DALLAS — North Texas cities and counties are using social media — like Twitter and Facebook — to get messages out to residents.
Most of the postings are community updates about meetings, or warnings about weather.
But Republicans raised questions Monday that some tweets on Dallas County's account have more to do with partisanship than public service.
Policies will be changing because of some questionable tweets — especially this one issued on Friday:
County Judge Clay Jenkins featured at TX Dem. Convention. Boyd Ritchie says he is "someone to watch".
It appears to some as partisan, but Jenkins disagreed Monday.
"I am not going to apologize for that, because my speech at that convention was about the great things that are happening here in Dallas County," Judge Jenkins said.
Unlike the official Twitter accounts for Collin County or the City of Dallas that list non-partisan events and hardly a word about office-holders, the Dallas County site hardly looks neutral, according to GOP Chairman Wade Emmert.
"This is not a tweet about the convention; this is a tweet about Judge Jenkins and his role in the Democratic Party," Emmert said.
Other tweets on the Dallas County site extol programs backed by the Obama administration with links to the White House website.
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Judge Jenkins says Obama "All-of-the-Above" Energy Approach is good for Dallas County.
"Those are not partisan tweets," Jenkins said. "Those are tweets from WhiteHouse.gov. If the tweets were from BarackObama.com — the campaign site — they would be."
The county social media policy, passed by Commissioners Court on April 13, 2010, states, "social networking websites must be used only for posting materials on behalf of Dallas County and not for personal postings."
Maria Arita, Dallas County's Public Information Officer, said she writes the tweets on county computers.
Democratic Commissioner Elba Garcia is mentioned in some of the posts — but not the two Republican commissioners by name.
"So you have a Dallas County spokesperson, using Dallas County equipment, paid for by Dallas County taxpayers to be a spokesperson for Clay Jenkins' campaign and Barack Obama's re-election effort," Emmert said.
Jenkins said he'll now shift messages about him or the White House to a separate county twitter account bearing his name.
"I'm going to make every effort to keep the one that doesn't have my name on it just as bland as possible," he said.