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Utah politician’s online comments about racism, sexual orientation draw criticism

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Posted at 9:56 PM, Apr 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-06 01:02:49-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Representative David Lifferth is hardly shy, especially online.

He has more than 8,000 tweets on his Twitter account and his blog on ning.com are prolific.

On both platforms, Lifferth is outspoken and he regularly catches the ire of activists.

For example, Lifferth had a lengthy back and forth with gay rights proponents on Twitter on April 5 where he regularly used "gaystopo" as a hashtag.

But the Donald Sterling, LA Clippers controversy gave a series of tweets a broad audience.

"We should have known Don Sterling was a racist when he gave money to National Association for Advancement of Colored People #utpol," one tweet read.

Lifferth went on to say he thought the NAACP is racist because it advocates for people based, in his words, "on skin color."

Lifferth declined to talk to FOX 13 News for this story, as did the State Republican Party.

Jeanetta Williams, president of the NACCP Salt Lake Branch, said she was astonished by the lack of knowledge of someone in Lifferth's position about the NAACP.

"We, the NAACP Salt Lake Branch publicly extend an invitation for Rep. Lifferth to attend one of our NAACP meetings where we can educate him about our volunteer work," Williams said.

But Utah County Republican Party Chair Casey Voeks spoke to FOX 13 News, saying Lifferth should rethink how he approaches social media, but the party doesn't need to step in.

"I'm grateful to people that attempt to weigh in on these third rail issues where no one wants to every talk about it. I think he could have done a better job with how he went about it, but I'm grateful he attempts to," Voeks said.