NRCC Press Aide Tweets Home Addresses Of Virginia Dem's Staffers
A press assistant for the National Republican Congressional Campaign tweeted the home addresses of campaign staffers for Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) Tuesday night.
Andy Sere, a press hand for the NRCC who handles southern congressional races, made the highly unorthodox move after Perriello's staff called the chief of staff of his opponent, state senator Robert Hurt, a "carpetbagger". Sere responded with six separate tweets noting each staffer that Perriello himself employed from out of the district and calling on the Virginia Democrat to fire those aides or risk being labeled a hypocrite.
The Republican listed the exact home addresses of those six Democratic staffers, relying on what another NRCC hand said were July quarterly reports.
During a climate season already marked by fevered rhetoric, political threats and even the occasional act of vandalism, Sere's tweets sparked concern and outrage among Perriello supporters.
"NRCC spokesperson Andy Sere clearly crossed the line tonight, but will Robert Hurt stand by idly while those who recruited him and represented his campaign carry out these dangerous and unethical practices? It's appalling and outrageous," Perriello campaign spokeswoman Jessica Barba said. "Robert Hurt should refuse to accept any more support from the NRCC unless Andy Sere is fired, especially given the history here."
Sere's tweets also potentially be in violation of Twitter's privacy restrictions, which allow users to file complaints if someone has posted their private information against their will.
Reached for comment late Tuesday night, the NRCC stood by Sere's tweets, casting blame for the matter on Perriello's earlier remark.
"We're a little surprised that Perriello has reduced himself to attacking staff," said Ken Spain, a spokesman for the committee. "He's clearly lashing out after the DCCC practically declared him a political corpse in Sunday's New York Times and followed it up by releasing a poll showing him down after having been on the air with campaign ads for weeks."
This is not, it should be noted, Sere's first brush with political controversy. When tea party activists published the home address of Perriello's brother online earlier this year, Sere refused to condemn the move, arguing that the candidate himself was not a victim in the matter.
"What you're seeing is a frustration among his constituents who believe he's not listening to them," Sere said.
In January, meanwhile, Sere made remarks about Tennessee state Sen. Roy Herron (D) which some saw as homophobic, declaring that Herron was obsessing about his "body image" and criticizing him for supporting gay adoption.