Whoever runs Governor Rick Perry’s Twitter account has found themselves in hot water this week, after sending out an unauthorized tweet that incorrectly categorized the charges again the Governor while attacking the attorney who filed them.
This tweet appeared this past Sunday on Governor Perry’s Twitter account:
The woman in the picture is Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. As the tweet notes, she was arrested for DUI after being found with a .23 blood alcohol content – it’s hard to see because of the text, but in the picture, Lehmberg is surrounded by beer bottles. However, that’s where the accuracy of this post stops. Lehmberg did figure prominently into the scandal that has resulted in Governor Perry’s indictment: Perry had demanded her resignation, based on her DUI, and said he would veto the funding for the public corruption unit in Lehmberg’s office. Lehmberg didn’t resign and Perry did veto the funding, which has led to the charges filed against Governor Perry. However, Lehmberg did not actually indict the Governor: that was done by a grand jury, which was convened by a special prosecutor in Travis County, Texas.
The above tweet was quickly deleted. In a subsequent tweet, Governor Perry’s Twitter account described that the tweet was “unauthorized” and had been removed:
This is a total guess, but the “A2” text that accompanied the tweet leads me to believe that it was, in fact, meant as a draft or an option – A2 sounds like a code for a draft. It is worth noting that this wasn’t a simple retweet – someone went out of their way to actually attach the picture to a tweet, so this tweet was at least in the planning stages. If that was the case, here’s the lesson: Be careful that planning doesn’t get confused with execution! This isn’t the first time that a tweet like this has happened: One of my “favorite” bloopers happened to the South Korean city of Yokohama, Japan, which once accidentally tweeted that North Korea had launched a missile at the city. Turned out that the city was just preparing its tweets in the event of an emergency, like a missile attack, and someone accidentally hit send.
The tweet that from the Governor was certainly beneath the dignity of the office: It was mean spirited and inaccurate. To their credit, the Governor’s office handled the aftermath well: They noted that the tweet was unauthorized, had been deleted and was not “condoned” by Governor Perry.
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