Keith Ellison is being accused of violating a House rule that bars members of Congress from using their official Twitter accounts to promote any leadership p[ositions they are seeking, like becoming the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee. A position Ellison is currently vying for.
According to the Washington Free Beacon:
Ellison has been using his verified Twitter account to campaign for DNC chair, which sources argue is in violation of rules stating that official accounts cannot be used for campaign purposes.
Ellison’s office maintains that the lawmaker used his personal account to send these tweets and does not maintain an official presence on Twitter. However, Ellison’s account links to his official congressional website, and the campaign tweets have been embedded on the official site, blurring the lines between the lawmaker’s official and personal social media worlds.
Congressional insiders told the Washington Free Beacon that Ellison’s tweets represent a “clear-cut violation of House rules” governing social media use.
“This is a pretty clear-cut violation of House rules. He’s using his official Twitter account to promote his bid for a political leadership position on a website that solicits donations and is paid for by his campaign,” said one source apprised on the matter. “I suppose it’s only appropriate that the leading candidate to run a corrupt organization like the DNC is wrongly using taxpayer dollars to fund his candidacy.”
There is a simple way for Rep. Ellison to rectify this situation: create a new Twitter account that clearly states it’s for official purposes. Plenty of members of Congress do so. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ellison’s own House leader, Nancy Pelosi, both notably maintain both.
A quick user search shows that at the time of publication such Twitter handles as @TheRepEllison and @RepEllisonOfficial are available should the congressman decide to do the intelligent thing.
Of course, the only issue with doing that is that it would be a tacit admission that Rep. Ellison has been violating the House rules. And that, as we know, is a bigger no-no than violating actual, written rules.