Just when you think that politics (in this case, Connecticut Republican) canâ€™t get any dirtier, it was recently learned that in the Nutmeg State, Republicans set up as many as 33 fake Twitter accounts to Tweet false information in order to intentionally confound the electorate. You can read about it, here, here, and here.
According to The New Haven Advocate:
Barack Obama’s victory last year left many Republicans bemoaning their party’s ineptitude when it came to political exploitation of the Web. Democrats, they admitted, were far ahead in the art of using the Internet to seduce voters.
So Connecticut Republicans decided it was time to boldly forge into the 21st century, only to stumble when one of their decidedly deceptive experiments ran into trouble last week.
Twitter, Inc., shut down 33 fake Twitter accounts created by Republicans using the names of Democratic state representatives. The Republican scheme was to send out posts under the Democrats’ names mocking the liberal tax-and-spend bastards.
As if that wasnâ€™t bad enough, when confronted about the issue, the state’s Republican Chairman, Chris Healy responded by saying â€œIâ€™m not quite sure what the issue is, other than that the Democrats were successful in stopping free speech.â€ Free Speech? One has to wonder when impersonating another individual for the purposes of theft (yes, theft, the Republicans were clearly attempting to influence the electorate to think ill of Democrats, and (presumably) vote Republican, hence the theft of their vote.)
To any clear-minded individual this is fraud, libel, and quite possibly slander. For this canâ€™t be even remotely legal. Healy attempted to pass it off as parody, but this is the Republican State Committee, pulling this â€œprankâ€ not the SNL Players. Surely even they should be able to see the difference (you have to wonder if the Democrates had don this to them, instead of the other way around, you know that they would be crying out against the grevious harm done to them
What ever happened to â€œDo unto others…â€? I can only hope that this stung backfires on them (it was widely reported in the State), including this bit in The Hartford Courant (the oldest continuously-published newspaper in the country):
The website is www.meetchrisdonovan.com. Call it up and its home page displays a smiling picture of House Speaker Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, with President Barack Obama. Everything looks fine so far.
But then you start to wonder about it, as you start reading the “news” item next to it, headed “Mortgaging Connecticut’s Future.” Dated Sept. 26, it begins: “Last night Chris Donovan and the Democrats voted to borrow over $2.3 billion dollars to help pay the bills. The decision to borrow this money while there are still many meaningful cuts that can be made to our bloated state government is just plain wrong.”
Then scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you see that the site was “Paid for and Authorized by the Connecticut Republican Party, Jerry Labriola Jr. Treasurer.”
It doesn’t end there – because there’s a link from that web page to a GOP-created Twitter page for Donovan, at www.twitter.com/meetrepdonovan.
And there are similar web and/or Twitter pages created by the Republicans to criticize 34 other Democratic members of the state House of Represenatives.
Democrats don’t like any of it.
Further, one hopes that the Republicans not only the seats they were targeting, but any other elected positions for which they were running. This is just wrong.