Progress Report: Why Don’t Local Pols Tweet; Harrop Tears Apart Tea Party; Angel for Gov Rumor Mill

Downtown Providence from the Providence River. (Photo by Bob Plain)

Rhode Island really does have a great twittersphere: we’ve got journalists, activists, business leaders, union officials and a plethora of other people all engaged in active debate in 140 characters or less. What we don’t have in that mix is a lot of local politicians, as Ian Donnis of RIPR points out. It’s too bad, because having more elected officials join the fun would certainly help inform the marketplace of ideas.

I would add that I happen to think Rhode Island also suffers from a lack of progressive voices on twitter … sure, a bunch of us have accounts and some of us even use it to push out relevant stories or respond to or offer critiques, but our counterparts on the right have made much more effective use of twitter than we have.

Interestingly (probably only to me!), the ones who do use twitter seem to like to pick on me there: I’m pretty sure I’m the reporter Ian refers to when he writes that Rep. Dan Gordon tweaks reporters for having more followers than them, and Rep. Jon Brien often included me in his missive tweets to the old grey lady. To follow me on twitter, click here. To follow @RIFuture, here.

Froma Harrop tears apart the Tea Party today on the Projo’s op/ed page: “The Tea Party movement has become the dead bad-luck bird hanging around the GOP establishment’s neck. Its anger-fueled energy has forced moderate Republicans off ballots in places where moderates tend to win. It has burdened otherwise centrist Republicans with radical positions that don’t go well with a general electorate. The Grand Old Party is being taken over by an ideological fringe with unclear motives, a loose grasp on reality and little interest in actually governing.”

Seriously, even Republicans are starting to implore Mitt Romney to stick up against the fringe elements of the GOP.

Keeping on the topic of low moments in the history of the GOP for just a moment, today in 1974 Richard Nixon becomes the first American president ever to quit the gig.

WPRO’s morning tag team of Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil are the first to get Providence Mayor Angel Taveras on the record about the potential of him running for governor in 2014. As we’ve noted, a Taveras vs. Gina Raimondo gubernatorial contest would be the ultimate referendum on how to handle pension reform: unilateral cuts, as Gina did at the state level, or concerted negotiations, as Angel did at the municipal level. Those two playing fields may not be equal, but have fun waiting around for politics to become fair…

Usually the national media comes to Rhode Island when poor cities and towns are going broke or when we’re taking retirement security away from working class people … but recently the Wall Street Journal came to Newport to answer that age-old question that so many are asking themselves in this era of austerity: is buying a yacht a good investment?

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Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

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