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Unions Mobilize Against McCain-Palin

by Will Evans
Oct 2, 2008

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Organized labor is on the move for Obama.

The same day that the food and commercial workers union launched an anti-McCain ad, one day after a nurses union's attack, and two days after the AFL-CIO said it would blanket members with political mail, the National Education Association announced a "blitz" of 500,000 mailers lambasting McCain's health care plan in battleground states. Seperately, the union-backed Alliance for Retired Americans is running a TV ad critical of McCain's stance on Social Security.

The NEA's mailer, to be followed by phone calls and personal visits to undecided members, says that McCain will tax Americans on their health care benefits. An accompanying Web site lets you calculate the tax. (The mailer doesn't mention that McCain's plan includes a $5,000 tax credit for families to buy health insurance.)

Click on the image to view the mailer:

Even before this, the NEA blasted out 4.2 million mailers and made 2.1 million calls in its 2008 voter drive.

The Alliance for Retired Americans, meanwhile, will run a TV ad in Ohio and Colorado on local cable channels popular with older viewers. The ad includes a clip of McCain calling the Social Security system a "disgrace." It will be similar to this Alliance ad, which ran in Pennsylvania earlier this year:

The alliance was created by the AFL-CIO in 2001 as an advocacy organization for retired union members. Find out more after the jump...

The alliance's leadership includes president George Kourpias, former head of the machinists' union; secretary-treasurer Ruben Burks, who previously held that position for the auto workers' union; and executive VP Richard Trumka, who is secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO.

The executive director, Edward Coyle, previously worked as a direct mail and strategy consultant for Democratic members of Congress and the Democratic National Committee. He's a board member of America Votes.

The alliance receives funding from a variety of unions, including $1.5 million from the AFL-CIO during the last year.

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