Tweet by Erie County sparks political controversy

Posted at 6:31 PM, Aug 01, 2016

The official Twitter account for Erie County is under fire for a post late Sunday night.  In a tweet that has since been deleted, the Erie County page encouraged voters to stop supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The County Executive's Office, for Democrat Mark Poloncarz, issued an apology for the tweet.  A spokesperson said the "tweet was accidentally posted...by a staffer who had multiple accounts open at the same time."

Poloncarz took to Twitter to condemn the post.  He called it "unacceptable" and promised "it won't happen again".

Nick Langworthy, Chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee, was upset when he saw the Tweet Sunday night.

"It's inappropriate," he said.  "And the use of that is inexcusable.  I think heads should roll."

Langworthy, and other local Republicans, are calling for a more clear divide between government work and politics.

"Politics has no business being used through the official Twitter handle of Erie County government," he said.

Republican Legislator Lynne Dixon from Hamburg agrees.

"I don't think an official government Twitter account or website or Facebook account should ever be used to spew political feelings, one way or the other," she said.

They both think the account should be reserved for important, official business.

"That Twitter handle should be used for important news for taxpayers from the county executive, the county legislators, the sheriff, you name it," Langworthy said.  "Instead, we're seeing it be used for putting out anti-Trump messages."

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, a Republican, sent a letter to county officials asking to see exactly who has access to the Twitter account.  He also wants to know how lawmakers and other departments can post information to the Twitter page.