Will the real Jerry Lewis please tweet up? - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Will the real Jerry Lewis please tweet up?

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Posted: Monday, August 15, 2011 3:43 pm | Updated: 3:36 pm, Sat Dec 22, 2012.

The recall election targeting state Senate President Russell Pearce requires voters to realize that Jerry Lewis isn't just a screwball comedian.

But after voters learned a different Jerry Lewis is a longtime Mesa Republican running against Pearce, voters then had to figure out which of two Twitter accounts was from the real candidate.

The first account began July 25 and proclaimed Lewis supports gay marriage, abortion, unions and open borders. It also falsely announced late last week that a judge cancelled the Nov. 8 election.

It took until Aug. 10 for another Jerry Lewis account to emerge and claim it was the official Twitter account.

The first "Jerry Lewis" was bogus, and has been deactivated as of Monday after Lewis's campaign notified Twitter. The team took action against a related Facebook site that's also come down, said John Giles, a co-chairman of the campaign.

The fake account featured a real photo of Mesa's Lewis. The tweets portrayed a candidate with polar opposite views of Pearce, a Republican nationally known for his legislation targeting illegal immigration.

The phony account trashed the tea party, praised liberal causes and provided links to free gay porn videos, among other unlikely things a candidate would do while running in the conservative District 18.

Giles said he figured most people who got the tweets would realize it was a fake account but that a few might be confused about Lewis. He's unsure if it caused any damage to the campaign.

"I'm afraid the answer is I don't know. I certainly hope not," Giles said. "It's not the kind of thing we can control so we're not feeling overly upset about it."

Lewis's real account is www.twitter.com/jerrylewisaz

Twitter's impersonation policy prohibits accounts where users deceive others with a fake identity. People being impersonated or those with legal authority to act on their behalf can request a permanent suspension.

The bogus account was identified as such by Mesa Councilman Dave Richins. He linked to it on his account and tweeted: "Great example why neighbors say they don't support Sen. Pearce anymore, supporters set up fake Lewis twitter feed. Classy."

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