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Posted by on Nov 28, 2011 in Politics, Science & Technology | 12 comments

Brownback Apologizes To Teen Tweeter


Following up on the teenager who refused to apologize for tweeting disparaging remarks about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback… Yahoo! News:

Hundreds of people have left negative comments on Brownback’s Facebook Thanksgiving message. "The imperial Gov needs to go to the school, apologize to the assembled students and then apologize in person to the young lady," one person wrote.

In a comment to the Kansas City Star last week, Brownback’s communications director stood behind the decision to notify Sullivan’s principal. "That wasn’t respectful," Sherriene Jones-Sontag told the paper. "In order to really have a constructive dialogue, there has to be mutual respect."

But Brownback submitted a statement Monday afternoon to Yahoo! News apologizing to the teen. "My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms," he said. Jones-Sontag told Yahoo! that the governor has no plans to personally reach out to Sullivan.

His full statement:

“My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms. I enjoyed speaking to the more than 100 students who participated in the Youth in Government Program at the Kansas Capitol. They are our future. I also want to thank the thousands of Kansas educators who remind us daily of our liberties, as well as the values of civility and decorum. Again, I apologize for our over-reaction”

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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice
  • His communications director is such a tool.

  • slamfu

    A state governor having to apologize to a teenager for his office over reaching and being jerks. Good bless America. Seriously, that fact Brownback even recognizes this, even if he’s just paying the 1st ammendment lip service, says things are still kinda working on some level.

  • Slamfu, only because he was caught and embarrassed. If she acquiesced no one would have been the wiser.

  • ShannonLeee

    makes you wonder who else his people have been going after…

  • adelinesdad

    How ironic: having to do damage control on behalf of your communications director. Isn’t it usually the other way around?

    Anyway, he did the right thing. Maybe he wouldn’t have done it if there weren’t a backlash, but mostly because it probably wouldn’t have been on his radar.

    He should probably at least offer to meet with the girl but we don’t know that he isn’t doing that. Goodness knows we don’t want that to be a media spectacle (“tweet summit?”)

    The more interesting storyline is regarding the principle. The communication director looks like jerk. But the principle comes out looking like a jerk and a coward. Ouch.

  • How ironic: having to do damage control on behalf of your communications director. Isn’t it usually the other way around?

    LOL! Great observation!!

    The big creepy-assed thing I can’t get past is the sheer audacity of scouring for “disrespectful” tweets and then using pressure to gain acquiescence. I hope the pressure keeps up and builds until that communications director is forced to,resign. And I hope people bring out other stories like this, for I’m sure it happens all the time (people have been fired &expelled for,tweets already).

    Do we live in a free speech society or not? That is the question.

  • SteveK

    Considering Brownbacks history it’s hard to buy into the idea that some ‘rogue’ intern or communications director did this without knowledge / direct orders.

    Brownback (what an appropriate name) is simply dodging responsibility for the outcome on actions he instigated… and ordered.

    Cowardliness is the first thought that ought to come to mind.

  • slamfu

    Barky, what you said is true. But still, this whole thing warms my heart 🙂

  • Keelaay

    Ya this was dumb. But saying it was at Gov Brownback direct orders without any backup is b.s.. For the Gov, this was clearly a loser from day one. Ms Jones-Sontag should be shown the door.

  • ShannonLeee

    KeeLaay, I believe it is safe to say that at a minimum, BB okay’d the decision to track social media and go after anyone saying bad things about the him. It would be silly to assume he specifically said, “go after this girl”, but that isn’t really what is so scary. As I mentioned before… how long has he had his people doing this and to whom? What does this say about BB (Big Brother) as a leader?

    As a Kansas resident and voter…I find this behavior quite disturbing.

  • VeratheGun

    Shouldn’t he be worried about running the state or something? This guy isn’t working too hard if he’s monitoring the tweets of a teenager. And neither is his staff. What a bunch of goobs.

  • Allen

    I’m not going to be happy until he pays reparations.

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