Secretary of state Twitter post on state account urges followers to support her election

Lawson, aides at odds over who initiated tweet

INDIANAPOLIS - What may have been a misdirected Twitter message has Secretary of State Connie Lawson in hot water.

Democrats said Lawson, or someone in her office, used a state account to try and round up support for Lawson's re-election. 

The Secretary of State's office is keeping a closed mouth on the Twitter incident, which Democrats said violates ethics laws.

The tweet that started it all is a message from Lawson asking Hoosiers to please follow her campaign @VoteConnie for updates on the 2014 race.

That's when her term is up.

It also asked followers to please Like her campaign Facebook page.

The problem is the Tweet came out on @SecretaryLawson , which is her official state Twitter account.

Lawson admitted to a Lake County newspaper that the account was used for political purposes but that she didn't do it.

However, her office spokesperson, Valerie Kroeger, told the paper she deleted the tweet but that Lawson had posted it from her iPhone.

"The right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing.  It shows a lack of accountability when there was a dispute over who Tweeted and whether the account was official or whether it wasn't.  And so I think our message here is that this is the party of...her predecessor was convicted of voting fraud.  And this shows some lack of transparency or accountability and being able to follow ethics laws and election law," said John Zody, Indiana Democratic Chairman.

Kroeger said Lawson wasn't available to answer questions Monday, and Kroeger declined to be interviewed on camera.

But Kroeger did say it had been determined that a staff member, she didn't say who, had tweeted the message.

The Twitter incident follows right on the heels of another dispute between Lawson and Indiana Democrats.

In that dispute, she rejected their complaint that Marion County Republicans had violated the law by auctioning off a TV at a gay pride event at which they were also trying to register people to vote. 

Lawson was appointed Secretary of State by former Gov. Mitch Daniels after her predecessor, Charlie White, was removed from office after his convictions for voter fraud, perjury, and theft.

Follow Norman Cox on Twitter: @normancox6

 

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