Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior campaign adviser to both Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has admitted he’s behind a Twitter feed that has been mocking Democratic Senate candidate Alan Khazei.
The “CrazyKhazei” Twitter account is a parody of Khazei’s inner thoughts, in a vein similar to that of the “MayorEmanuel” account, an oft-profane mockery of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during his campaign for that office.
In an email to The Boston Globe, Fehrnstrom admitted he was behind the tweets, but didn’t apologize for them.
“It was my Twitter acccount,” he told the paper. “Sometimes we take our politics too seriously, and this was my way of lightening things up. As they say in politics, if you can’t stand the tweet, get out of the kitchen.”
Fehrnstrom inadvertently outed himself Tuesday evening by posting what read like a “CrazyKhazei” tweet to his personal Twitter account.
“I’m excited to announce that Cindy Creem is the newest hire at my charity, Be the Change,” read the tweet posted by Fehrnstrom on his @ericfehrn account at 8:05 p.m. The tweet seemingly plays off recent news that Khazei hired his brother Lance to work for his charity, and that Creem — a Massachusetts state senator — announced her endorsement of Khazei in the Democratic primary.
The tweet was quickly removed, but not before being retweeted by a number of Massachusetts Democrats. The liberal blog BlueMassGroup, which was one of the first to notice the Fehrnstorm tweet, has a screen shot of it. Experts on social media note how easy it is for users with multiple Twitter accounts to post to the wrong usernames.
Fehrnstrom initially did not respond to media inquiries about the tweet, although the “CrazyKhazei” account seemed to acknowledge the controversy in its own tongue-in-cheek way.
“I just googled @ericfehrn and that guy is a loser,” a tweet posted Wednesday morning read. The “CrazyKhazei” account also thanked the BlueMassGroup for “all the new follows.”
The Khazei campaign reacted angrily to the allegations, calling on Brown to denounce the tactics, close the Twitter account and apologize.
“Instead of launching anonymous personal attacks against Alan Khazei, Senator Scott Brown and his team should focus their time and energy on growing our economy and putting Massachusetts citizens back to work,” Khazei spokeswoman Emily Cherniack said.
In addition to Fehrnstrom, Rob Willington, another Brown staffer, has been implicated in the “CrazyKhazei” scandal, according to the Globe. WHOIS domain-name records show that Willington registered CrazyKhazei.com in January.
As of press time, Fehrnstrom had not tweeted again from his personal account. The Brown campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Brown’s seat is a top Democratic target this cycle, and Khazei is one of several Democrats running for it.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has jumped on the story. Spokesman Matt Cantor has used his Twitter account to note coverage of it with tweets like: “Busy busy day at @EricFehrn's office.”
— This story was originally posted at 3:23 p.m. and updated at 6:14 p.m.