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When Supreme Court rules on health care law: House Democrat strategy memo. Exclusive

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WASHINGTON--House Democrats should launch a media blitz as soon as the Supreme Court rules Thursday on President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, according to a strategy memo obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The memo, from the House Congressional Democratic Leadership operation, advises members to be on the alert Thursday morning to "quickly and effectively" communicate with media and constitutients "as soon as the decision is announced."

The memo outlined a game plan to use traditional media--plus FaceBook and Twitter to "serve as a way to inform your followers of the Court's decision while adding your voice to the conversation. Members should be prepared to have a concise message to send through these accounts once the decision is released."

Of course, there is also the usual press release: "Members should be prepared to have a statement written quickly, once the decision is released, to send to press and post on his or her Congressional website."

After the first wave of comments, House Democrats next are advised to hold a telephone town hall Thursday and through the week.

"While still in Washington, a tele-town hall will allow Members to speak directly with constituents about their positions and answer questions stemming from it."

There are certain rules about taxpayer funded communications that Members have to be careful about, the memo stated.

"Be mindful of tele-town hall franking rules if your office is in a blackout period and contact the House Administration Committee at 202-225-2061 with any questions. A draft script for announcing a tele-town hall to your constituents and vendor resources are available on DemCom."

There are also some more standard suggestions, such as booking interviews with editorial boards, reporters and bloggers. "Before the ruling is released, contact print reporters, bloggers, and television stations to schedule an interview following the announcement. Members can also contact local editorial boards about the possibility of penning an op-ed following the ruling."

That can be buttresses with mail and e-mail. "Once the decision is released, compose correspondence to send those writing and calling your office, as well as targeted constituents in your district."

The Supreme Court is ruling as members head home for a summer break. Members are being encouraged to "hold events underlining the importance of the Affordable Care Act," with guidance available to work "with health care groups and how they can help you find Americans and small businesses benefitting from the law for your event."

There are even suggested sample events, such as holding "a press conference with those helped by the law, such as young adults able to stay on their parents' coverage, seniors paying less for prescription drugs, or women whose gender will no longer be considered a pre-existing condition."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 25, 2012 1:23 PM.

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