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Intern for Maine Democrat suspended for vulgar tweets

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Maine,2014 Elections,Ashe Schow,Twitter

Imagine the outrage if an intern for a Republican congressman sent tweets referring to women with derogatory words, discussing sexual acts or disparaging religion.

Keep that outrage, wonder and then read on to learn about a Democratic intern.

Ben Gagnon, a 21-year-old intern for Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, has been suspended for just such vulgar tweets. Gagnon compiled some of his most offensive tweets and combined them into a collage, which he then tweeted out with the tagline “BREAKING: Sometimes I tweet things that some may find inappropriate.”

The tweet was discovered by the Maine Republican Party, which demanded comment from Michaud.

“Would Congressman Michaud himself use the worst of sexist slurs or insult entire religions with anti-Semitic remarks and crude comments about Jesus Christ? Michaud should immediately denounce these outrageous comments and fire the person who made them,” wrote Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage in a press release. “I would not expect a sitting congressman and aspiring governor to allow such sexist and hate-filled behavior in his offices.”

Matt McTighe, Michaud's campaign manager, denounced the tweets to the Press Herald and said the campaign would review its online policy.

“The language used in this young person’s tweets cannot be defended and do not represent the view of the campaign,” McTighe said. “We will provide increased training for volunteers and interns on the campaign to ensure that they conduct themselves in an appropriate manner whether in person or online. We will also review our online policy for volunteers.”

But David Sorenson, a spokesman for the Maine GOP, told National Review the suspension wasn't enough, calling it “a matter of overconfidence” on the part of Michaud, who's running for the Maine governorship against incumbent Republican Paul LePage.

“The Democrats think they can get away with anything and don’t have to be accountable to anyone,” Sorenson said.

People should be allowed to tweet what they want on their own time, but one has to understand that working in certain professions may require you to tone things down.

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