Okay! This is Part 2 of how to get the media spotlight on the voting process in your area. To recap prior posts: absent the glare of the media, the GOP will be trying to steal this election by suppressing the vote in key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. And in your state too. They've done it before and have set up measures to do it again. But YOU CAN STOP THEM!
At the end of Part 1, you were scheduling your first press conference. And you're nervous. That's all right. Even old pros always get butterflies before the curtain goes up. Just remember that the media is on YOUR SIDE. You're giving them some news, and they pray for news stories. Plus yours is a "sexy" story. It's about the little guy (the voter) versus the BIG BUREAUCRAT (the election official). And you are clearly on the side of the angels because you are not (yet) accusing the official of any bad practices beyond a failure to respond to the citizens who pay his salary. All you are demanding at this point is INFORMATION. You are ASKING the most important question in a democracy: WILL PEOPLE BE ALLOWED TO VOTE? (The media should be asking this question and will be on your side because you're doing their work for them!)
In the press conference - and ALWAYS - STAY ON POINT! You mustn't let your effort become partisan. You are a concerned as a CITIZEN, not as a Democrat or Republican. Obviously you should get a Republican to stand next to you if you can. But if the issue comes up and you have no handy Republican, just say "We want Republicans and Democrats and Independents to be able to vote. This is about the right to vote, not about parties."
Keep your sentences short. Be firm and concerned but not angry. Anger comes across badly on TV. Before the press conference, practice a lot. Out loud and with a friendior family member. And you KNOW how press conferences go - you've been watching them all your life on TV! Go pee just before the press conference begins. (That part has not been on TV.) Have a drink of water before you begin speaking. (There should be coffee and donuts on hand for the media.) Begin by thanking the media for coming, and close by thanking them at the end. Smile before you begin. Be serious when on topic. Be bravely determined when you end. Chin high! Ready for the fray!
GIVE YOUR STORY LEGS! Media people want a story that "has legs", meaning it will continue to unfold. In your press conference make it clear that you are going to pursue this effort. Tell the media what your next step will be to get information out of the recalcitrant official. Say you're going to seek the help of your elected officials, and NAME THEM. Go for the state and local ones, and name several of DIFFERENT PARTIES: the local assemblymen, the state senators, the town mayor, etc. (Don't tip these elected officials ahead of time. Let the press go after them and thus set them competing to get on your side!) Or say you are consulting attorneys regarding court action. Or that you'll file a complaint with your state's election board or the federal Department of Justice if necessary.
DON'T SAY you are going to picket the election official's office or do a sit-in. That's great action but it should come later. You want to space out what you do. You want to give actual legs to your story, announcing things one after another. That way you are keeping the pressure on the media to keep pressure on the election official. And if the elected official caves and agrees to meet with you after you get press attention? That's for PART 3 of this political seminar, coming in a few days and with time-out for ragging on Romney-Ryan!
Still scared? Well, they were scared at Bunker Hill. They were scared in Mississippi when they went to register. They were scared in California's Central Valley when they had to face the guns outside the polls. And how about that election in Iraq with those people holding up a purple finger after dodging Al Queda to get to the polls?
If it isn't worth being scared in order to get it, it ain't worth having!
When in your life will you again have a chance to take history into your two hands?
So get ready to fight to protect the vote. Now is the time. You are the one. Can you do this?
Yes, YOU can!
Hey, Mitt, can you produce those tax returns? YES, you damn well better! And little Paul "Eddie" Ryan's too. We want to see how much he's earning on his oil interests.