Monday, June 05, 2006

Something nice about Harris Miller

The primaries for the Senate campaign in Virginia are heating up - and I might be guilty of throwing fuel on the fire. For those living in a cave, the race is between IT Lobbyist Harris "The Job Killer" Miller and pro-labor war hero Jim Webb. So you caught me, I am biased.

Some bloggers are complaining about the tone of this election and the nasty things going around about Harris Miller in blogs. Miller's outsourcing past has ignited a spark, and we showed up with a mission of defeating one of the most anti-labor candidates in the United States today. Uninvited of course. Did I say he is running as a Democrat? Ouch, the AFL-CIO is not happy.

Well, some people have a point. We are very negative on Miller. So I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you what he is good at.

Harris Miller is an excellent lobbyist. He has been able to present negative data and facts in a more positive light. He has made change in Washington throughout his career, and I don't think he had to twist any arms. It is amazing what he has been able to accomplish with the millions of dollars made available to the ITAA by technology companies. If I were a multinational corporation I'd have his number on speed-dial.

In regards to our own efforts opposing the ITAA, I am impressed at how Miller was able to convince Congress that our views just aren't relevant. And even if they are, "who is going to help your campaign Mr. Congressman more - a bunch of IT workers or Bill Gates?"

In addition to kicking his opposition when we were down and unemployment was high, he is able to change even our own message. For example, we say "outsourcing American jobs is bad" and he tells people our message is "outsourcing should be banned". Maybe it is our fault for not forming a marketable message - if only we had the money to spend in PR that the ITAA had. The truth is that we aren't after a ban on outsourcing - just a level playing field. Not that I am making excuses mind you, Harris Miller has beat us fair and square.

And when I say "us" I mean anyone in a profession who may have their job outsourced or replaced by low cost foreign workers at home. Well done Harris Miller. You got us good. Something to write Thomas Friedman about - you two would make great friends BTW. So much in common.

Now what I find even more amazing is that Miller was able to make high powered connections amongst other Democrats in Virginia - "friends" even. Enough "friends" that when he announced his intention to seek the US Senate, he got a wink and nod. It never occured to party leadership in Virginia that this man is not liked one bit by labor proponents. It is almost as if they didn't see these attacks coming - like they thought other Democrats would just remain silent. Or maybe Miller had them fooled. Either way, well played.

No, that paragraph is a compliment. With trickery like that Miller can apply these skills and make wealthy men even wealthier. Hell, if he were able to cough up $500,000 for his own campaign he probably isn't too bad for himself either.

In short, Miller is able to take money and his fast talk, and convert it into favor from our government. He is a great investment if you are a company and are unable to gain favor on the merits of what you are asking for. Life isn't fair - Miller realizes that.

In the words of a rap artist I heard on the radio (or was it Bill Maher?) "Don't hate the player, hate the game."

My only question is will Harris Miller go back to the ITAA after he loses the primaries after they made him compromise his values and donate to Republican candidates? Hmmm, we can only imagine. I think the ITAA would be a fool if they didn't hire Miller back. Look, I don't even know this new guy at the ITAA. When he says "not enough engineers, must raise the H-1b cap" people just roll their eyes. Miller was able to do so much better than him - when he misled, people believed him. That skill is priceless - especially as a lobbyist.

I think he will be back on his feet and outsourcing American jobs in no time. Harris Miller, if you do a speaking tour please invite me!!! Bill Clinton and Bob Dole speak at the same events, you know. I'm just saying, it could work. We could invite Jim Webb, but he may be busy this time next year.

-R. Lawson

2 Comments:

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