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The Week on Politwoops: Marijuana, mix-ups and messaging

Friday, February 20, 2015 15:35
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(Before It's News)

By The Sunlight Foundation

A marijuana legalization poster hangs on a lamp post in Washington, D.C.

A marijuana legalization poster hangs on a lamp post in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit:

On this week’s roundup of notable deleted tweets archived on Politwoops, we look at a politicians trying to hide a message, subtly changing a message and mixing up which account to share a message.

We start in D.C., with the official Twitter account of Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser that deleted a tweet after just 31 second saying, “On Initiative 71: It is my job to carry out the will of the people and I will do so.” Initiative 71 is a D.C. ballot measure passed in November that allows possession of two ounces of marijuana and up to three plants. While more than 70 percent of voters approved it and it’s scheduled to take effect later this month, questions of legality and enforcement remain.

No other statement regarding the initiative or marijuana appeared on Bowser’s Twitter account and it did not respond to requests for comment. This is not the first time Bowser deleted a clear statement from her Twitter account. Earlier this year, Politwoops caught a deleted announcement about her intentions to run for mayor again.

Earlier this week, a CSX train derailed causing an explosion and spill of crude oil in West Virginia. The official account of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., tweeted, “My office is prepared to assist West Virginians in need during this difficult time,” but inexplicably deleted that message after 11 hours and replaced it with a version specifying, “My office is ready to assist West Virginians impacted by the train derailment in Fayette County.” Her account ignored requests for comment about the change:

A comparison of a deleted tweet with the replacement put on the official feed of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V.

The official account for Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., deleted a rather unusual retweet that simply said, “Aw bullshit.” The reaction to a Duke v. UNC basketball game was removed after just 39 seconds and retweeted again from Peters’ personal account. Mixing up accounts is a common error to see staffers make, but members are humans, too; Peters confirmed the mix-up on Twitter.

Another example of the aforementioned staffer mix-up occurred this week, where it seemed like the campaign account for Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., deleted a tweet saying “Rudy Giuliani loves lamp.” However, a little sleuthing turned up this account tweeting the same thing at the same time. The tweet from Titus was deleted after just 10 seconds.

As always, please let us know if you find any accounts Politwoops is missing. Have a great weekend!

The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike.


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