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PANDER WATCH: Carly Fiorina goes for the gusto

Pander WatchIn every campaign, there comes a moment when the candidate is sorely tempted to toss aside his or her heartfelt beliefs in favor of a statement that’s surer to please – and sadly, it’s all too rare an occasion when the candidate resists that temptation.

But Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina might’ve taken it to new heights (or depths?) on Twitter on Friday, at least as far as many in the Bay Area are concerned.

Fiorina, of course, is the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and former Los Altos Hills resident who received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and medieval history at Stanford University in 1976. The Stanford Cardinal is playing the Iowa State Hawkeyes in today’s Rose Bowl game (and, at this moment, Stanford is up 14-0).

Fiorina no doubt hopes her ersatz Hawkeye spirit will improve her odds in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus, coming up on Feb. 1. She certainly needs some sort of boost – she’s currently in a three-way tie for seventh place in Iowa, with 2.3 percent support, according to the latest average of recent polls compiled by Real Clear Politics.

But do Iowans want a president who roots for their team simply in order to get their vote, or one who sticks by her fellow alumni? Where’s the loyalty, the fearless honesty?

The Twitterverse was not kind.

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Twitter launches $Cashtags for political donations

Twitter launched a new service Tuesday letting users contribute to their favorite political candidates and causes through a tweet.

The micro-blogging social media giant teamed up with its San Francisco neighbor, Square, to set up the new system.

Twitter CashtagCandidates who sign up for an account through Square Cash can tweet a unique URL, or $Cashtag, to request donations from supporters. The tweet will automatically include an image with a “contribute” button, making it easy for anyone to click to donate directly through the tweet.

Donors who see a candidate’s $Cashtag and hit the “contribute” button will be able to select a donation amount and add debit card and FEC-required information. Users then have the option to tweet the candidate’s $Cashtag to their own followers or return to where they were in Twitter.

Twitter also noted Tuesday it has developed tools like country-specific notifications to remind people to register to vote, richer Tweets that make email collection for campaigns easier, and real-time audience tailoring so advertisers can better identify and target relevant conversations.

“By partnering with Square to enable donations through Tweets, and as the 2016 election season heats up, we’ve upgraded these tools through which citizens can raise their voices to champion causes and candidates they support,” Twitter wrote in a blog post.