The Washington Post

Federal workers’ union targets GOP in new ad

Turn on your television in the coming days and you may see this new television ad from the American Federation of Government Employees:

The ad, called “Explain it to me, GOP,” targets recent Republican proposals to curtail federal pay and benefits and the size of the federal workforce. Several provisions doing so have been included in legislation passed by House Republicans in the past two weeks.


The ad starts with Paul Hoban, who works at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania. “I earn less than $45,000 a year. Explain it to me, GOP, how cutting my pay creates jobs,” he says.

“Twelve percent of the salary I earn caring for veterans goes to my retirement,” says Teresa Capecchi, an AFGE member and Veterans Affairs nurse in Minnesota. “Explain it to me, GOP, how cutting my retirement puts people to work,”

“I pay more than $9,000 a year for family health insurance. Explain it to me, GOP, how cutting my take-home pay lowers unemployment,” adds Eric Young, who works at the Federal Detention Center in Miami and is an AFGE member.

The 30-second ad is part of a modest advertising campaign that begins Sunday on TV stations in the Washington area and will continue Monday and Tuesday on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Print ads also will run in Capitol Hill newspapers, and AFGE locals are being encouraged to buy advertising time to air the ad in their communities.

One thing worth noting, however: Republicans are not pushing plans to “slash wages” or “cut pay” as the ad suggests, but proposals unveiled in recent days would reduce take-home pay by forcing younger or newer federal employees to pay more for retirement benefits.

AFGE and other federal worker unions spent millions to support then-Sen. Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and are working on similar plans for his reelection efforts. The ad set to air this weekend is just a preview of ad campaigns and get out of the vote mobilization efforts that are expected to continue through the fall.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Further reading:

Pentagon to ease restrictions on women in some combat roles

Investment of leave payments considered

For more, visit PostPolitics and The Fed Page.

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


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