Well, there’s one way to hurt your career: Liz Mair, a digital consultant for Governor Walker’s Our American Revival PAC, sent out multiple tweets that insulted the Iowa caucuses, the critical first-in-the-nation electoral contest in the upcoming Republican and Democratic presidential contests.
Here are three tweets she sent, back in January:
Unsurprisingly, the Walker campaign initially sought to distance itself from Mair’s tweets. Said Rick Wiley of the Walker campaign:
“Liz Mair was brought on to Our American Revival as an online consultant, not as a policy adviser. Governor Walker has had very substantive conversations with Iowans on issues important to them and will continue this dialogue through Our American Revival.”
As for the specific reference to ethanol subsidies:
“With regard to ethanol, [Governor Walker] has been clear he supports a phaseout of the existing mandate, but believes we have to do it responsibly.”
Conservatives and Republicans in Iowa called for her ouster, including the Chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. And yesterday, that’s exactly what they got, as Mair resigned from her post. She then took to Twitter to defend her tweets and actions.
As the Washington Post accurately points out, a similar incident happened to Governor Jeb Bush’s campaign, when Ethan Czahor was forced to resign after it emerged that he had sent a series of offensive tweets.
I can’t say I really understand what Mair was thinking here. If it’s even remotely possible that you will work for campaign, it’s pretty clear that you don’t insult the voters – or an entire state – which is critical to future success. This is doubly true when you are a political and social media consultant, someone who should really know better. More to the point, a consultant or staffer for a campaign will be assumed to be speaking on behalf of their employer, even though that may very well not be the case (as it almost certainly wasn’t here!). This article in the Des Moines register also notes that Democrats are having a field day with the issue and point out some of Mair’s more offensive tweets to the media.
This isn’t the first time that Governor Walker has been in the news for the social media activities of those who worked for him. In 2013, his campaign deputy finance director was fired after two tweets surfaced in which she threatened to “choke that illegal mex” and discussed a bus ride in which “Nobody speaks English & these ppl dont know how 2 control their kids #only3morehours #illegalaliens.” Additionally, in August 2013, Walker fired his Assistant Deputy Secretary for Transportation, Steven Krieser, after an online rant in which Krieser compared illegal immigrants to Satan.
You’d think someone on Governor Walker’s staff would have learned how to Google by now.
If you work for a campaign, fair or not, your social media use will be tied to your boss. As such, be cautious with what you tweet!
Like the blog? Get the book! Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.