Sunday, November 8, 2015

City of Sacramento Officials Unlawfully use Twitter

Back in September I submitted a public records request to the City of Sacramento asking to get a list of all the individuals blocked or muted on Twitter by the Mayor and Council Members.  On the 6th of October I received a response from the city informing me that most of the accounts in question were considered private.  You can read the full response here.

Below I've provided an analysis of four of these so-called private Twitter accounts that include those maintained by Council Members Angelique Ashby, Rick Jennings, Steve Hansen, and Eric Guerra.


Angelique Ashby is currently the District One City Council Member for the City of Sacramento, however, just two weeks after I received my response Ashby announced her plans to run for Mayor of Sacramento.  Ashby even used her Twitter account to make the following announcement:

I reviewed Ashby's tweets through the beginning of September 2015 and discovered that she uses her Twitter account to post tweets that are public (i.e. the tweet is related to her official position), campaign related, and retweets that promote religion.  Angelique Ashby's Twitter account is a great example of how the public/private boundaries easily get blurred When Public Officials Tweet.

Below are just a few examples I found of Ashby's public, campaign, and religious tweets.  You can click on the date to link to the tweet.

Public Tweets:

Campaign Tweets:

Religious Tweets:


I reviewed the tweets that Council Member Jennings posted through the month of September 2015 and found that, basically, ALL his posts relate to his elected office.  Here are a few:


I reviewed the tweets of Council Member Hansen through mid-October 2015 and found his posts consist of both public statements and campaign promotions:

Public Tweets:

 Hansen even uses Twitter to respond to constituents:

Campaign Tweets:


I reviewed the tweets of Council Member Guerra through the creation of his Twitter account and found his posts consist of both public statements and campaign promotions:

Public Tweets:

Guerra even uses Twitter to acknowledge support pertaining to his actions in public office from constituents:

Campaign Tweets:

Friday, November 6, 2015

CA Gov Jerry Brown Caught Using State Resources for Private Gain

A number of different news agencies began reporting yesterday about an incident involving CA Gov. Jerry Brown and his misuse of public resources for his own private gain.  He apparently had state officials research the geologic value of his family ranch to determine if there was any possibility for future oil drilling there.

I would like to add further evidence I uncovered of Gov. Brown's misuse of public resources.  Back in September I had submitted a public records request to see the list of individuals blocked or muted by the following Twitter accounts run by Gov. Brown's Office:





Gov. Brown's Office responded by saying that the @GovPressOffice account is public, but the@JerryBrownGov@SutterBrown, and @ColusaBrown accounts are private.  You can read the full response Gov. Brown's Office sent me here

However, I wanted to point out that I included the accounts of Gov. Brown's dogs, @SutterBrown and @ColusaBrown, because they are both linked to the Governor's Office website:

This government website is paid for with tax dollars and, sadly, the governor finds it acceptable to use it to promote the private Twitter accounts of his pets.

Did you notice how @SutterBrown enjoys a larger Twitter following than the Governor's public @GovPressOffice account?