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Furthermore …

Ritz
Lawson

Secretary of state’s message-control lesson

Public officials are eagerly jumping into social media as a way to communicate with the public.

But some lessons in the proper use of Facebook, Twitter and more seem to be in order for at least some of them.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson is the latest officeholder to have stumbled.

A tweet posted on her office’s official Twitter account last week invited people to “please follow my campaign @VoteConnie for updates on our 2014 race!” and to “like” the candidate on her Facebook page.

Lawson denied she posted the message.

A spokeswoman said it was posted from her office by a staff member.

State Democratic Party officials were quick to note that campaigning with taxpayer resources is not allowed.

“The only reason Connie Lawson became secretary of state is because the guy Republicans elected to take the job was convicted of felony voter fraud and removed from office,” said a Democratic Party news release, in reference to former GOP official Charlie White. “You’d think they’d be a little more careful about who’s doing what with which taxpayer resources.”

In February, some Republicans were angered when a message was posted on a Twitter account used by Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz’s campaign.

It was critical of House Education Committee Chairman Robert Behning.

Ritz isn’t the state’s top election official and the account was a campaign account, but she quickly explained that she wasn’t responsible for the message.

In both cases, a push for social media outreach got ahead of common sense.

In Lawson’s case, however, taxpayers and voters might want to keep a closer watch on who’s minding the secretary of state’s message.

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