After a few weeks of observing the Baker Bots tweet, I received an anonymous tip as to the identity of one of the anonymous accounts. I was told that @TomSnod was really none other than Jay Altschuler, Northeastern University College Republicans member and Baker campaign volunteer. From what I understand, Mr. Altschuler played the role of IT Administrator for the Baker Committee at one point, but I am unsure of his role at this point in time. Regardless, take a look at his Twitter stream – attacks against the Governor and the Treasurer, re-tweets of Charlie Baker’s messages, and more attacks against the Governor and Treasurer – during business hours, of course! You might notice that @TomSnod is no longer posting to Twitter. That most likely has something to do with an anti-Baker Bot account broadcasting his identity to the world on Twitter. Now @TomSnod is a peach, but he’s nothing compared to @DarinJulian. Darin originally had a Twitter user picture that consisted of a diverse family – a husband and wife of different ethnicities with their child. All it took was a quick search on TinEye.com to find out that the picture is a stock photo that is named “Diverse Family”. I called him on it, and the picture changed almost immediately to the Massachusetts Flag flowing in the wind. Fair enough, but Darin’s two pictures had one thing in common: they both came from a website called IStockPhoto.com. iStockPhoto provides a subscription-based service that allows users to take images and use them royalty-free. Oddly enough, Charlie Baker’s campaign purchased a subscription to that website on May 12th on the campaign credit card. The nail in the coffin that confirmed @DarinJulien’s identity came when I did a quick Google search and was directed to a Twitter account belonging to a Darin Gibbons. His last tweet was on May 26th (since deleted) appears below –
That’s weird – so @DarinJulian is really Darin Gibbons, and what @DarinJulian is tweeting about is FOR WORK? That’s bizarre – I wonder who he works for? So he spends all day making fun of Deval Patrick and Tim Cahill for WORK? Weird job. Darin Gibbons is a registered user of Charlie Baker’s Online Action Center, too. At least he wasn’t using a fake name – Julian is just his middle name! Upon giving Darin a heads up that I knew who he was, he changed his original twitter account name to @MAGibbs10 and protected his tweets.
Next! Here we have @LeGrandRouge– he calls himself “Devin Gallagher” on Twitter where he posts lots of messages to the #MAGov Twitter feed. Lots and lots of Cahill attacks, lots of attacks against Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Devin is on the Baker Online Action Center, but I found it odd that one of the first comment s on his page was “Hey Dev…I got a new nickname for you- Scott.” Who could “Scott” be? Oh, I wonder if it’s Scott “L”, who lists himself as “Baker-Tisei Staff” and has the same interests listed as @LeGrandRouge. Odd. He also has comments on his page pertaining to skiing and ski jumps – very likely a reference to @LeGrandRouge’s Twitter picture of a skier taking a pretty big jump. Scott’s linkedin has him working at The Exeter Group – coincidentally they happen to be Charlie Baker’s IT Consultants…
Next up, @Barry_Fields – my facts aren’t too good for this one, but based on the anonymity of the account, the tweet times, and the subject matter, I started guessing that he was Baker Bot. In taking a look at certain tweets from the account, I’m pretty sure he’s working for the campaign. I’m not going to go so far as to identify the individual I believe created this account, but will say that he works for the Tisei campaign and formerly worked in Sen. Tisei’s senate office.
Some other accounts worth checking out are @TimmyIsSteamin – an account created after @DarinJulian began tweeting about Tim Cahill’s use of “TimsTeam” asking who “Tim Steam” was. @TimmyIsSteamin is devoted to Mocking Tim Cahill and pestering Cahill’s daughters. During business hours, of course. Same with @Wheres_Pauly – an account created in a similar fashion to @TimmyIsSteamin and devoted to mocking Paul Losocco.
Charlie’s interns also fail to identify themselves as Baker interns working from campaign headquarters in their Twitter profiles, but I don’t really have a problem with that. I would like to point out, however, that Governor Patrick’s interns and employees all seem to embrace transparency and identify themselves quite clearly on their Twitter profiles. A majority of Baker’s employees do, too.
So, even if the evidence isn’t 100% for all of these users, I hope you understand my concern and frustration about the actions of Charlie Bakers’ employees and/or volunteers. I’m hoping that Charlie Baker’s campaign will stop resorting to the use of anonymous Twitter accounts to get their message across. If the campaign and/or the account owners are not willing to express their opinions openly due to the possibility of damaging the campaign’s image, then maybe they shouldn’t be posting the items to start with. Negativity doesn’t win campaigns – neither does Astroturf.
After reading this, if you’re looking for a laugh, check out this hypocritical tweet from a member of Baker’s staff today: