In the past, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has criticized her predecessor for various things such as politics in office, and for computer related issues. So my ears perked up when I was told today that the Secretary of State’s 605 voter app has apparently been directing people to Krebs for Congress Campaign Facebook Page for several months now.
According to Secretary of State Shantel Krebs’ website, the intent of the Vote 605 mobile application is to help voters find valuable information about elections:
“Using this information-protected application, any registered South Dakota voter now has the ability to discover where they may vote, what is on their ballot, and any additional voter registration and election information pertaining to the user.
Unfortunately, (and we hope inadvertently) the Vote 605 App has fallen victim to the closeness of the Official functions of the Secretary of State’s office to her campaign efforts as she attempts to run for the US Congressional seat being vacated by Congresswoman Kristi Noem.
Because if you click on the app to go to what you think is Shantel Krebs’ Facebook page for the Secretary of State’s web site, you’re getting different information than what you might have expected. In fact, I filmed what I found when I clicked on it myself:
As was pointed out to me by a reader, the Vote 605 Voter Information App has apparently been sending people who click on the Facebook link not to a Facebook page for the Secretary of State, but to Shantel Krebs’ Federal Congressional Campaign Facebook page. (The twitter links to a more state related SOS Twitter page).
In fact, going looking for the actual Facebook page for Krebs in her role as the Secretary of State, there’s even a more curious discovery. As in… there isn’t one. Was there never one? Did it disappear?
This caused me a lot more sleuthing. What did I find?
There’s Krebs’ personal facebook page. And there’s her Congressional facebook page which the 605 App links to as demonstrated. But if you search, there would not appear to be a public Facebook page for Krebs in her role as Secretary of State anymore for the 605 application to link to.
But, where did it go? If you look at the link for her Congressional page.. the link in the page for her Congressional Facebook page appears to have references to her being Secretary of State:
What I found was that this page – which had been used for and accepting the traffic & likes for Krebs’ role in the public sector office of Secretary of State – had been converted over to the purposes of the federal race. And as I found out after doing some retrospective digging, her Facebook page has been flowing all along and changing as she’s adopted various public personas during the years.
It appears that the page has gone from her time in the State Senate campaigning (watch the dates of the posts, all screen shot today)….
..to her Secretary of State 2014 campaign page..
…To the Official SOS Facebook page.
And sometime after this post, after the campaign page became her official SOS page, it was being used to promote the very app which was directing people to the now official facebook page..
Unfortunately, on March 13th of this year, the Krebs official SOS page was converted back over to campaign duty and over to her Congressional Campaign site…
…But the links in the 605 App were never changed.
During the prior conversion of Krebs’ campaign Facebook page into a website for a public official, at that time the linkage between the Facebook page and the official Secretary of State’s 605 App was established. Unfortunately, when the Facebook page was reconverted to the political, it appears to have not been unlinked.
As was pointed out to me by a correspondent today, it begs the question “why was her campaign page converted to a public office page in the first place?”
As the SOS is finding, you can run into a problem when you’re co-mingling your campaign persona with that of being a public official. Because of the blurring, since at least since March 13th, the SOS’s official Vote 605 App’s Facebook link has been shuttling people to a page branded for the Secretary of State’s run for Congress.
Could it have been a political page all along? Sure. But if it was never intended to be a social media page for Krebs in her official role, and was only intended to be limited to her political activities, then why was it linked up to the State of South Dakota sponsored Vote 605 App in the first place?
Neither possible explanation comes off looking very good in this matter.
It’s probably telling how much people actually used the Facebook functionality for the Vote 605 App that it wasn’t discovered until now, nearly 4 months later. And I suspect a lot is going to happen in short order to correct this as soon as I hit “publish” on this post, and there won’t be a reason to waste another breath on it.
But it might also represent a bump in the road for the Congressional Candidate whose campaign is almost solely based on her claims of being a reformer in the office of Secretary of State.
The phrase best used might be “physician, heal thyself.”
Since the Story broke, apparently Secretary Krebs has appeared on KELO AM Radio to offer a couple of comments.
Krebs: I don’t read blogs, only credible sources like https://t.co/iMMjsgQLd9.
— KELO (@keloradio) July 7, 2017
Krebs: Politicized Vote 605 app? It was an oversight that personal FB page was linked. Taken care of and resolved.
— KELO (@keloradio) July 7, 2017
An “oversight” that a “personal facebook page was linked?” Hmmm…
As noted above, the page that was linked was absolutely not her personal facebook page, but the political page she’s used ever since she’d established a facebook presence for the state legislature, and other offices. There never was an official SOS page. Just her political one that was modified for that use.
But, that’s her story, and apparently she’s sticking to it.