Home 2017 Races Northam, Perriello Campaigns Spar Over Attack Video Posted on Unofficial “Kander for...

Northam, Perriello Campaigns Spar Over Attack Video Posted on Unofficial “Kander for America” Twitter Page


I saw this exchange yesterday between communications people for the Perriello and Northam campaigns on Twitter, was confused then and still don’t know what to make of it this morning. Clearly, though, this spat isn’t over; see the statement I just received from the Northam campaign a few minutes ago, for instance. Looks like things are heating up in the Virginia Democratic governor’s primary.

P.S. Just to emphasize, to my knowledge the “Kander for America” Twitter page has no connection whatsoever to Jason Kander.

STATEMENT: Northam for Governor Response to First Attack Ad of the Primary from Perriello Team

Richmond, Va. – Yesterday, Tom Perriello’s press secretary shared the first attack ad of the primary, a web video distributed by a suspicious Twitter account attacking Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam. The video is sourced to a “Kander for America” Twitter account, with followers including “America1st,” “Deplorable Infadel,” and “Dems Against Bernie.”

Followers also include Tom Perriello’s Chief of Staff Brennan Gilmore and his press secretary.

Tom Perriello’s Twitter account has also previously shared content from the “Kander for America” account:

Northam for Governor Communications Director, David Turner, today issued the following statement:

“It is a shame Tom Perriello’s allies are the first to release an attack ad in this primary, and his team is among the first to share it. This turn in the campaign only welcomes more scrutiny of Perriello’s “A” rated NRA endorsement and his vote to limit women’s access to an abortion. Sharing content from this fake account not once, but twice is a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the views of Jason Kander and deceive Virginia voters.

Ralph Northam has been fighting for a woman’s right to choose, common sense gun safety, and LGBT rights in Virginia for the last 10 years. If Tom Perriello’s campaign and his allies want to compare Ralph’s record against Tom Perriello’s NRA endorsement and anti-choice record, we are ready for that fight.”

P.S. Here’s the video posted on “Kander for America,” whatever that is…

  • Perriello campaign response: “The Northam camp must be starting to worry about the momentum Tom has in this race if they’re freaking out over a random Twitter GIF.”

    • Lumen

      Perriello and his campaign need to be careful. I think the candidates need to question and vet each other, but I’m f***cking done with politicians who run campaigns where they troll on Twitter.

      • The Northam and Perriello campaigns are going back and forth on Twitter, which is pretty much par for the course nowadays as far as I can tell…

        • Lumen

          That’s not what I’m talking about. Perriello’s campaign staff retweeted a fake troll account (misleading to look like Kander) and now is dodging taking responsibility.Those are Trump style trolling tactics.

          If they are professional media strategists they should know enough to not retweet suspect fake accounts. They either did it on purpose or they were stupid and careless. Neither is a good look. Not with the tweeter in chief doing this BS everyday.

          • Lumen

            Just because Trump takes no responsibility for what he says on Twitter doesn’t mean we should normalize this crap. If they have their candidate’s name in their bio then they need to act like it. What they tweet is still on them.

          • Actually, both campaigns RT’ed it (see https://twitter.com/RemiAYamamoto/status/845364512517705728); later, the Northam campaign blamed “technical issue with our internet.”

          • Lumen

            If you look at what you linked, they retweeted the other campaigns staffer. And almost certainly they are using some sort of auto post, or bot to tweet some sort of keyword set from trusted accounts and screwed up the programming. Really stupid but a different problem and obviously not malicious.

            The Perreillo staffer retweet is a quote tweet with text. That’s not a bot. A human decided to do it. And reading their threads they’ve gone into world class troll mode. And if they think this is convincing voters to vote for their candidate they should go find the idiot who tweeted “delete your account” from the Clinton campaign Twitter and ask how that went for them. On second thought it might be the same person for all I know.

            The classy thing to do would be to walk it back. Perriello is a good candidate he deserves better.

  • Stacy Snyder

    This is upsetting to me on a couple of levels.
    1) It is very, very important to Democrats both in Virginia and in the rest of the US as a whole that this primary race does not become divisive.
    2) It is very, very important that Democrats use the current energy in the state to begin to rebuild the party in a positive way.
    3) I have a deep admiration of Jason Kander and the exchange above contradicts the strength of Kander’s message and advice to the Democratic party which is: Make your argument and make it to everyone. He talks about holding on to progressive values but, to making them consistently and confidently across the state. We can’t be divided and be consistent. We can’t only focus on energizing our urban voters and leave our rural areas out of the conversation. We have to see this race about ALL of Virginia and to understand what an important and consequential race this November race will be.

    • Having seen a gazillion “divisive” primaries – GOP and Democratic – over the years, I’m not particularly concerned about that. I mean, the 2016 GOP presidential primaries were viciously nasty, yet it didn’t seem to hurt them much. The 2006 U.S. Senate primary between Jim Webb and Harris Miller was also super nasty, and Webb ended up beating George Allen. The 2008 Clinton vs. Obama primary was super nasty, and Obama ended up winning in a landslide over John McCain. Etc, etc.

      As for #3, the Twitter account has absolutely no connection to Jason Kander, so not sure how the message (from a GW college kid running this tiny Twitter account) reflects on Kander at all.