The List: Homing in on Policy and Politics in the NJ Twitterverse

Paula Saha | March 3, 2014 | The List
Here are 10 Twitter accounts worth following if you're trying to stay up to speed on what decisions are being made -- and who's making them -- in NJ

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Twitter may have a 140-character limit, but with 241 million monthly active users worldwide, the chatter adds up quick. Separating the signal from the noise means following the right people. With that in mind, we came up with this list of Jersey-centric Twitter accounts that the Garden State policy wonk should definitely be following.

Disclaimers: First, this isn’t a scientific list: No Klout scores or follower totals went into the calculations. We relied on our own insights, with a little outside assistance.

Second, because we didn’t want to play favorites we left reporters and media organizations off the list. That’s also why we didn’t include our own reporters or columnists, but you can still follow them all.

Think we missed some good ones? Tweet @njspotlight your favorites with the hashtag #NJSList.

1. @PollsterPatrick

As founding director of the Monmouth Polling Institute, Patrick Murray stays tuned to the latest politics and policy debates, and delivers timely links to his most recent polls. But Murray tweets more than just his own work. Notable headlines, context, and the occasional keep-it-real snark are all part of his Twitter brand. Full disclosure: Because Murray is so notable in the Jersey-Twitterverse, we asked him for his favorites and included a few — along with his reasons why — in this list.

2. @MattRooneyNJ

Matt Rooney is a family law attorney and founder of the conservative Save New Jersey blog, but his twitter feed is more than just links to his own posts. Murray says Rooney “brings some grounded perspective on how the Republican Party needs to be more pragmatic in its approach to policy.”

3. @CitizenCampaign

The Citizens Campaign is dedicated to getting more New Jerseyans to actively participate in their governments and communities. Their twitter feed includes tips on better understanding government, citizen journalism, government transparency rules, and tools for better community participation.


David Knowlton, head of the New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute, maintains an account that knows how to curate news. Knowlton is well read and tweets healthcare research, data, and headlines that those interested in healthcare policy should be paying attention to. Every once in a while, you’ll also get a political observation or two.

5. @njchamber

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce is a useful account for keeping up with the state’s powerful business lobby. With a large following and a long history to draw on, its tweets keep followers in the know about major events for the business community.

6. @njbusiness

Most of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s tweets have to do with its own events, as well as events attended by the staff that does the tweeting. That’s why the account provides a telling snapshot of business community priorities and initiatives.

7. @NJPolicy

A left-leaning think tank for the Garden State, New Jersey Policy Perspective is always plugged into the latest Jersey goings-on and provides data, context, and links for news stories.

8. @NewJerseyFuture

New Jersey Future, the smart-growth advocacy group is worth following if you are interested in planning and development. It not only watches over New Jersey’s big planning issues, but also stays abreast of national happenings that are relevant to the Garden State.

9. @FairShareNJ

Fair Share Housing Center has long been an influencer in the Garden State, but its grabbed a bigger share of the spotlight when it sued for records related to the disbursement of Sandy aid. Tweeting @FairShareNJ, the group provides links to its blog posts and engages reporters and members of the public, raising questions and even challenging leaders.

10. @SethCWANJ

Seth Hahn, the legislative and politics director for the Communications Workers of America in New Jersey, may not be the most prolific tweeter, but Murray notes that Hahn “tweets in bursts and then goes silent for days” but also says he “is worth following when he is on a roll.” A look at his feed shows that he often comes alive for big events, such as Gov. Chris Christie’s budget address.