It’s time for a rare multi-week roundup to highlight some deletions from U.S. politician archived by our Politwoops project, which the Washington Post recently called, “an invaluable accountability resource.”
We start with the deleted photo seen to the right of a majestic and mysterious equine getting a careful brushing from Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas. The tweet included the message, “Really exciting to spend my morning learning about Veterans Equine Assisted Therapy at Melinda Russell’s horse ranch” and his account did not respond to a request for an explanation. It was deleted after being public for 18 hours and the photo or message never reappears on his feed. Update at the end of the post.
The campaign account for Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., deleted a retweet of someone asking him, the Tea Party Express and his opponent, “Why should he debate a racist and a fool.” The retweet was deleted after just one minute, but Politwoops archived the tweet which became a link included in a number of tweets from his opposition. Dr. Milton Wolf, the candidate facing Roberts in the race, who said “The GOP cannot survive the kind of race baiting we saw in #MSsen and now in #KSsen. #RememberMississippi and fight!” and the Tea Party Express account that pinned a tweet saying, “DISGUSTING: Looks like @patroberts2014 is following the Thad Cochran playbook & race baiting against @miltonwolfmd.” According to a post by Twitchy, “A staffer for Sen. Roberts pointed out that the Senator didn’t personally retweet the race-baiting insults, and claimed that the retweet was merely the result of ‘fumble fingers.'”
Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Penn., shared the photo seen to the left with the message, “Just shared a photo #throughglass.” The photo of an empty room with elaborate wallpaper appears to be sent through the $1,500 Google Glass device and was deleted after being public on his account for 11 minutes. Another politician jumping on the trendy bandwagon was the official account for Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who mistook the parody account @GOPTeens for an account representing Republican youth and deleted a tweet saying, “Thanks for following me @GOPteens; You are the future. #GOPTeens.”
In other recent notable deletions, the official account of Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., deleted two tweets following Germany’s bruising World Cup victory over Brazil that said, “If my German father was alive to watch yesterday’s #WorldCup match – he’d be going nuts now waiting for next victim!” The campaign account for Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., deleted 10 tweets ranging from 3 hours to 60 weeks old and ignored multiple requests for comment. The deletions included a few retweets of her official account, mentions of the IRS investigation and a record of meeting Marcus Luttrell, a former United States Navy SEAL whose story was the inspiration for the 2013 film Lone Survivor.
Finally, this week we end with a clear example of someone else utilizing the Twitter account of a member of Congress. The official account for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., deleted a tweet after just 56 seconds that said “Enjoying the vacay and realizing I have no idea what I’m doing in the game of golf” and included the photo to the right. Be sure you’re logged into the right Twitter account and have a great weekend!