Flagstaff congressman's aide quits after reports of violent Twitter posts
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar’s office confirmed Saturday the resignation of a staffer, one day after a Washington newspaper reported an aide in the Flagstaff office had posted violent and off-color Twitter messages.
The newspaper, Roll Call, first reported Friday that Gosar staffer Blake Schritter had posted the messages to a personal account under the Twitter handle drunkenbs.
Schritter’s account has since been taken down, but not before Roll Call reported on posts there that included comments on getting ready “to open fire with a handgun to get some damn service” at a slow-moving post office, and references to drinking and being hung-over.
Calls to Gosar’s offices in Washington and Arizona on Friday evening were not returned. A person who answered the phone Friday evening at Schritter’s home in Kingman said he was not available. The same person said he wasn’t home Saturday afternoon.
In a terse e-mail Saturday, Gosar’s Deputy Chief of Staff Tom Van Flein said, “Yesterday we accepted the resignation of a staff member that made a mistake.” A spokeswoman for the Flagstaff Republican reached by phone Saturday said that the office had no other comment on the issue.
Schritter began working for Gosar in March and opened his Twitter account May 31, according to Roll Call. His first tweet may have been a harbinger of the current situation: “Time to prep for the defamation of character lawsuits!” Roll Call said Schritter posted.
Another of his tweets mocked university professors. “I can’t believe how unprofessional liberal professors can be. I’m sitting here, cleaning my gun, thinking … this is a classroom!!!” Roll Call said he posted on June 23.
According to his Facebook page, which still identified him Saturday as an employee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Schritter is a graduate student in Northern Arizona University’s criminology program. It said he previously worked for the Coconino County Superior Court and was a graduate of Kingman High School.
A MySpace page for Blake Schritter, that appears to show him posing with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he was “very active in the conservative movement, especially at the college level” and loved discussing politics.