Similar to the correspondence I've had with Sen. Jon Erpenbach, off the record, Sen. Mark Miller had a similar statement that seemed to think Sly in the Morning tried to mislead listeners when he said their response to the Wheeler Report survey failed to mention collective bargaining:
Senate Miller issued the following statement regarding collective bargaining after numerous misleading statements about Senate Democrats’ position:
“Senate Democrats remain strongly committed to restoring the collective bargaining rights that were stripped away by Governor Walker and Republican legislators this session. Any statement that we are not fully committed to this fight is simply ridiculous.
It’s not ridiculous. Miller did not even mention it as part of the Democratic agenda. What he and the other Democrats don’t get yet, is that they’re all lousy messengers. They can't sell squat.
Miller: “Restoring the rights of workers to collectively bargain is a key part of building back our economy in Wisconsin.”
Here’s my email response to Sen. Jon Erpenbach, who also remains firmly committed to restoring collective bargaining. It's a messaging problem guys.
I don’t for one minute believe you don’t support labor with every fiber of your body. My point, like Sly’s, is that Democrats need to keep our major agenda items red hot, in front of voters all the time. No cooling off periods. It doesn’t matter if Walker would just veto it. Has that stopped Republicans from trying to kill the ACA, Planned Parenthood, public schools, sex ed, unions, tort laws, regulation of any sort, PBS, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Medicare, campaign spending limits, backing corporate personhood...etc.
Every one of the issues above are always mentioned, pushed, marketed and breathlessly important to Republicans. But the Democrats...now’s not the time to bring up collective bargaining because it won’t get passed. I can name the above GOP list offhand, but could I name even a short list of strong Democratic issues? No.
Imagine how easy it would be to campaign, if voters were already energized and familiar with our agenda? Its Democrats going on the offensive. That requires the GOP to go on the defensive, taking valuable time away from pushing their own radical ideology. Right now, they’ve got all the time in the world to define the national conversation.
We need to adopt the marketing plan of the GOP. Never give up, never let people forget what we stand for, never forget to mention what we want in every media interview, and stand firm. We’ve got to stop talking about “compromise.” The word probably doesn’t test well in focus groups either. Yes, it’s part of our liberal DNA, but we don’t need to bring it up.
When people see you, or any Democrats, they need to know you’ll spread the word, the agenda, in every media appearance you make. Change the subject, redirect the question, do anything to show fight.