Freshman Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., is one of a kind.
Out of 533 current members of Congress, LaMalfa is the only one whose Twitter account is protected from the curious eyes of the public. As of Monday afternoon, at least, the @DougLaMalfa account was locked. That means the new congressman must approve his followers individually.
According to his spokesman, the congressman said he thought he had unlocked his Twitter feed more than a month ago. Whatever his intentions, as of Monday afternoon, LaMalfa’s Twitter profile remained on lockdown. “I’m sure he will have a fully accessible [Twitter feed soon],” LaMalfa Chief of Staff Mark Spannagel said. “It’s just a transition detail.”
Locking and unlocking a Twitter feed is typically a matter of going into the settings and clicking, or unclicking, a box marked “protected.” It is worth noting that LaMalfa’s office has a public account (@TeamLaMalfa), and the congressman has an open Facebook account. The congressman tweets and posts from whichever account he feels like, Spannagel said.
“He’s extremely accessible both to constituents [and press],” he added.
The locked account, Spannagel said, is simply a carry-over from a decidedly contentious Republican primary in a state race a few years back.