By Chris Steller
Photo by Paul Battaglia
Twitter is fast becoming a way of life at the House. Ninety-seven of the 134 House members have Twitter accounts, more than half (77) have tweeted so far this session and one-third make a habit of tweeting at least every other day.
The social-media platform’s main appeal for the Capitol crowd is speed. Twitter’s 140-character messages provide an immediate way to get the word out and follow legislative events in real time.
“You can track what is going on by the second,” said Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) — a key advantage at a place where she said “information rules.” Twitter has “sped up the spread of information and news incredibly fast,” said Rep. Peggy Bennett (R-Albert Lea).
Sen. Branden Petersen (R-Andover) recalled that as a House member in 2011, he learned from Twitter that the state government shutdown was over. “[KSTP-TV reporter] Tom Hauser notified me, a member of the majority caucus, that there was a budget deal done,” Petersen said. “That’s just a small little example of the power of Twitter.”