Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lawson Denies Making Campaign-Related Tweet On Official Twitter Account

Connie Lawson campaign tweet (copy)
This is an example of just how silly and sometimes risky social media postings are becoming for public officials. Secretary of State Connie Lawson has an official Twitter account for her office. On Friday, someone posted a tweet asking to follow her campaign at her campaign Twitter and Facebook pages. After Democrats squawked that she was illegally using her office for her campaign, the post was deleted. Her spokesperson initially claimed Lawson posted it using her iPhone, but Lawson is now denying she posted the tweet according to the Northwest Indiana Times' Dan Carden:
Secretary of State Connie Lawson admitted Saturday her official Twitter account was used for campaign purposes Friday, but Lawson — contradicting her spokeswoman — insisted she didn't do it.
"I did not type, post or tweet anything that came out yesterday," Lawson told The Times. "It was not me; it did not come from my iPhone."
The Republican said she was out of the Statehouse on Friday and does not yet know who from her office issued the political message on the "@SecretaryLawson" account, which Lawson said she considers official and not personal.
"I plan to get to the bottom of that" during a Monday staff meeting, she said . . .
State ethics rules prohibit executive branch officials and employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or acting in an official capacity.
Lawson said Saturday she called her office after discovering the message on her Twitter feed Friday and ordered it removed. She said she did not know why Kroeger thought Lawson posted the message.
Twitter and Facebook accounts cost nothing to maintain. Should they be considered state property governed by the state ethics rules?  Does it matter whether you used a personal computer or iPhone to post something on a social media account you hold how to represent your official office? I suppose those are questions the state ethics commission will face sooner, if not later.

1 comment:

CircleCityScribe said...

...sounds like felony Official Misconduct to me. I hope this is reported to the Government Corruption Hotline at the Grand Jury's office 327-2700.