Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): (Gasp!) John Brown's Ghost is a Democrat staffer

Friday, May 17, 2013

(Gasp!) John Brown's Ghost is a Democrat staffer

In other news, water is wet. Grass is green and Kathleen Sebelius is evil.

I have a LOT of questions about a Topeka Capital-Journal story that outs a (formerly) anonymous Twitter user, @JohnBrownsGhost as Tyler Longpine, a staff member of House Minority Leader Paul Davis.

I can't figure out why this is a news story. There are thousands, maybe even millions of fake and/or anonymous Twitter accounts. And John Brown's Ghost had few followers and a net impact of zero on policy. 

I have an anonymous Twitter account, along with this anonymous blog.

There are two reasons I choose to remain anonymous. If I ever change jobs, I do not want future employers to know my politics. Some of it will be obvious, but I don't want them to know everything I think. Not because I'm wrong, but because they might be, and make no mistake, there is an anti-conservative prejudice in many, many industries. I am not saying anything here that I haven't said in person to anyone who asks. In short, I'd rather people know me, before they know my politics.

Second, I can't adequately gather information if people are worried anything they tell me might end up online on a blog. I am very careful to have all of the information I publish here verified by at least three people. (This makes it easier to remain anonymous, and I don't want to peddle cheap gossip. Gossip, yes. But cheap gossip, no!)

There's just no there in the John Brown's Ghost story. The Twitter account is now protected, but Earl Glynn, of Franklin Center's Watchdog, started saving John Brown's Ghost tweets a year ago. (I think it's safe to call Earl Glynn an information hoarder, at this point. I envision his house is stuffed to the gills with paper and hard drives, and if anyone lit a match it would go up in flames from all the information kindling.) 

The saved tweets are available here. I can't find anything too out-of-bounds or unreasonable in them. Sure, they're snarky, but this is how political movements gain traction. And it's one area the Republicans kind of suck at. (I guess that's to our credit. Maybe.) 

Go to the ksleg hashtag, #ksleg, on Twitter. There you'll find a lot of liberal activists excoriating Republicans for just about everything. You'll find a few conservative politicians, like Rep. J.R. Claeys and Rep. Brett Hildabrand; and you'll find several reporters tweeting links to their stories about the Kansas Legislature. Missing from the mix are conservative activists and opinion makers.

It is absolutely no surprise that a Kansas Democratic staffer was the person behind a liberal, snarky, anonymous Twitter account. There are approximately three Democrats in all of Kansas and four liberal activists. It stands to reason that at least 75 percent of them are getting paychecks from Democratic pols, think tanks and the like. Of course, the Twitter account belongs to one of them -- law of averages and all that. 

For some reason, Tyler Longpine apologized for the Twitter account. In the article, he said, "My apologies to anyone my actions may have offended. I am solely responsible for the content, and I should not have posted this content online."

This apology would have more meaning had he apologized for specific tweets. Some of them are rude and mean-spirited.

Also, Paul Davis is taking "administrative action." Whatever that means. I don't actually buy his story that he didn't know or suspect, but I don't really care either. 

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