Letter to the editor submitted by Dan Quigley, Greenwich RTC Chair
As Sunday unfurled itself into another lazy, hazy day, I noticed that Facebook was lighting up with comments about some mysterious Tweets purportedly sent by a Political Action Committee or PAC, supporting Ryan Fazio’s State Senate Campaign. As RTC Chair, I looked into the matter immediately with both skepticism and curiosity. It was instantly apparent that the Tweets in question were being generated from a fake Twitter account, pretending to be a PAC, speaking on behalf of Ryan Fazio.
The Tweets from the fake ”PAC” account ranged from horrific and offensive to just plain dumb. None of them were helpful to Mr Fazio’s efforts.
One proclaimed “Ryan is smart, handsome and healthy. His teeth are fantastic. We WILL take CT back through tax reform and new, beautiful statues.”
And another read “The Dems want to make CT a sanctuary state for minorities, terrorists and sex workers. Ryan Fazio wants to cut taxes. The choice is clear.”
Puzzled by the blanket inappropriateness and completely bizarre nature of the Tweets, I immediately sent candidate Fazio a text to which he responded with typical alacrity “It’s a fake Twitter account. We’ve been working with Twitter to have them take it down.”
Because the fake account had only 3 followers, Mr Fazio’s campaign chose to pursue the matter directly with Twitter and not draw any unnecessary attention to it which could have had the opposite effect.
With that settled, I scanned Facebook and began responding to individuals who had taken offense. Almost everyone accepted my explanation and denouncement of the Tweets. Even an ardent Democrat and Facebook pal took the step to remove the post from her Facebook feed. This was a genuine gesture of goodwill not often found in today’s day and age and I thank her once again.
Then I saw the message sent out by State Senator Kasser. Apparently, Ms Kasser reacted instantly to the fake Tweets, blasting an email to thousands of residents and posting the same message in her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Her message condemned the Tweets while portraying them as real messages from the Fazio campaign. In her statement Ms Kasser
compared the language used in the fake Tweets with that of Nazis and the architects of the Rwandan genocide of the 1990’s. Did I mention she also sent her message to local synagogues for maximum impact? Then, incredibly she used this as an opportunity to solicit donations for her campaign. Who thinks like that?!?
I would also like to make it clear that neither Ryan Fazio, the Fazio Campaign nor myself believe that State Senator Kasser had anything to do with the creation of this fake account. We do however believe she reacted to it in a wholly impulsive and inappropriate manner.
While I agree that what was said in the fabricated Tweets was inappropriate and offensive, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to have figured out after one read that these Tweets were not generated by anyone acting in candidate Fazio’s best interests. If Ms Kasser had any sense of
decorum she would have had her campaign reach out to Mr Fazio’s campaign to fact check.
Unfortunately Ms Kasser acted before she thought. Impulsive behavior like this is commonplace in Hartford. Ms Kasser seems to do it quite often.