Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is picky on Twitter.
As of this week, Brownback’s account was following only 368 Twitter accounts while it had 14,700 followers.
Which got me wondering: Who’s made it to the inner sanctum of the governor’s Twitter feed?
Here’s what I found by thumbing through those followed by the governor’s account.
▪ Among the more than 100 government-related accounts are those on the federal (@CongHuelskamp and @SenPatRoberts), state (@LibraryofKS and @kswateroffice), county (@jocogov), city (@CityofShawneeKS and @CityofEmporiaKS), law enforcement (@TrooperrickKHP and @OlathePolice), and school (@maize266 and @KStateNews) levels.
▪ Then there are the smattering of conservative political groups (@FreedomWorks), businesses (@Cargill and @Black_Veatch), sports figures (@CoachBillSelf and @CoachBillSnyder) and dozens of individual accounts.
(Eileen Hawley, Brownback’s press secretary, said via email Monday that the communications staff decides who gets followed by the governor’s account and is responsible for the tweets on it.)
However, some of those being followed are a little more unexpected.
A few exist — or existed, because most have been inactive — to make fun of Brownback.
Another followed account gives the views of a group that is “committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions.” It has criticized Brownback for his educational funding plans and recently has been merciless on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Brownback’s account also follows Paul Davis, who was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate in the 2014 governor’s race and is still not happy with Brownback.
The governor follows few entertainers, but it’s encouraging to see that one account is for the excellent comedy team of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
It’s notable that, even when Brownback follows what might be considered a “friendly” account, it can tweet some rather disturbing news. In this case, the delays in 25 state road projects are caused by the governor’s costly and failed 2012 income tax cuts.
A site followed by Brownback, and which discusses Kansas politics, tweeted out a link to a negative story about the governor.
Then we come to the media — oops — “liberal media” that Brownback chastised in late April when he sent out a fundraising letter that included this bold-faced excerpt:
“The liberals and their allies in the media will stop at nothing to undermine the conservative reforms we are making in Kansas.”
Still, Brownback’s Twitter account follows dozens upon dozens of media representatives in newspapers (@HutchNews and @BryanLowry3), television (@KrisKetzKMBC and @megynkelly) and radio (@ParksKMBZ and @kcur).
Wait. I’m in the media. Does the governor of the great state of Kansas follow ... me?
Heck, no, are you kidding?
But he does follow my employer, @KCStar. And it often links to my articles on Brownback.
Here’s one other noticeable thing about the governor’s Twitter account: Many of its tweets draw scathing criticism in the comments field, often attacking Brownback for the problems he has caused with state funding of public services.
Asked why the governor’s Twitter account does not delete these unflattering responses, press secretary Hawley replied, “We respect everyone’s right to express their opinions.”
Finally, I must admit that I don’t follow the governor’s account either.
That’s mostly because other people on Twitter are doing a great job keeping track of Brownback’s comings, goings, successes and, alas, many failures in the Sunflower State.