Twitter Profile of U.S. Rep @DanaRohrabacher Pulls a Social Media Nutty in Response to Online Petition

Feb 28, 2013
5:27 pm

Stay with us on this one, since it will get bizarre really quickly. On February 18, the Orange County Register published the following story, “Student alleges threat by Rohrabacher after immigration meeting.”


Here is what the story was about:

A Golden West College student contends Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, made her cry and threatened her when she talked about being undocumented during an advocacy meeting on immigration reform in Washington, D.C.

A representative for the congressman who was present at the meeting calls the allegations “asinine,” saying 18-year-old Jessica Bravo is being used as a pawn for a political agenda and that the person who accompanied Bravo accused Rohrabacher of being a racist.

PICO National Network, a faith-based political advocacy group that Bravo was representing at the Feb. 6 meeting, sent out an email Thursday with its account of Bravo’s meeting and calling on House Speaker John Boehner to “publicly condemn the behavior of his colleague.”

The story continues:

What happened at the meeting with Rohrabacher is unclear – with both sides having different takes.

“He became a little bit more aggressive,” Bravo said about Rohrabacher. “He did say he hated illegals. To me, it was hard to hear all those things.”

According to the OC Register, Tara Setmayer, a spokesperson for Rohrabacher explained that the “congressman challenged Bravo’s position, as any Republican would when being confronted with a pro-amnesty argument.” The spokesperson elaborated: “He asked her: ‘What makes you and your family more important than American citizens and people who come here legally?’ If you’re going to come here to advocate … you should be able to defend your position. She clearly didn’t know how to answer that, and it was quite apparent that she had been very scripted.”


Then this happened, according to the story:

Bravo’s chaperone, Minerva Gomez of the Orange County Congregation Community Organization, said she stepped in to end the meeting when things escalated.

The two left and, Bravo said, Rohrabacher followed them out of his office “yelling and shaking his finger.” She said he asked if his office had her contact information, to which she replied “yes.”

“He said, ‘Good, now I know where you live,’ ” Bravo said. “To me, that felt like a threat to me and my family and everyone I am here to represent.”

But Setmayer said that, at the end of the meeting, Gomez stepped in and accused the congressman of opposing undocumented students “because of the color of their skin.”

Setmayer said that, as a biracial woman, she took exception to the allegation.

“The tone shifted as soon as Minerva accused the congressman of being a racist,” she said. “I clearly wasn’t going to allow her to get away with that accusation.”

Setmayer said Gomez snapped at her, and Rohrabacher took offense.

“He didn’t appreciate her disrespecting me or his office,” Setmayer said.

She said that, until that point, Rohrabacher had been polite and offered some personal anecdotes to make Bravo feel more comfortable because she appeared nervous.

“Her accusations against the congressman … are an absolute lie,” Setmayer said. “We knew she was undocumented when we scheduled the meeting.”

“He never said those things. He never became red-faced or finger-wagged at her.”

The incident then spurred an online petition by asking Speaker of the House John Boenher to “condemn Rep. Rohrabacher for threatening an undocumented student.” So far the petition has gotten over 34,000 signatures. Today the petition’s link was tweeted out by several people, and this is where Rohrabacher went Twitter crazy. Here is the thread, from the first tweet to the last one.

Someone should tell Rohrabacher’s Twitter profile to step away from the Internet for a while. Doesn’t he have official House business to conduct? Even if Rohrabacher’s office has doubts about the allegations, is this the way to behave as an elected U.S. Representative?