PA Newsletter

By November 7, 2004General

A GOTV Story “After two years in Washington”, actor-turned Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) once famously said, “I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.”
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“After two years in Washington”, actor-turned Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) once famously said, “I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.” This week, we publish our vote ratings for the 108th Congress. First and foremost, there is much to cheer: The number of NAM Award winners (those with a 70% vote rating or better) has increased as has the number of those with a perfect score, our “hundred percenters”. Manufacturers are clearly doing the hard work in the provinces, in the trenches, carrying the manufacturing message and holding politicians’ feet to the fire.

However, it is equally clear that we have work to do. We mentioned in this space in the last issue that fully a third of the House Manufacturing Caucus has a vote rating of 10% or lower, a number that hasn’t improved in our updated ratings. All are up for re-election next month. These must be the folks who Sen. Thompson had in mind. They love to meet with their constituents, speak to manufacturers and their workers and profess their passion for and commitment to manufacturing. Yet they go back to Washington and vote to make it tougher for us to compete in the world economy. This is our biennial opportunity to hold them accountable. Go to www.nam.org/votingrecord and see how your Members of Congress fared.

In this issue, you will see how one member company, PPG, works to inform its employees on the wide array of issues affecting their company. On our website at (link), you will find some best practices, a compendium of material from member companies large and small showing how they are putting out the messages of involvement and accountability throughout their workforce. The small companies have no public affairs staff. At least one large company profiled has a public affairs staff of one. It doesn’t take a lot of people to make this happen, as so much of the work has been done by us or by our friends at BIPAC. In many cases, all you need to do is to link to the website — www.nam.org/p2 — and let your employees do the rest.

At the recently-concluded NAM Board meeting, Prosperity Project companies were jawboning the uninvolved and found converts at every turn., We are busy following up with Board Member companies interested in getting involved for the final push. We urge you to do the same. It’s easy to do and the stakes have never been higher.

It’s been said that the death of democracy is not likely to come from assassination but from apathy. The next Congress will face issues of taxes, regulation and legal reform, among others — all critical issues to manufacturers large and small. When all the votes are counted, we hope we can say that manufacturers did all we could to preserve democracy and to keep the economy strong.