A post by Pat
Ordinary people who may or may not have joined recently formed grassroots groups to get together in opposition to the healthcare takeover are being belittled and dismissed. Aside from the “unruly mobs” smear, it is the simple fact of any kind of organization that supposedly undermines the credibility of these people. As though all those protests we’ve been seeing over the last 50 years from the Left were spontaneous with individuals suddenly impelled by unseen forces to go to the same street corner with the same signs.
The people are criticized for organizing while the Democrats plot this kind of meticulously organized onslaught.
To: Democratic Members of Congress From: House Democratic Leadership
Date: Friday, July 31, 2009
Re: Strategic Communications Plan for August: Health Insurance Reform
Over the last few months, we have made great progress to advance a strong health insurance reform bill through the House, and are closer than we have ever been to taking this historic step for our country. As we prepare for the five-week-long August District Work Period, we must recognize the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in what may be the most consequential DWP we have ever faced.
Winning the health reform debate in August requires nothing less than an aggressive, multi-front effort to control the message and keep the momentum moving forward. The continued focus and effort of every Member is critical to ensuring our success. The following memo outlines the strategic plan for Member action, earned media, and rapid response for August that will enable us to use this month to build support and momentum so we can return in September well-positioned to pass a health reform bill in the House.Our message is simple. It is in sync with the White House. And it counters the Republican “government takeover” message. Hold the insurance companies accountable. Remove them from between you and your doctor. No discrimination for pre-existing conditions. No dropping your coverage because you get sick. No more job or life decisions made based on loss of coverage. No need to change doctors or plans. No co-pays for preventive care. No excessive out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, or co-pays. No yearly or lifetime cost caps on what insurance companies cover.
SHOWING MOMENTUM & DRIVING THE DEBATE
District Health Care Events Members have already held more than 550 health care events in their districts this year, but we must do more. The Democratic Leadership has prepared a list of suggested district events and materials to help you organize and conduct successful events during the month of August. Press will be notified each week of a sampling of the events occurring around the country to demonstrate that Democrats are using the August District Work Period to advance the health reform conversation and build support for this critical effort. Members are advised to put a “human face” on health reform by incorporating personal stories into events and communications.
The memo continues with additional coordinated strategies.
Telephone Town Hall
Radio/TV Booking for Members
An aggressive effort to book Members for national and local radio and TV interviews will ensure our message will be delivered to both large and targeted audiences.
Print Press Outreach
[…] State and regional delegations are encouraged to organize conference calls with regional media. In addition, communications staff will be working hard to push the human-interest stories that highlight why reform is necessary and how it will benefit the average American. An aggressive effort will also be underway to ensure our message on reform is targeted and tailored to specific audiences.
Tracking Key Members for message delivery on any day of recess.
INFORMATION & REGULAR UPDATES
The Leadership is working in close coordination with the White House and outside groups (including but not limited to HCAN, Families USA, AFSCME, SEIU, AARPetc.) to ensure complementary efforts during August. The President, Secretary Sebelius and other principals in the reform debate will be working throughout the month to hold events, promote the message in the press and move the reform effort forward. We are also working closely with supportive organizations to ensure they are implementing comprehensive plans for August that include grassroots efforts, media strategies and anything else that can add to the momentum. In addition, a list of groups supporting health reform has been provided to your offices with information on ways you can partner with them in your districts.
WINNING ON THE WEB
“Hidden Tax” Clock
A democracy does not work by the government monopolizing communication while the people sit home eating mashed potatoes.