"During August, I encourage you to echo this message and reaffirm our theme – 'Fighting Washington for You' – in all that you do, for there is no better message than one that puts the American people before an out-of-control government."
Let us remember that Cathy McMorris Rodgers has been a part of Washington since 2005. She's on her fifth term as a member of the House. I doubt she realizes that she's looking in the mirror when she's talking about an out-of-control government. Regardless, she certainly doesn't like what she sees.
"Thank you for all that you do for the great country we all love. Please let me know how I can help you have an effective August recess as we take our unified message of fighting an out-of-control Washington to our homes."
Sadly, it's all about a unified Republican message and seeking information that agrees with it as opposed to finding out what constituents think. There's even a sample op-ed for others to use as a template. When I search for key phrases at the end of August, I wonder how many verbatim copies I'll find in our country's newspapers.
Anyway, the planning kit is chock full of tips for her fellow members. Here are some highlights.
Concerning Meet Ups, we get this advice: Invite at least 3-4 people with whom the Member already has an established relationship. This will strengthen the conversation and take it in a direction that is most beneficial to the Member’s goal. (The Member is to stand firm with a single-minded purpose. It helps if your Member has an established relationship with three or four other people. They know how to help reach the Member's goal.)
Prepare a few questions in advance in case the conversation slowly starts. A meetup event should be closed press so everyone feels comfortable to candidly speak about the issues. (Have some softball questions on hand to break the ice and make people more comfortable with your Member. And don't invite the press. That way your Member doesn't go limp under the pressure presented by prying eyes or hard questions.)
Concerning making YouTube videos: Make sure to use a camera on a tripod. (Duh! You want your Member to be in frame and in focus, right? And don't get too close. Nobody likes the sight of a Member that completely fills the screen. The Member can save that for selfies.)
Concerning a Jobs Fair: Identify 3-4 times throughout the day for the Member of Congress to address attendees. (Expose your Member to the people. After all, the reason these people are here is to see your Member.)
Concerning a Millennial Health Care Forum: Select a health care provider with the same stance on the issue as your boss. (Your Member is your boss. There's no mention of how wide the stance must be, but you should know your Member well enough to know.)
Concerning an Energy and Agriculture Tour: Try to ensure that all forms of agriculture in the district are represented with a visit (dairy, sheep, pigs, beef, orchards, vineyards, etc.) (Your Member should not show a preference for sheep over pigs, etc.)
Concerning an Energy Production Facility Tour: Encourage your Member to partake in the production processes as much as possible – wear a hard hat, learn how energy production at that particular facility works, etc. (Your Member has a head. Protect it. Plus, your Member wants to fit in so make sure your Member is fully prepared. Grease the skids so to speak.)
Concerning a Gas and Groceries Tour: Wear clothes in which you feel comfortable doing ‘hands-on’ work. (I assume this tip is for the Member, but you never know. Maybe the staff will be doing the "hands-on" work. Can you imagine the eruption that would occur if the staff got this wrong?)
Concerning a Higher Education Tour: Take a photo outside of the stadium, arena, or famous spot on campus wearing the school’s colors or team gear to promote on social media. (As many Members have discovered, Twitter and Facebook are excellent methods of sharing photos of your Member--with or without school colors or team gear.)
Concerning a Hospital or Health Care Facility Tour: Choose a local hospital that is familiar to many constituents in your district. Alternatively, if your Member represents a more rural area, rural hospitals are particularly effective for this purpose. (Many Members have lots of experience with hospital visits. Make the most of it.)
Concerning a Main Street Tour: Too many cameras and microphones following a Member may be found invasive by customers and business owners. (One camera is enough to capture your Member in action. Penetrating a customer's or business owner's intimate zone must be done with care. The last thing your Member wants to be seen as is invasive.)
Concerning a Red Tape Tour and Roundtable: Follow up with the attendees continually to update them on what the Member is doing to roll back red tape in Washington and clear the way for growth in the district. (Your Member is all about growth.)
Concerning a Senior Center Tour: Work with each senior center to identify the best time to visit with built-in crowds. (As with the Job Fair, you want as many people as possible to see your Member.)
Concerning a Drive Time Radio Tour: Prepare a few compelling sound bites ahead of time. (The compelling level depends on how much your Member likes the bites.)
Concerning Emergency Town Hall Meetings for Health Care and for Stopping Government Abuse: Do not speak from behind a podium on a stage above the audience. Engage from the floor and walk around with the microphone to get questions. (Again, you want your Member to be seen. Do not hide your Member behind a podium.)
I can hardly see my Member from here.