May 18, 2013

Nearly half of legislators now on Twitter

It’s said the nightingale cannot perform unless it first hears a few notes from another nightingale. Somewhere in that observation lies a lesson from Nature relative to the growing amount of tweets by members of the Kentucky General Assembly on the new-found social media Twitter. 

Now, 45.9 percent of the commonwealth's state lawmakers are on Twitter. And the number of Republicans who are using this social media far outnumber the Democrats. In the state Senate a majority of the members, 20 of 38 (52.6%), are tweeting — 14 Rs and 6 Ds.  In the House of Representatives slightly fewer than a majority, 43 of 99 (44.4%), are tweeting — 27 Rs and 16 Ds. [There is one vacancy in the House.]

All these legislators tweeting provide a significant opportunity for lobbyists and for anyone else following the development of public policy in the state. Because in every tweet, the legislator provides at least a hint, intentionally or not, of where his or her mind is on subjects of personal interest and public policy. It has long been my view that the best lobbyist will study each legislator like an astronomer studies the stars. And now all of these legislators are singing like nightingales — well, maybe some of them. 

The following is a list of state legislators on Twitter as of mid-May 2013.  The source is Who's What in Kentucky Government 2013-2014, now available at