- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2022

Twitter, under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators, is contributing to both Democratic and Republican party campaign efforts behind attorney general races across the country this fall.

The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) said it received money from Twitter earlier this summer as part of the group’s fundraising campaign for the coming midterm elections.

“For verification, Twitter gave $25,000 to us on 7/21/22 and are current partners of DAGA,” DAGA Communications Director Geoff Burgan said in a statement. “This is their first contribution to us.”

Mr. Burgan declined to answer questions on how the money would be used and how the social media company would partner with DAGA.

Twitter also gave $25,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) in June 2022, according to Popular Information.

Twitter has been mum on the purpose of its political spending to the attorneys general groups. The company did not respond to requests for comment but previously told Popular Information it was paying “membership dues” to both attorney general groups simultaneously and the money would not get used by candidates.  

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The new expenditures represent a major shift for Twitter, which shuttered its political action committee in October 2020 ahead of the election. Then-Twitter U.S. Policy Communications Manager Trenton Kennedy told Business Insider the decision was made because the social media company believed political influence should be earned and not purchased.  

The social media platform’s donation to Republicans this summer raised eyebrows because of the feud between the GOP and Twitter.

RAGA joined other Republican fundraisers in August 2019 in a pledge to stop all ad spending on Twitter. Two months later, Twitter ended all political advertising on its platform globally.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also targeted Twitter for investigation. In June 2022, the Texas Republican said he was investigating the amount of fake accounts on the platform for potential violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Last year, Mr. Paxton issued a civil investigative demand involving Twitter’s censorship practices.

Twitter made no mention of its spending to the attorney general groups in its announcement about the midterm elections last week. The company said it would enforce a new policy for the coming midterms designed to restrict the flow of information Twitter believes is misleading or harmful.

Thirty states will elect attorneys general this year, with a handful of other states electing governors and state legislatures who select attorneys general, according to the National Association of Attorneys General. Republicans control 27 state attorneys general seats in 2022, while Democrats control 23 states plus the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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