Federal Workers Using Twitter to Thwart Trump

Posted by Dale Eisman on January 26, 2017


Today In Democracy

Could the Trump administration’s apparent determination to clamp down on the flow of information from federal agencies be undone by Twitter, the President’s favorite social media tool?

That possibility seems to be moving closer to reality today, as a series of “alt” Twitter accounts created by disgruntled federal employees are gaining followers at the speed of light.

Since Trump took office last week, “Alt” accounts have been established by workers at the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Department of Health and Human Services, among other agencies.

AltUSNatParkService, with more than 1 million followers, appears to be the most popular of the new sites. It has posted nearly 300 Tweets since its launch earlier this week, among them this announcement that “A YUUUGE #ScienceMarch in Washington DC is being planned to tell Trump's cabinet "Alt" facts won't sell.”

Trump had been in office for only a few hours when reports began surfacing of White House efforts to shut down the online publication of federally-commissioned scientific research, particularly on climate change, that does not comport with the President’s views.

A poll released this morning confirms again that a clear majority of Americans want President Trump to release his tax returns and divest himself of his business holdings.

The Public Policy Polling survey of 1,031 voters was conducted on Monday and Tuesday. The survey found that 59% of voters think Trump needs to release his tax returns, 54% of voters would support a law requiring candidates for President to release 5 years of tax returns, and 61% of voters think Trump needs to fully divest from his business interests.

During last year’s campaign, Trump promised repeatedly to release his returns once the IRS completes a “routine audit.” Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Sunday that Trump no longer intends to disclose his returns, though she has since backtracked and indicated the campaign promise still stands.

There is good news today from the Mississippi legislature, where Republican leaders appear to be breaking with their counterparts in many other states by pushing a series of bills strengthening voting rights.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports that the House Elections Committee has unanimously endorsed a pair of bills permitting early voting and online voter registration; the legislation also would create a study committee to draft clearer rules for restoring the voting rights of ex-offenders.

Similar legislation on early voting and online registration passed the Mississippi House last year but was killed in the state Senate.

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Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Media and Democracy, Voting and Elections

Tags: Registration and Voting Systems, Voting Rights

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