For Bucks County congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, there must be an old family saying: Do as I vote, not as my daughter tweets.
In February 2011, the suburban Republican joined a House majority in voting to bar all federal funding -- totaling $330 million -- for birth control and other women's health services provided by Planned Parenthood.
Apparently there was no vote to ban Planned Parenthood within the Fitzpatrick family, according to a report in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call about the racy Twitter feed of the politician's college-student daughter Maggie.
“[P]rotest outside of planned parenthood right now,” she posted on the social-networking site Twitter last October, according to Roll Call. “[C]razy people yelling at me about abortion, I just want my birth control #backthef—off.”
The Planned Parenthood funding cut-off died in the Democratic-controlled Senate, but access to birth control has re-surfaced as a hot-button issue in the 2012 elections. Meanwhile, the entire Twitter feed -- @maggieerose -- was taken down last Friday, according to the newspaper.
Roll Call -- which apparently had been following the now-dead Twitter account for some time -- also reported on other risque tweets. It said that Jan. 5, 2011, won't go down as a landmark day in family history. The senior Fitzpatrick got dinged in the media for missing his swearing-in ceremony, while at 4:08 p.m. his daughter tweeted that "if ya havent noticed im drunk. and in the capital. this might end terrible.”
"Every parent faces the same challenges of raising children in a complicated world,” the congressman told Roll Call. “Parenting is made more difficult in the age of Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes children say or do things that you disagree with, but you love them unconditionally. My daughter Maggie is a young college student. This is a matter that my wife Kathy and I will handle privately."
Meanwhile, radio's Rush Limbaugh -- who seems to have lots of opinions about college women and access to birth control -- hasn't weighed in on this one yet.