Sunday, October 25, 2015

Who are CA State Assembly Members Blocking on Twitter?


Last month I submitted a request to the CA State Assembly requesting to see the block/mute list of a majority of members who maintain Twitter accounts.  I received the following response a few days ago:







I find the state's response curious for two reasons.  The first is that they take the view of what is a "public record" based on if the account is maintained using legislative resources versus taking that same law (CA Gov. Code Sec. 9072(c)) and realizing that when an elected official tweets about their public office then that account becomes public record.  To argue otherwise, would make it acceptable for an elected official to privately gain from their public position.

The second problem I have with the state's response is that they let Twitter's terms of service trump your First Amendment rights to free speech.  Honestly, this makes me more angry than confusion over the concept of defining a public record.  I have more to say on this issue, but I'll save it for another blog.

Now, let's evaluate a few of the block lists.  Keep in mind that the comments below do not represent my own political views.

@toniatkins CA ASM Toni Atkins
  • @TonyLandis4U dropped the F-bomb in a tweet to Asm. Atkins, but other people have used "strong language" in their tweets without being blocked:


  • @MomsGarage is being blocked for nothing more than the fact that she is a political opponent.





@NCamposAssembly  CA ASM Nora Campos
  • @sanjoseinside is being blocked for nothing more than retweeting news articles about Asm. Campos.
  • @ssharmon may have been blocked for his article:

@asmMelendez  CA ASM Melissa Melendez
  • @toni9jean was blocked for the following comment:
  • Asm. Melendez blocked @slackadjuster after engaging in the following conversation with him: 


@kevinmullin CA ASM Kevin Mullin




Let's now take a look at some of the personal Twitter accounts.

@AsmLuisAlejo



Here are some of the public tweets Asm. Alejo has posted to his private account:













@mikegatto


Here are some of the public tweets Asm. Gatto has posted to his private account:










@PhilTing



Here are some of the public tweets Asm. Ting has posted to his private account:









@MarcSteinorth


Here are some of the public tweets Asm. Steinorth has posted to his private account: