Did Kirk Break Military Regs With Twitter Posts?

July 30, 2009 1:07 pm

Did Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who is now running in 2010 for the Senate seat formerly held by President Obama, violate military regulations when his campaign put up Twitter posts about his active service in the Naval Reserve?

This all started when The Capitol Fax Blog, a well-known state political site in Illinois, reported that Kirk (or his campaign) put up this Twitter post several days ago: “On duty @ the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center. All is currently (relatively) quiet. Honor 2 be back w/ my fellow Navy colleagues”

Kirk’s campaign now says that Kirk himself did not put up either this Tweet or another one. Instead, they say a staffer posted the pre-approved messages.The potential problem, however, is that military regulations strictly forbid active-duty personnel who may be political candidates from engaging in anything campaign-related, even down to “behind-the-scenes activities.”

The key questions here are: 1) Whether Kirk’s campaign is telling the truth that he did not post the Tweets, but a staffer did; 2) Whether this, too, would violate the rules; and perhaps most importantly, 3) Even if this broke the rules, will anything actually be done against it?

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