Seizing the Moment: An Open Letter to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Dear DPW,

A quick perusal of your website suggests that defeating Ron Johnson in 2022 is one of your top priorities, and I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, I recently penned a post on this Blog regarding the matter, urging Aaron Rodgers to run against Johnson. #RoJo Gotta Go # NoMoRoJo, #GTFOH RoJo. I’m on board. Toward that end I think there are strategies beyond just candidate selection and negative TV and social media ads, so I thought I’d share an idea with you.

As I’m sure you know, the Congressional Budget Office has just recently concluded that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would have a greater budget impact than a pair of provisions in the tax cut legislation that a GOP led Senate passed through the budget reconciliation process in 2017. This is big news. Really big news. It means that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour might only need a majority vote of the Senate. 51 votes. 51 democrats.

So here’s what you do. Issue a press release calling on President Biden and all congressional democrats, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema in particular, to champion a $15 minimum wage. Be polite but firm. Quote your own resolutions, which I’m sure contain language in support of $15. Be brief and clear.

Then print your press release on a small lit piece and drop it in low income communities all over Wisconsin starting this summer. By then you’ll likely be able to note that Ron Johnson voted against the increase while democrats championed it. Include voter registration information. Include your web address. And hopefully, by then, if entities such as yourselves do the right thing, right now, it might actually be law. You could be touting a Democratic Party success on behalf of working people all over Wisconsin. That might actually get more votes crucial to defeating Ron Johnson than $10 million dollars worth of negative TV ads. Or $5 million dollars worth of negative mailers.

There isn’t any doubt that a first, perhaps watershed moment has arrived for the Biden administration and a Democratic Party controlled congress, and it’s the Fight for $15. The DPW can, and should be, a part of that fight.

As the old labor song asks, ” Which Side Are You On”? Be on the side of history, DPW. Seize the moment.

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