Why Campaign Staffers Should Avoid Twitter Wars

Twitter wasn't a big deal during the 2008 elections. Most congressmen started accounts in 2009, so 2010 is our first election year with "Twitter controversies." Today, for example: a revenge-seeking Republican operative tweeted Democratic staffers' home addresses. Really now?

The race in Virginia's 5th congressional district is one of the tightest in the nation. Freshman Democrat Tom Perriello, who rode the Democrats' 2008 wave to prevail in a traditionally Republican district, is facing GOP state senator Robert Hurt. Perriello recently went up with an attack ad against Hurt, which a Hurt spokesperson described as "desperate" in a tweet. A Perriello staffer responded by calling this Hurt spokesperson a "carpetbagger," which forced an NRCC spokesperson to chime in by going completely insane.

That "carpetbagger" epithet drew the ire of Andy Sere, the National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman charged with handling Virginia races. "@VotePerriello you're pathetic," Sere wrote on his Twitter feed. Sere then proceeded to tweet the home addresses of several Perriello campaign aides from Arlington, Richmond, New York and elsewhere. "[Y]ou should fire your out-of-district staff or else everyone will think you're a hypocrite, Tom," Sere wrote.

So this is what the campaign kids have been up to on their computer program. Meanwhile, Virginia's fifth congressional district has an unemployment rate hovering around 20%.