Carmel mayor defends deleting comments from campaign page

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (Feb. 18, 2015)-- The Mayor of Carmel is responding to complaints over deleted comments on his campaign page on Facebook.

Kiel Kinnaman got upset when he realized his comment was deleted from Mayor Jim Brainard's campaign page. He was replying to someone who had posted a negative comment about Brainard's opponent in the mayoral race.

Kinnaman operates an online community forum called Carmel Chatter and couldn't believe comments were being deleted on the Mayor's campaign page.

"I was a little bit disheartened because you know it is social media and so you expect it to be social and to have more of a two way conversation," he said.

FOX59 took that complaint to Mayor Brainard who defended his campaign's actions. He said he was familiar with Kinnaman and wanted to prevent the conversation from turning negative.

"We're familiar with that person and he's firebombed our site (before). He runs a site that's full of negative comments. Anybody that comes out positive, they're diluted with mean, nasty comments. So we know him. And we know what he does with his own site. We just don't want that on our political site."

Kinnaman said his comment was professional and felt that the Mayor was losing out on an opportunity to engage with constituents.

"Nothing was inappropriate," said Kinnaman. "It was just trying to have a conversation with somebody. Just trying to get what their points of view were about the other candidate. A great opportunity for, you know, constituents and people to discuss the issues together and try to come to some understanding."

The question over censorship isn't new. In 2013, Governor Mike Pence apologized for deleting Facebook comments on the same sex marriage debate. However that was on his official page, not a campaign page.

As Brainard would put it, his page is not a chat room and he's happy to answer questions in person or on the phone.

"We answer tough questions all the time. This just isn't the place for that sort of discourse."

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