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South Bay Congressional Candidate Lists Twitter Followers As Supporters

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The improper use of social media has gotten one South Bay congressional candidate in a bit of hot water.

Ro Khanna, who is challenging fellow Democrat, Representative Mike Honda in the 17th Congressional District, has been using plenty of technology in his campaign. But on his campaign website, many of his Twitter followers, which included reporters, were listed as fundraisers and supporters.

South Bay Politician Commits Social Media Gaffe

The website generated fundraiser pages, using names and photos of his Twitter followers, and identifying them as part of "Team Ro."

KCBS Political Analyst and San Jose State University Political Science Professor Larry Gerston said it was a serious error, but by no means fatal.

"Let's remember, everything has its context and its timing. If this kind of problem occurred lets say in May of next year, wow, this would be difficult for a lot of people to accept and deal with," said Gerston. "But, this happens in October and there's so many issues, there will be debates, there will be forums."

Theo Yedinsky, owner of Social Stream Media, said some campaigns feel like they have to push the technological envelope.

"The modern campaign has to be in social media. That's where people spend their time and that's where they're getting their information," Yedinsky said. "If you want to connect with the voter, you have to spend time where they spend time."

The Khanna campaign, which said the pages were an accident, quickly took them down and issued an apology. The campaign for Representative Honda issued no comment.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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