Archive for January 23rd, 2007

For the half-dozen of you that don’t happen to read Left in the West, the Montana Democratic legislators have started blogging!

That’s right! Their site is called Montana Statehouse, and it features posts from the Senate President, Mike Cooney, and the Senate Majority Leader, Carol Williams, among other elected Democratic legislators.

I think it’s a damn fine idea.

First, it allows voters direct access to lawmakers’ opinion on issues, including ones they care about the most. Like Senator Dave Wazenried’s bill on wind energy. Or Rep. John Parker’s bill on reform of payday loans. Or Carol Williams post on what her responsibility is to Montana women (and to all Montanans, as a result) as the state’s first female Senate majority leader.

Montanans are no longer reliant solely on the media for information on what’s going on in the legislature. That’s huge. While I think the Montana media does a decent job of covering state politics (as opposed to the national media covering national politics), there’s only so much newsprint and airtime available for reporting. Reporters are responsible for documenting, condensing, and editing everything that goes on in our state government. They decide what we read or watch on television. They decide what’s important.

Now astute readers can decide for themselves.

(Not that I’m implying traditional media has gotten squeezed out of the equation. Quite the opposite. We still need the editors. After all, they know the issues, the players, the history that most of us don’t. In the end, they have pretty good judgment on what’s important to the state and the legislature.)

The best part is that comments are encouraged.

My only fear is that the novelty will wear off, and we’ll see one post a week. Which is fine for many local political or personal blog, but with…what? 80 Democratic legislators, we should see multiple posts a day…

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