State Republican party condemns rogue Twitter account *UPDATED*

State Republican party condemns rogue Twitter account *UPDATED*-attachment0

All images are screen shots taken of Twitter posts.

Contentious messages from a “WNC GOP” Twitter account are attracting media attention from across the state, leading the North Carolina Republican Party to distance itself from the anonymous group.

A recent tweet from @wncgop calling Asheville Democratic legislator Susan Fisher a “shrew” and “an argument for eugenics” was covered July 29 by WCNC in Charlotte.

And in recent weeks, the account has also called Planned Parenthood a “meat grinder” akin to Nazis, declared that an Asheville abortion clinic is an “African American slaughterhouse”  and asserted that the slave character played by Samuel L. Jackson in Django Unchained is “the personification of Black Democratic Leadership in N.C. today.”  In addition to causing heated local debate on Twitter, WWNC Radio Host Pete Kaliner has discussed the issue on his program.  (See a sample of screen shots of some of the statements below. More on Flickr here.)

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Asked about those statements, Mike Rusher, chief of staff and communications director for the N.C. Republican Party, reports that the Twitter outlet is not speaking on behalf of the party.

“We don’t condone any of the tweets that you’ve brought to my attention,” he says. “It’s not OK for anyone to put that type of inflammatory statement out there, whether they’re a GOP group, a Democratic group or not.”

Rusher says that he only became aware of the @wncgop group in recent days, noting that its biographical description now makes clear that “they are not affiliated with the North Carolina Republican Party.”

However, that disclaimer was only added to the @wncgop biography in the last week. For most of the time since the account went online last year, it simply described itself as “Helping WNC Republicans get elected one Tweet at a time,” leading to confusion over its affiliation with the party.

Original bio statement:
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Revised bio statement:
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Rusher says he didn’t see that original description, but reiterated that the group is “not officially affiliated with any official local, state or national party organization.” 

“If we encounter any username on Twitter that is essentially impersonating the North Carolina Republican Party, we will take appropriate action,” Rusher warns.

Rusher also reports that he’s not yet been able to determine who exactly is behind the group. However, he says the state party organizes itself by congressional district, county and precinct – not by geographical region like the @wncgop implies.

Meanwhile, Nathan West, communications director of the Buncombe County Republican Party, says he doesn’t know who runs the @wncgop handle, but reports that “they are not affiliated with the BCGOP.” West is in charge of a team of people who administer its @bcgop Twitter account.

However, on several occasions over the last year, the @wncgop and @bcgop have tweeted the exact same messages concurrently, making it likely that someone had access to both accounts simultaneously.

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No one responded from @wncgop to a private message from Xpress seeking comment and asking who is responsible for the account.

UPDATE (Aug. 1):

Soon after this article was published, the @bcgop Twitter account posted the below messages:

BCGOPResponds2

Update (Aug. 2):

As of Aug. 2, the @wncgop Twitter account changed its name to “@wncDISAVOWED,” changed its profile picture to a photo of Rep. Susan Fisher, and erased its biographical statement completely. It is continuing to post a variety of incendiary political messages. The account posted no explanation of the changes, but did remark: “Now that we’ve been disavowed, think of all the fun we can have!” before declaring that “abortion is the most effective means of Democratic voter suppression we have…” Here’s a sample of screen shots taken Aug. 2:

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Disavowed

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24 thoughts on “State Republican party condemns rogue Twitter account *UPDATED*

  1. Jake

    Unsurprisingly reminiscent of last year’s “hijacking” of Moffitt’s account. ‘Nuff said.

  2. Jubilantly

    Buff said is well said Jake. This is modus opera do for the tea party. They have this in your face style and then try to disown and deny when their heated rhetoric exposes their freakshow followers

  3. bsummers

    …says he doesn’t know who runs the @wncgop handle, but reports that “they are not affiliated with the BCGOP.” West is in charge of a team of people who administer its @bcgop Twitter account.

    Hate to break it to you Nathan, but it looks pretty clear to everyone now, that this person who you swear is not a part of your “team”, is in fact, a part of your “team”.

    • Nathan West

      Check you email Barry. Im not sure when Jake is stating i said this but I haven’t talked to jake in a long time about any of this so he must be using old information.

    • bsummers

      I quoted the article. I don’t think that when you spoke to Jake is terribly relevant. The fact is that the simultaneous tweets shows that at that time, it was someone who was on your @bcgop team – that is relevant. Your email to me, which you referred to, is more explicit:

      “In the past we have had more than one person with access to the @BCGOP twitter account and some also had access to @WNCGOP we removed those users quite some time ago and these simultaneous tweets that are noted in the article were also from that period of time.”

      So, I accept that the person who runs @wncgop is probably no longer officially affiliated with you, but it’s clear that you know who they are. The response at @wncgop is just to laugh this off & keep right on going. If they continue their offensive activities with no consequences, and you sit silent knowing that you could expose them, then you are tarred with the same brush.

      Sounds unfair, I know. But it reminds of the joke about the old woman and the snake: “Look, b****. You knew I was a snake when you brought me in here.”

  4. Ivanrich

    Rightwing radio hack Pete Kaliner states in a link in this very article that Nathan West is “The person who runs the twitter feed of WNC GOP.” Meanwhile he says he doesn’t know who runs it? Somebody’s lying…..

    • bsummers

      To be fair, if you go all the way down to the bottom of that Kaliner piece, he issues a correction & apology. He says that he got it wrong – that Nathan West says that he runs @bcgop, not @wncgop. I tend to believe him.

  5. Dionysis

    Whoops, caught again; whoops, let the phoney denials begin. After all, there might be a few still out there gullible enough to buy it.

  6. D. Dial

    See now, this is what happens when you play both ends against the middle.

  7. RavenRavinoff

    So…

    The person behind @WNCGOP was also behind @BCGOP at one time. Nathan West, the sole person currently behind the @BCGOP account, knows who that person is.

    It’s currently common knowledge that the person behind @WNCGOP is Michael Muller, employee of Representative Tim Moffitt. In fact, Michael Muller is paid to run Moffitt’s official twitter account. If he’s getting paid to run that account, and is running the @WNCGOP account at the same time, isn’t it fair to say that Tim Moffitt is funding the @WNCGOP account?

    If so, seeing what has been tweeted from that account, that’s big news.

    I believe that Mr. West should verify @WNCGOP’s identity and Mr Moffitt should state whether or not that person is in his employ.

  8. bsummers

    Giving Nathan the benefit of the doubt, on his claim that it’s been some time since Jake last spoke to him, let’s come right out & ask him in the light of these new developments:

    Mr. West, do you know who the person or persons behind @wncgop are?

  9. Dionysis

    It seems that whoever is behind this, and possibly people who may know the source, have decided to maintain silence. It appears that Barry Summers’ direct question will remain ignored.

    Should the identify end up being revealed, I’ll chip in on renting a billboard to show his or her picture, along with their quotes.

  10. D. Dial

    Timing on some of those tweet are just too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence. Just saying.

  11. Dionysis

    “Nothing to see here”

    I think there is something to see here, which is yet another example of ad hominem attacks made on behalf of the GOP and a pronounced lack of honesty and integrity by whoever is behind it, and/or by those who know who is behind it but remain silent, while issuing weasel words to try and divert attention.

  12. bsummers

    It seems inescapable that Nathan West and the BCGOP know who @wncdisavowed is, and they are covering for him. He used to be part of your “team”, and now he’s gone “rogue”, and saying things that you “distance yourself from”, but you still won’t name him while he viciously and unfairly attacks women, minorities, and Democrats for your benefit.

    Sorry, Nathan, but you guys deserve the blame for all the crap that’s going to follow.

    • Dionysis

      Not to beat it to death, but as has been said, ‘politics is a contact sport’, and attacks like these are not new or shocking. But regardless of which side they come from, they coursen and sully political discourse.

      If the person responsible simply said ‘I did it; it was in poor taste and showed poor judgment, and I apologize’ then that would probably allow it to blow over.

      But I doubt it will happen in this case.

  13. D. Dial

    Indeed Dionysis,
    Had the responsible individual(s) manned up this would have most likely blown over. But now it has painted the whole of GOPers with a misogynists taint, that will be had to live down.

  14. Funny what brings out the locals for a congenial chatfest.

    Dear MX, got anything on Gordon Smith’s website Scrutiny Hooligan (or not his, or maybe, but not)? Or anything on BlueprintNC?

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