Did Senator Taylor Fundraise Online During JFC Hearing?

MacIver News Service | April 11, 2011

While the Joint Finance Committee heard public testimony in Superior about the governor’s budget proposal Friday, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) posted updates on her Twitter account.

More and more elected officials are turning to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to give the public real-time accounts of their official and personal lives.

When Taylor arrived at the hearing, she tweeted “I’m the only Dem from finance right now – Jauch had car problems.”

However one tweet, which appeared on the Senator’s account while she was hearing public testimony on the proposed state budget, may raise a few eyebrows.

During the hearing, her account also posted a solicitation for campaign contributions for Senate Democrats.

About an hour and a half after she updated her followers on Senator Bob Jauch’s (D-Poplar) automotive troubles, Taylor’s Tweeted “Be the first to receive your official ‘Wisconsin 14’ t-shirt. Contribute now to help us take back the majority… http://fb.me/FJUHfL8s.”

When contacted by the MacIver News Service, Senator Taylor’s chief of staff, Eric Peterson, denied the senator was sending fundraising tweets during the hearing.

“To be very clear, Senator Taylor nor any state staff tweeted or updated Facebook regarding fundraising,” Peterson told MNS.  “Campaign staff have done so independent of any state-related activity,”

Taylor’s Twitter feed does appear to indicate two separate sources for the Tweets. Tweets relating to the hearing or to Taylor herself are tagged as they were sent from a BlackBerry. Tweets asking for campaign contributions were apparently posted via her Facebook account.

So who posted the Facebook status/tweet regarding fundraising?

When asked to identify the staffer responsible for the fundraising tweets on Senator Taylor’s Facebook account, Peterson did not respond.