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Latest Campaign Boogeyman: China

by Will Evans
Oct 28, 2008

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Maybe "McChina" would have sounded better. Reaching back to the 1970s for its rhetoric, a Kentucky-based labor group is sounding the alarm that John McCain and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are selling us out to "Communist China."

A radio ad from a 527 group called Truth From American Workers features the voice of Chris Sanders, general counsel of United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 227. "Wall Street's in trouble because George Bush and Mitch McConnell pulled the regulators off Wall Street so the tycoons there could speculate, with our money," he says. "And we're deep in debt, again, to Communist China no less."

Three other radio spots imitate the quick-fire babble of an auctioneer who is auctioning off U.S. manufacturing jobs and government debt. China is the top bidder. In Ohio and Indiana, the ads blame McCain: "Tell John McCain to stop sending our jobs and our dollars to China. We need them around here." In Kentucky, a different version of the ad blames McConnell. Listen to all four ads here.

Truth From American Workers' treasurer is Larry Fox, another official from Local 227. The group's leadership also includes representatives from the United Mine Workers and a Teamsters Union local, but UFCW seems to be the overriding connection. UFCW and its locals gave the group $170,000, more than any other entity so far.

The group used to be called Working Families for Kentucky, but changed its name in September. Funny thing about that: Working Families for Kentucky was formed — just last year — to oppose Bruce Lunsford in the Democratic primary for governor. Lunsford did end up losing that primary, and you might recognize his name. He's the Democratic challenger to McConnell, the guy the unions now want to unseat.

For old times' sake, here's the anti-Lunsford ad the group produced in 2007. You won't see it on TV in Kentucky.

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