Clout: Facebook pulls plug on Toomey spoof

Posted: August 27, 2010

PHILLYCLOUT had some time to spare yesterday so we spent a few minutes perusing, described by the Associated Press as a "San Francisco-based adult social network" loaded with "racy photos of women."

We know. Work. Work Work.

And all that perusing got us thinking about former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey's run for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Toomey received $4,800 from the site's founder in November, one of a few high-profile contributions made to Republicans in the last year.

Those crafty liberals at Keystone Progress, an online activist group in Harrisburg, saw a way to have some fun at a conservative's expense. And thus was born "PornForToomey," a Web page, Facebook page and Twitter feed done up in the name of the imaginary "Randy Bizness."

Not everyone enjoyed the joke.

Facebook quickly pulled down the page. Keystone Progress' executive director, Mike Morrill, suspects that someone complained.

"It wasn't like we were trying to hide or do something deceptive," Morrill said of the Facebook page, which was labeled as a spoof in his organization's name. "We were trying to have some fun with what was going on."

Toomey's camp said it hadn't asked for the page to be pulled.

A Facebook spokesman declined to say if the page had been pulled over a complaint, but passed along this generic explanation:

"We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others. Our policies prohibit bullying, pornography, direct statements of hate, and actionable threats of violence. Facebook is also based on a real name culture, and we remove fake profiles and the content created by them when they're reported."

Type "porn" into the Facebook search engine and the Web site offers up an application to help you create your "porn star name."

So creating a porn name: OK.

Putting up a Facebook page with fake porn name: Not OK.

The admiral admires . . .

Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who served 31 years in the Navy, just snagged an endorsement for his Senate candidacy from former Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican of Nebraska.

Sestak told reporters this week that Hagel, who served in the Senate from 1997 to 2009, was the guy he most admired there.

Except that Sestak, when asked during a debate with U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter back in May who he most admired in public life, picked former Sen. Sam Nunn, a Democrat from Georgia. Nunn served from 1973 to 1997.

"He always did the right thing," Sestak said in May of Nunn.

We admire Sestak's ability to admire. But then he was an admiral before he entered politics.

Taxes, T-shirts & trouble

There's nothing like a knock on the office door from the FBI to motivate a business to get its books in order.

Consider KO Sporting Goods, the South Philly provider of campaign T-shirts, hats and jackets that's run by state Rep. Bill Keller and longtime friend Mark Olkowski.

Reporters across the city noted after the raid that the company rakes in thousands of dollars each year in campaign cash. PhillyClout noticed that KO had fallen behind in its state tax payments to the tune of $896.89.

The state Department of Revenue filed a lien against the company last Oct. 29. KO Sporting Goods finally paid up on Aug. 19, the day after FBI and IRS agents raided the company, Keller's district office and the homes of three Keller associates.

So that's one less thing for Keller and his pals to fret about.


"Pessimism about the direction of the state is greater, job-performance ratings for the incumbent governor are much lower, the incumbent president is unpopular, and Democrats' advantage over Republicans in party identification and particularly voter interest has shrunk."

- The Daily News/Franklin & Marshall College Poll, spelling out yesterday what looks like serious trouble for Democrats in the Nov. 2 general election.

Staff writer John Baer contributed to this report.

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