Labor goes up with lame duck ads

November 20, 2012

With the election over, major labor unions are turning their ad power on the fiscal cliff

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association (NEA) launched a set of television ads Monday in Colorado, Virginia and Missouri, along with radio ads in Pennsylvania, Alaska and Missouri. 

The TV ads target Democratic senators. The Virginia ad above, for example, asks Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb "to continue to stand up for us by investing in job creation, extending the middle class tax cuts, and protecting Medicare, Medicaid and education from cuts."

The radio ads target members of both parties with an appeal to bipartisanship. "Congress should act quickly to preserve the middle class tax cuts," the narrator says. "And that will take leaders willing to put people ahead of partisan politics."

Nearly 90 percent of Americans would face higher taxes next year if Congress lets the nation hurtle over the “fiscal cliff,” according to a recent Tax Policy Center study. President Obama has sought to freeze middle class tax rates while raising taxes on the wealthy. 

Republicans are demanding changes to Medicaid and Social Security as part of a deal to avoid the cliff. Labor unions and liberal groups have already pressed Obama in person to reject dramatic cuts to these programs. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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