“The tweets they prefer you wouldn’t see” is how the watchdog Sunlight Foundation describes Politwoops,a project that archives tweets deleted by politicians, and just such a tweet has turned into a headache for 8th district U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan.
The drama began Friday evening when Nolan responded to a tweet by U.S. Rep. Trent Franks criticizing Pres. Obama for statements made during a 2001 interview. “Says Constitution imperfect document reflecting fundamental flaw of the country that continues,” Franks tweeted. Nolan fired back this gem:
Nolan deleted the tweet eight minutes later, but it was captured by Politwoops and caught the attention of Republican challenger Stewart Mills. On Monday morning, the Mills campaign issued a press release calling on Nolan to explain the tweet:
“Rick Nolan needs to explain what exactly he meant when he called the Constitution an imperfect document on Friday,” said Mills. “As a Member of Congress, he took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, but now he’s showing his true colors. For hundreds of years, countless Americans have fought and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our way of life. They stood up to defend not only their country, but their Constitution and all it stands for. The Eighth Congressional District needs someone who will respect the principles our country was founded on, not someone who thinks that foundation is imperfect.”
Congressman Nolan has not yet issued a statement or responded to our request for comment. But City Pages reports a Nolan source suggested the tweet may have been deleted because it contained a spelling error or was made by an unauthorized user.
This deleted tweet containing mistakes and reeking with attitude created a furor, but previous tweets that were not deleted raised a few eyebrows for similar reasons. For example:
Nolan repeated a media spelling error and didn’t recognize that ‘piece meal’ is one word:
Nolan sponsored a bill facilitating a land swap between Carlton County and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, but still didn’t get the Band’s name correct:
Nolan is responsible for all of his official communications. The Sunlight Foundation created Politwoops to hold politicians accountible for their public statements and accountibility is indeed the issue here.
This story will be updated if Rep. Nolan responds to our request for comment.
An earlier version of the story omitted the reference to City Pages