Congressman DeSaulnier Blocks Democratic Opponent Dennis Lytton From His Congressional, Taxpayer Funded Twitter
April 15, 2018
Contact: 323-630-2492 – Dennis@LyttonForCongress.org – Twitter: @DennisLytton
Pleasant Hill, CA – On Saturday morning April 14th, 11th District Democratic Congressional Candidate Dennis Lytton was managing his social media when he noticed that he’d been blocked by Rep. DeSaulnier’s (D-Concord) official Congressional office Twitter account (@RepDeSaulnier, see screenshot below).
Interestingly, Lytton is not blocked from DeSaulnier’s apparent campaign Twitter handle, @MarkDeSaulnier. What should be his main social media venue for campaigning is largely static and has produced little content in weeks.
Lytton is of course DeSaulnier’s constituent as well as his challenger as a Democratic in the 11th District Open Primary in June. Blocking him therefore may run afoul of Federal Elections Commission (FEC) regulations and House Ethics rules for at least two reasons:
- It seems apparent that Lytton’s being targeted for his political views, especially after Lytton criticized DeSaulnier last week for:
- His opposition to Regional Measure 3
- His urging that a second Bay Bridge for cars should be built, and
- His support of the President’s bombing campaign without an AUMF (authorization for the use of military force) in Syria.
- Directing his House staff to cut Lytton off for campaign purposes, namely that Lytton is an opponent, would be directing House office resources to campaigning, in violation of long standing campaign finance rules.
“At the very least it’s creepy as all heck,” said Dennis Lytton after learning of his being blocked by DeSaulnier.
Explaining why that’s “creepy” and unethical, Lytton continued, “Blocking political opponents on Twitter is associated with the right and Trump supporters. It’s disappointing behavior. This is his Member of Congress Twitter handle for official office communications.”
Lytton also speculated that, “If DeSaulnier is directing his Congressional office media staff to block opponents does is end there? Or are they doing any other campaign work on the taxpayer dime?”
The campaign plans to file complaints with both the Federal Elections Commission and the House Ethics Committee Monday morning.
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Dennis Lytton is a Democrat challenging Congressmember DeSaulnier in the June Open Primary for California’s 11th Congressional District. He a Supervisor of Operations at the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), a recognized expert on transportation policy, and an AFSCME member. The father of two young boys is married to Amelia and they live in Pleasant Hill in central Contra Costa County.