Grading State Legislative Leaders: Social Media

Pileggi twitterLast month, we took a look at the social media presence of the gubernatorial candidates. This month, we thought we’d examine the records of the state’s legislative leaders.

As in the case of our gubernatorial review, our grades reflect the size and depth of a member’s following as well as the quality of their social media output.

Dominic Pileggi
Senate Majority Leader (R-Delaware)
Grade: A
Twitter Followers: 3,131
Facebook Likes: 1,484

Dominic Pileggi is our winner for a number of reasons. The obvious is that he has the most Twitter followers and Facebook likes of all the other legislators. His accounts are also the most up-to-date and informative. Additionally, the quality of his accounts are above and beyond those of his contemporaries; the State Senate chamber as the background of his Twitter account was a particularly nice touch.

Joe Scarnati
Senate Pro Tempore (R-Jefferson)
Grade: B-
Twitter Followers: 1,906
Facebook Followers: 764

Joe Scarnati has impressive numbers and maintains frequent postings on Twitter and Facebook. The Senator does lose some points, however, on style as both pages are devoid of anything to make them stand out in any way.

Mike Turzai
House Majority Leader (R-Allegheny)
Grade: C+
Twitter Followers: 2,006
Facebook Followers: 138

Mike Turzai and the others above deserve credit for having both Twitter and Facebook accounts as all the remaining leaders of the State House on this list are missing one or the other. The quality of the Majority Leader’s pages, however, is lacking. Rep. Turzai’s Facebook number is also noticeably and inexplicably terrible.

Jay Costa
Senate Minority Leader (D-Allegheny)
Grade: D+
Twitter Followers: None
Facebook Followers: 580

Sen. Jay Costa, despite being the Democratic leader in the State Senate, doesn’t appear to have a Twitter account. That is a major reason why Sen. Costa’s grade is so low. While his Facebook account is decent, he has a relatively low number of followers.

Sam Smith
Speaker of the House (R-Jefferson)
Grade: D
Twitter Followers: None
Facebook Followers: 907

While Sen. Costa’s failure to have a Twitter account is bad, Speaker Smith’s is even worse. Not only that, but his Facebook account is the least updated of all the other leaders.

Frank Dermody
House Minority Leader (D-Allegheny)
Grade: D-
Twitter Followers: 1,896
Facebook Followers: None

Rep. Dermody is our unfortunate last place finisher. The top-ranking State House Democrat has a Twitter account with a decent number of followers, although it is not very active. Somehow, he has no Facebook account, which makes little sense in the year 2013.

December 2nd, 2013 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 5 Comments

5 thoughts on “Grading State Legislative Leaders: Social Media”

  1. Paul Roden says:

    PA State Representative Steve Santarsiero, (D-31) made very effective use of Facebook in communicating with his constituents during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, in helping to restore electricity to constituents in his district. He also used it in his re-election campaign. Social media in political campaigns and issue organizing in this country has barely scratched the surface.

  2. Ed H. says:

    Rep. Mark Cohen is not only a good legislator, but also is pretty active on social media. Most humorous is Senator Daylin Leach’s musings (another good legislator)

  3. GoodGovernment says:

    No honorable mention for State Rep. Jesse White (D- Washington) who used multiple online personas to bully and intimidate constituents and anybody who disagreed with him?

  4. An Independent says:

    I respectfully disagree with the premise that having an active and up-to-date social media presence makes a person a good legislator (or anything else for that matter). Of course, being inactive and having no social media presence doesn’t automatically make for a good legislator either.

  5. tommyd says:

    Maybe your high-rated legislators are spending too much time on superficialities and and propaganda and too little on substance and productivity. Perhaps your list should be reversed.

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