Politics Blog

Wash. Republicans to tweet with constituents

Republicans in the Washington state House of Representatives will take a page from President Barack Obama's playbook.

Inhabitants of the Twittersphere are invited to direct questions via that social media platform to House Republican leaders from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9.

Just ask Rep. Dan Kristiansen and Rep. J.T. Wilcox a question, using 140 characters or less while making room for the hashtag #solutionsWA.

Neither of Whatcom's Republican representatives, Vincent Buys or Jason Overstreet, are participating in the Twitter Q&A, but there's no reason to let that deter you. I always find it interesting to talk to members of the minority party, to find out what they think they can accomplish despite the uphill battle they face. (House Republicans are a minority among minorities; two-thirds of the House-Senate-governor troika are Democrat.)

Kristiansen of Snohomish represents the 39th Legislative District, which includes eastern Skagit County.

The House Republicans' press release announcing the tweet-up said this won't be the first such interaction between an elected and his or her constituents. 

"President Obama held a Twitter town hall last July," the release said. Seeing Obama's name in a GOP press release, sans derision, was jarring -- but OK.

The press release also is upfront about the limitations of using this medium to talk to constituents.

"Participants and the responding representatives will only have 140 characters to relay their questions, answers and ideas."

If you want to spectate rather than participate, just follow #solutionsWA on Twitter or keep an eye on the @WaHouseGOP Twitter page during the meeting.

By the way, neither Buys nor Overstreet are prolific Twitter users. Overstreet's account, @VoteOverstreet, was a campaign platform that hasn't been used since September 2010. Buys ( @VincentBuys) last tweeted on Dec. 6, about the naming ceremony for the repaired Skagit River Bridge, and has tweeted 179 times total.