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Kansas teen-Gov. Brownback Twitter controversy sparks reaction

Earlier this week, Emma Sullivan tweeted a disparaging remark about Gov. Sam Brownback. What happened next is a study in social media, public relations and the power of the internet.


  1. Emma Sullivan, a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, was in Topeka on Monday as part of Kansas Youth in Government, a program for students interested in politics and government. During the session, in which Gov. Sam Brownback addressed the group, Sullivan posted to her personal Twitter page:

  2. On Tuesday, Sullivan was called to her principal's office and ordered to pen apology letters to Brownback, teachers and others. The Eagle spoke with Sullivan, her sister and the governor's spokeswoman and posted this story Wednesday:
  3. It didn't take long to see reaction (with links) on Twitter and other sites:
  4. Some responded directly to Sullivan, offering solidarity, high-fives or advice:
  5. It even drew a comment from "Fake Sam," a spoof Twitter account that pokes fun at the governor and his policies.
  6. On Thursday, Brownback's official Twitter page pointed only to his Thanksgiving Day message to Kansans.
  7. Governor Brownback's Thanksgiving Day Message
  8. Some critics piped in...
  9. Sullivan's original hashtag (#heblowsalot) took off: