We've all heard of fake Twitter account mimicking athletes and movie stars, but some Connecticut Republicans have created fake handles imitating Democrats in the state legislature.
This all according to the New York Times' "The Caucus." According to the report, the accounts' creators had their sites suspended by Twitter. The company suspended 33 such sites that used names such as "MeetRepDonovan" or MeetRepUrban."
It's possible that the idea sprouted from another Connecticut campaign. @PocketDodd, a Twitter account mimicking Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) was created by one of his Republican opponents, former Rep. Rob Simmons (R).
The account seldom tweets, but sends out messages such as "Sweetheart mortgage deal?! What sweetheart mortgage deal ??! Ooo, that sweetheart mortgage deal..."
Here's more from the Times:
When you try to [access the accounts], you get this message, one of our favorite Online “road signs:” Sorry, the account you were headed to has been suspended due to strange activity. Mosey along now, nothing to see here.
But according to Greg Hladky in the Hartford Advocate, no one has shut down the Web pages tied to those links, like this one that anyone might think belongs to Christopher G. Donovan, the speaker of the house. With no affiliation to Twitter, the Web sites say at the bottom that they are "Paid for and Authorized by the Connecticut Republican Party, Jerry Labriola Jr. Treasurer," but you have to get past a lot of negative information about Mr. Donovan before you get to that.
Today on Mediaite, Glynnis MacNicol writes that the practice is "What Dirty Campaigning Looks Like Today." To continue, that as elections get closer, more politicians, including those running for national office, will be trying to use the Internet to their advantage, some of them with fakery. “It is for certain not going to be the last. The real Internet election year is yet to come."
Chris Healy, the Connecticut Republican chairman, told [The Hartford] Advocate that the party has no intention of taking down the fake Web sites, in spite of complaints from Democrats:
"They didn’t think of it first, so that’s why they’re whining," Mr. Healy told him.
Jay Stevens on Left in the West calls Mr. Healy’s response "classy."
"Just as sleezy [sic] and lowdown as you’d expect," writes Paddy at Political Carnival.
Simmons has a similar website linked off the Pocket Dodd account, has a clear "Rob Simmons" banner on the top of the page.