Representatives are prohibited from posting their political beliefs on their official social media accounts, but that didn’t stop many from doing so after Mitt Romney announced his vice presidential pick last week.
A handful of Congressional members broke ethics rules last week when they tweeted about the Republican vice presidential nominee. So maybe that’s why Paul Ryan hasn’t mentioned that on his official account…
While Ryan has stayed clean, many of his fellow House members were backtracking on Twitter soon after the announcement of Mitt Romney’s running mate. That’s because many used their official congressional accounts, and Congressional rules state political opinions or thoughts can’t be shared. I guess no one told these Republicans and Democrats.
“Wait a minute! Are there black people in Va? Guess just not w Romney Ryan! At least not seeing us. We know who’s got our back & we have his,” wrote Democratic Rep. Donna Christensen.
All of the tweets were caught and preserved by the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops, a site that preserves deleted tweets from politicians. According to Gregory Abbott, a spokesperson for the House Administration Committee, all of the deleted tweets were written in violation of House rules.
“Anything affiliated with a [political] race should not be official content,” he told the Sunlight Foundation.
But it appears one Representative could care less about rules and Twitter. Christensen, who represents the Virgin Islands, has been tweeting up a storm about Romney’s pick. Although her first tweet was deleted, perhaps for being too confrontational, Christensen mentioned the Republican ticket three times last week, including one retweet.
“Well they finally have the #Rep team – Romney/Ryan & we have a clear choice – forward or backward. Let’s go forward w #Dems & Pres #Obama,” she wrote on Aug. 11. She continued later that day with, “Romney and Ryan want to ‘take our Country back’-ward. WE ARE NOT GOING BACK!”
Unlike Christensen, Ellmers was sorry for the mistake. A spokesperson said it was done in the “heat of the moment” and that the tweet should have been sent via her personal account.
Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said a member of Congress tweeting about political matters isn’t the worst thing he or she can do, but it isn’t acceptable.
“It is fine for members to express their political views on social media. They just shouldn’t do it on their official accounts,” she told the Sunlight Foundation.
Photo via Mitt Romney/Facebook
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