Obama Twitter faux pas: Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley causing Threadless’ Jeffrey Kalmikoff fits

A technical glitch with an incorrect Twitter name seems to have Obama healthcare proponents from Oregon spamming Jeffrey Kalmikoff of Threadless with misdirected tweets intended for Jeff Merkley

[HTML3]Now, it’s no secret that the Barack Obama campaign did a phenomenal job with social media. Facebook, Portland-fueled iPhone apps, Twitter, the whole shooting match. Many—myself included—were in awe of the Obama campaign’s mastery of social media—and the potential it held for the presidency.

Well, we were. Until today. When a technical glitch seems to have Obama healthcare proponents from Oregon spamming Jeffrey Kalmikoff of Threadless with misdirected tweets intended for Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.


Now, conceptually, it seems like a good idea. If you want to drive a piece of legislation forward, what better way than marshaling the troops to contact their respective senators? Good old fashioned politicking there.

But what if you could use social media to do some of that. Get people to use Twitter to contact their senators—by randomly selecting one of their state senators with the push of a button.

There are only 100 senators. What could go wrong?

Well, you could completely butcher Oregon Freshman Senator Jeff Merkley’s Twitter name. Like instead of using @SenJeffMerkley you could choose something like @Jeffrey Merkley.

Yeah, see that space there? That means that instead of Jeff Merkley, someone entirely different gets bombarded with tweets about the nations healthcare. And that lucky someone? Jeffrey Kalmikoff@jeffrey on Twitter—the Chief Creative Officer at skinnyCorp, the folks behind the awesomeness that is Threadless.


Yep, he’s been receiving all sorts of healthcare related tweets intended for Jeff Merkley.

Now, I could understand if this was for all of congress. But—and granted I’m a little rusty on the civics—aren’t there only 100 senators? Couldn’t someone have checked this? Maybe double checked to make sure all the names were valid senators? And what’s more, has Jeff Merkley ever gone by “Jeffrey”? Ever?

Again, oopie.

Hopefully, for Jeffrey’s sake and the sake of the Oregon constituents who are attempting to contact their senator via Twitter, this issue will be resolved soon. And hopefully it’s not happening to anyone else. Too bad for Jeffrey to have to deal with this onslaught. And an unfortunate mistake.

It would be kind of funny. If it weren’t so annoying.

Okay. It’s still kind of funny.

Who knows if Jeff Merkley even knows about it.

“Wow Wyden! Are you getting any tweets? My Twitter stream is totally quiet. Oh that’s right, you’re not on Twitter are you Ron?

One other piece of random trivia? Jeffrey has another Portland connection. And it’s to our beloved food carts. You see, he’s currently dating the sister of Nancy Ettinger of Savor Soup House.

Wow. Did I suddenly devolve into Valleywag, there? I may have. Well, we all make mistakes.

Oh and Senator Merkley? Your tweets are waiting here.



  1. @Jeffrey That’s fine, we don’t want anyone else to like Oregon or the PNW 🙂

  2. Thousands of @ replies in error… he’d be on your shit list too. In fact, because of your comment, the whole state of Oregon is now on my shit list. Keep it up, Jmartens, the entire Pacific Northwest is up next.


  3. Why does @Jeffrey say that Merkley is on his shit list? It clearly wasn’t his fault.

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