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Adviser to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker resigns after bashing Iowa

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks at the American Action Forum January 30, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

Liz Mair, an adviser to Gov. Scott Walker's political action committee (PAC), resigned late Tuesday after coming under fire for writing disparaging things about Iowa on Twitter.

It was a quick road to ruin: Mair only told CNN on Monday that she was hired to handle online communication for Walker's PAC.

Mair has a history of punchy commentary on social media. But when she fixed her sights on Iowa, the site of the first presidential nominating contest, she quickly became a liability for Walker, who's likely to mount a 2016 bid.

During a forum for 2016 hopefuls hosted by Iowa Rep. Steve King, an ardent opponent of immigration reform, Mair tweeted her dismay about the event and criticized Iowa's leading role in the primary process.

"In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning," She wrote. "Thanks, guys."

She quickly added, "The sooner we remove Iowa's frontrunning status, the better off American politics and policy will be."

Several days earlier, Mair weighed in on agricultural subsidies - a hot-button issue that divides many Iowa Republicans from national conservatives. The subsidies are opposed by fiscal hawks who see them as a form of corporate welfare, but they're hotly defended by the Iowan farmers who benefit from them.

"Morons across America are astounded to learn that people from *IOWA* grow up rather government-dependent. #agsubsidies #ethanol #brainless," Mair wrote.

The criticism didn't sit well with state GOP officials.

"It's obvious she doesn't have a clue what Iowa's all about," state Republican chairman Jeff Kaufmann said, according to the New York Times. "I find her to be shallow and ignorant...and I'll tell you, if I was Governor Walker, I'd send her her walking papers."

"We play nice in Iowa," added Sherill Whisenand, a co-chairwoman of the Polk County GOP. "That's like slapping someone down who's in your home."

Cody Hoefert, the co-chairman of the state party, said he found Mair's criticism to be "disgusting and repulsive."

After the deluge of criticism, Mair submitted her resignation.

"The tone of some of my tweets concerning Iowa was at odds with that which Gov. Walker has always encouraged in political discourse," Mair said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "I wish Gov. Walker and his team all the best."

Before too long, though, Mair was back on Twitter, offering an extended explanation that was equal parts contrition and defiance.

"Now that I'm off payroll, there are a couple things I'd like to say," she began ominously.

Mair insisted she wasn't calling Iowa Republicans "morons" in her post about agricultural subsidies, but rather, the Democrats "who were feigning surprise at an Iowa family having benefited from farm subsidies."

She also said she finds some of the anti-immigration rhetoric voiced by Rep. King "embarrassing and factually dubious," and said the fact that King is "held out as the only real force in Iowa and representative of what Iowans think is embarassing [sic] for Iowa."

"I was however wrong to implicitly buy into that notion with a couple of quick-fire, snarky tweets," she added. "For my part, yes, I'll try to rein in the snark. I suspect, tho, that for some, that won't be enough bc some don't want to discuss policy."

Though it's early in the process, Mair was not the first adviser forced out of a 2016 operation due to past statements on social media. In February, tech consultant Ethan Czahor resigned from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's super PAC after a series of reports on sexist, racist, and homophobic remarks he'd made over the last several years.