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Deletes of the Week: Jeb Bush joins big league, Politwoops

Thursday, May 14, 2015 22:10
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(Before It's News)

By The Sunlight Foundation

Jeb Bush speaking to a crowd with his hands up.

(Photo credit: Gabe Skidmore/Flickr)

On Wednesday, former governor Jeb Bush, R-Fla., uttered the magic words: “I’m running for president in 2016.” The statement, recorded by NBC News, is enough for Politwoops to deem him an official presidential candidate and track deletions from his campaign Twitter account. It is strangely fitting that a spoken slip-up opens the door to the archive of digital slip-ups.

Bush later attempted to walk back the comments, but much like the deletions stored in Politwoops, the statement was publicly made and recorded. When Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, uttered those four magic words, my colleague Bill Allison explained, “Under our campaign laws, this subjects the senator to restrictions and obligations expected of all candidates running for federal office.” Before Bush’s unintentional announcement, the Federal Election Commission received a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center that he was running and should be following the rules for candidates’ fundraising.

While it remains to be seen whether the FEC will enforce the presidential campaign laws on Bush following his statement, it’s a black and white issue in Politwoops: You go from likely candidate to candidate when you say, “I’m running for president.” Politwoops, the archive of deleted tweets from U.S. politicians, follows the president, vice president, members of Congress, governors and anyone who is running for those positions.

If you notice any politicians that Politwoops should be following that aren’t in the system or another suspected presidential candidate utters the magic words, feel free to email us.

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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