Posted: 6:25 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014

The hijacking of #weknownathan 

By Greg Bluestein

The very mixed images that now accompany #weknownathan on Twitter

The very mixed images that now accompany #weknownathan on Twitter

On the Monday after a week of brutal media scrutiny over a 3-year-old ethics case, the campaign of Republican incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal really, really wanted to win the Internet. So far, it’s not working out.

The governor’s morning outreach to GOP lawmakers was coupled with a “We Know Nathan” campaign. Bumper stickers and T-shirts were involved. But key to the movement was the Twitter hashtag, #weknownathan.

Democrats were actually the first to use the hashtag, but soon Republicans took it up in defense of the governor. By the afternoon, #weknownathan was trending on Twitter, but probably not the way Deal’s camp had hoped.

Deal’s aides said they never intended a full-fledged social media push today, but that the added attention gave them a boost. His spokeswoman Jen Talaber said the fundraising team “reached our goal in hours, not days” thanks to the hashtag hijack.

Our AJC colleague Nick Fouriezos tracked the evolution. It started with this fundraising pitch from Deal’s campaign:

Then came the amazed reaction of Matt McGrath, Carter’s campaign manager, who first used the hashtag:

weknownathan1

Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas piled on:

weknownathan2

These Republicans tried to fight back……

weknownathan3

But the conversation remained largely critical:

weknownathan4

Topping it off, late Monday, the Democratic hit squad Better Georgia quickly snapped up WeKnowNathan.com and put a top 10 list about the governor with this headline: “We know Nathan…We just wish we didn’t.

And later they claimed the @weknownathan hashtag as their own.

The Internet is a heartless place.

 

53 comments
BizzyBee
BizzyBee

The Federal Government increased the rainy day fund through the settlement reached by the Justice Department with the banking industry.  Georgia is still in the top 5 in foreclosures.  Did any of that money go to help Georgians who had been foreclosed upon?  No.  When local governments are forced to raise property taxes in order to make  up the difference in their public schools just KNOW NATHAN is the reason.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Why would the GOP elect a broke governor to run the state? Based on that information alone he was not even eligible for a security clearance because of trust issues.   If he can't manage his own finances why would they think HE can be trusted with the states finances?  Who does that?

honested
honested

#we've suffered under nathan is probably more accurate.

coj
coj

An electorate gets what they deserve. The electorate voted for Deal, "the shadow hanging over me", failed national representative, that had to resign because of a congressional ethics investigation. He comes back to Georgia, runs for Governor and wins despite the federal ethics cloud and in spite of his state ethics convictions. Our state obviously wants a crook in office as long as there is a "r" after his name. Our electorate values ideology and party loyalty before ethics and honesty.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

We do know Nathan.  We know he was willing to sabotage the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in any way possible including selling his cohones to Jan Jones so he could not be held responsible for denying healthcare to 400,000 working Georgians.  We know he accepted $25 million from Blue Cross to illegally discontinue United Healthcare's state contract and even accepted $35 million (with a smirk) from United when it tried to get the contract back - knowing full well he could not deliver.  He also siphoned off $125 million trying to keep the disgruntled state employees happy and signed off on a state 'Bed Tax' to fund the crippled Medicaid program.  We are tired of these smelly shenanigans and say 'Dump Deal'.  We anticipate an embarrassing federal court case and do not want a sitting Governor to be incarcerated - let it be an X governor. 

LegolasMirkwood
LegolasMirkwood

So, what percentage of the record lottery winnings will go toward education, which was its excuse for existing?

Zwei
Zwei

I know Nathan Deal is an unethical crook riding on a bogus business ranking that was bought and paid for. I know that four more years of Nathan "Crooked" Deal will send this state spiraling further in a downward trend.

#DealOver

EdUktr
EdUktr

Hey Jim, you going to give THE BELOW story the same "bombshell" multi-day coverage you gave LaBerge's memo?

"Text and email messages obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution between Holly LaBerge and Chris Riley show the ethics commission director and Gov. Nathan Deal’s chief of staff exchanging lighthearted missives just hours after LaBerge claims Riley pressured her to settle ethics cases against his boss’ campaign ..."

Today's AJC

Point
Point

And this is why we need a younger governor with a 21st century vision instead of an old man with 19th century views who just wants 4 more years to shore up his personal rainy day fund before he retires.


LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

Really Greg... putting the LeBarge text messages article behind the pay-wall?

RadicalRuralDem
RadicalRuralDem

#WeKnowNathan is a scumbag, and now a good chunk of Twitter does, too.

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

Deal has clearly been knocked off script by last week's ethics memo. He has dropped like a rock in the polls, and his campaign is disarray. Today's botched rollout of the "We Know Nathan" campaign shows just how unprepared Deal's campaign is to overcome this mounting scandal. Any computer nerd could have told them to secure the web domain before the enemy could get their hands on it. A real rookie mistake.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Interestingly Kingston's bio does not list his high school. He was born in Texas and lived in Ethiopia before attending UGA. Does that make him suspect to conservatives? Was he brainwashed there? If he were a Democrat, that accusation would be front and center.

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

I'm going to do all I can to help those who do not know Nathan...get to know the real deal! My FB friends and twitter followers are gonna know!

58Supersports
58Supersports

Democrats BS and liberal ajc....1950?  funny!

DS
DS

I saw this crank up this afternoon. Not sure what Deal's campaign people thought they were going to accomplish with this effort. This is just not their turf. 

This won't give Deal supporters (any left?) much comfort, but it will give his opponents confirmation that there are so many who just want to see him go.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Social media - not kind to those wishing to stay in 1950.

EdUktr
EdUktr

Better Georgia is a front for the Democrat Party. The AJC serves as its private "social media," publicizing and glamorizing the group.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Ralph-43 The feds are on to him it's just a matter of time before his house of cards falls down.  He won't be the first or last governor to be led away in cuffs.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@Zwei  Georgia has been rated NOT as #1 in business BUT as #1 as a place to START a business.  Along with several other southern states - low taxes and direct tax-payer support are attracting new businesses that require much less personal start-up funds.  Will they survive?  Will their low level employees require unemployment, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. when they fail? Overall growth trails the national recovery, and the unemployment rate remains above the national average. The commute in metro Atlanta is as maddening as ever with a poorly developed public transit system.  Georgia's worst categories are Quality of Life and Education, finishing 32nd in both.  Poor health hurts Georgia's quality of life. Twenty-nine percent of Georgians are obese, and more than 19 percent lack health insurance. Poor air quality doesn't help in this category, either. And in education, local school districts as well as colleges and universities are still struggling with budget cuts.  Jason Carter understands these statistics and is prepared to address Georgia's weaknesses.  I agree with the need for a bright, youthful, educated leader with a 21st century vision for progress.



William1952
William1952

Zwei, pray tell where you got such astounding knowledge that our governor is an "unethical crook" and has "a bogus business ranking"? Is an "unethical crook" worse than a plain Jane crook? Or perhaps you mean "ethical uncrook." And, what about the ranking? Where in the world did that come from? I'm eagerly waiting for your sources, but, pa-leeeze don't list this rag as one. Hopefully you are brighter than that. In the meantime, dig around in your "sources" and try to come up with something really realistic. Your squeak and squawk are eagerly awaited. BTW, i know Nathan. Tootles.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@EdUkt your revelation shows that she was doing her job when she turned over the memo and did not let the megalomaniac Nathan Deal influence her decision to do the right thing, it's called having integrity.  You have a problem with that? 

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@EdUktr So she like them, until they threatened her. And your news is what?

MoFaux
MoFaux

@EdUktr A rapist's victim that nervously jokes with her captor (to avoid being raped again) was still raped.  How is this a bombshell?  Then again, I haven't read the whole article yet, and I wish they would not put it behind the pay wall.  What do you think Holly's motivation was in coming forward then, if she did not genuinely feel pressured?

NWGAL
NWGAL

You know,it is possible to be over 50 and not hopelessly stuck in the last century or even the one before that. Open minds adapt. It is the closed ones who are trapped in the past.

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@LookbeforeIleap If a few of you "desperate for anything positive about Nathan" whiners would pay for it they would make it free.

Charles50
Charles50

@EdUktr At least they are a local/state operation unlike all of the campaign ads we've seen on TV from outsiders.  If you're going to pick a side I'd rather it be from people who can vote like I can rather than people just writing checks and lying.  

bigenigma
bigenigma

I want to live in a better Georgia.

td1234
td1234

@EdUktr Better Georgia is nothing more than butt hurt King Roy Barnes attempting to seek revenge on getting his butt whipped 4 years ago. 

TBS
TBS

@EdUktr 

LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!

You big baby Huey.......

Lynn43
Lynn43

@EdUktr And just what is wrong with that.  The republicans sure have enough crazies and hate groups talking for them.  Love "Better Georgia" and follow the AJC.  At least we can get true facts.  Oh, and lets add MSNBC.



Zwei
Zwei

@Ralph-43 I agree and very well stated by you. I do believe that Jason Carter does have a vision to progress Georgia forward towards a much better future for all citizens of this state. Under the Republican rule of Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal, we have seen cronyism, corruption, and a downright disdain toeards the middle class and poor of this state from the GOP. Georgia id a beautiful state which I am proud to say is my birthplace and home. We as a state should be at the forefront especially when it comes to having better public transit not just citywide here in Atlanta but statewide. As it is saddening that the GOP and it's hate mongering constituency have this unfounded fear of others that constantly stand in the way progress.

crackbaby
crackbaby

@Ralph-43 ... Delta is ready when you are.... 

L. Grizzard

Point
Point

@NWGAL I fully agree with you!  Open minded people tend to be lifelong learners.  Deal does not fall into this category.

Charles50
Charles50

@STHornet1990 @LookbeforeIleap Plus it will probably be all over the local news tonight.  Still doesn't change much.  He threatened her and then decided to take a softer tone going forward.  It doesn't negate the threat.

Charles50
Charles50

@td1234 @EdUktr td1234 poor things.  Whatever.  Bottom line is they must be effective if they are being sued to shut them up.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@crackbaby  I am here to stay.  Better get used to it.  Drug addicts - crackbaby are better off in states with good rehab programs - try California or New York.

td1234
td1234

@PoliticalOutsider We shall see since most voters will not even start paying attention to the race before the end of August at the earliest. 


I am still predicting a 5 to 10 point Deal win after all the commercials are run and every time  Georgians hear Carter they think Obama. 

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

td

Since you just acknowledged that "most voters will not even start paying attention to the race before the end of August", will you stop citing the same boring poll every 15 minutes?

td1234
td1234

@PoliticalOutsider I have not cited any polls on this blog. I continue to cite what Nate Silver keeps saying about the race.