:

“One juror, Philip Bump, a freelance consultant for labor unions, was good at math, and helped the panel sort out the ramifications of the raise, pointing out that it was an increase of more than 200 percent at once.”

The article created some chatter at this morning’s meeting of the Downtown Association. Tom McEnery, a frequent target of Bump/Revealed’s nastiness, compared Bump’s sudden reappearance to a game of “Where’s Waldo.”

“It’s like suddenly discovering that Rod Blogojavich is running a deli in Cupertino,” he said, adding that Mr. Marshall’s attorneys might be interested to learn that this key juror was “ethically challenged.”

SJI published a piece in late July naming Bump as the author of San Jose Revealed. A few days later, Merc columnist Scott Herhold published a painstakingly detailed piece comparing Bump’s writing from his own blog with the posts on San Jose Revealed. Herhold, too, concluded that Bump was the writer.

One week later, SJI and Metro published an investigative piece showing the suspiciously cozy financial relationship between Bump’s employer, Working Partnerships USA, and the South Bay Labor Council. The piece quoted from documents proving that the vast majority of SBLC’s revenue comes directly from Working Partnerships, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3). It also quoted from an IRS code stating that “no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation.”

The SJI/Metro piece also noted that WPUSA “receives funding from foundations such as the Packard Foundation ($50,000 in 2008), the Hewlett Foundation ($125,000 in 2005) and the Irvine Foundation, which on March 9, 2009 announced a $450,000 grant to enable WPUSA ‘to facilitate participation of diverse residents in decision making on local and state budget issues and governance reform topics.’”

San Jose Revealed responded to the series of articles with a snarky denial. But it went dark the following day, apparently for good.

Perhaps the mathematically astute Mr. Bump didn’t like the way the numbers added up.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.


  1. Pardon my ignorance, but…

    Aside from the little blurb above re Mr. Bump, I have never heard of the guy.  Yet, some people seem to feel that he is somehow important, or else we wouldn’t have this post.

    Who IS this guy, what are his credentials, who are his clients other than WPUSA & perhaps the SBLC, and most importantly, why should any of us care about this guy who is now apparently in NY and has served on a civil jury there?

    Some folks clearly have a hard on over this guy, and I’d like to know why.


  2. Editor,
    I think that until you have absolute proof that Bump ran San Jose Revealed; the correct term needed here is “allegedly.”

    My personal observation ONLY: Answer: pissing match between blog owners, and revenge!

  3. Yes, when a blog purporting to be a news site quotes somebody calling someone “ethically challenged” simply due to suspicions that the latter person ran a blog that criticized the former, that is sinking to a new low.  And somehow, serving on a jury in NYC and getting quoted in the NY Times about it is wrong?  How insecure must McEnery be that he needs to make Metro/SJI his attack dog and send them on this witch hunt?

  4. Bump’s continual use of Twitter, blogging, contacting New York Times stock holders mentioning he was involved in “things in New York where I need to focus (i.e. Astor trial no doubt)”  needs to investigated.  The judge specifically banned the use of the Internet and Blackberrys.

    Bump was in constant touch with the Internet.

    • Um, Bump contacted stock holders of the NY Times?  You mean he called you and you own some shares?  Wow, James, you think highly of yourself.  The fact that he called you when you were lambasting him on your blog (reached out to you to make peace, which you refused) and he coincidentally was serving on a jury of interest to the news media, makes a case for a mistrial?  Wow, you have made bizarre arguments before, but this may be the wackiest of them all.

      I imagine the jury instructions were to not read internet news about the case, but not that he couldn’t be on the internet in his free time.

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