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OPINION

Anti-McCain Union Targets Worksites

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The AFL-CIO said it will spend up to $53 million to engage in a campaign against Republican presidential candidate John McCain that will heavily target union workplaces across the country.

“We will communicate with union voters at the workplace, doorsteps, by phone, online and through direct mail,” said Karen Ackerman, the AFL-CIO’s political director.

She told reporters on a conference call Wednesday, “This week we begin reaching out to union members and the worksites. Union volunteers will distribute more than a 100,000 fliers on McCain’s record. By next month that number will be up to half a million fliers.”

The campaign, coined “McCain Revealed,” aims to paint the Arizona senator as an “unwavering advocate for George Bush’s failed economic policies.” The AFL-CIO’s online "Briefing Book” highlights seven different areas of attack: economy, jobs, healthcare, trade, workers’ rights, retirement security and one called “McCain &Bush.”

Ackerman said their campaign would hit more than 13 million union households in 23 battleground states with extra emphasis in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota---areas she said “where he may have natural appeal but they may not know about his economic record.”

At this time the AFL-CIO’s “McCain Revealed” campaign does not plan to use television advertising but will “confront him wherever he goes to campaign or to raise money from his wealthy and corporate donors.”

Ackerman said AFL-CIO activists would protest a campaign event McCain is scheduled to appear at in New Hampshire Wednesday.

Alex Conant, Republican National Committee press secretary, issued a statement shortly after the AFL-CIO call ended. It said: “The AFL-CIO’s campaign against John McCain clearly demonstrates their priorities lie in attack politics as opposed to focusing on American families. Voters looking for something new will find it in John McCain’s campaign to help working families – not the AFL-CIO’s partisan attacks. Considering Senators Obama and Clinton’s frequent denunciations of special interests, they must reject the unions’ campaign against Senator McCain.”

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