Pro-Obama Unions Put Big Money to Work Against GOP Candidates, Romney in Particular

Monday, 05 Mar 2012 12:16 PM

By Dan Weil

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Several unions that support President Barack Obama are shelling out major coin to hurt Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in important GOP primary states. The unions include The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), The Hill reports.

They are buying ads criticizing all the Republican presidential aspirants on issues such as immigration reform and the auto bailout. But front-runner Romney represents the main target of the attacks.

Though the former Massachusetts governor is far from wrapping up the nomination, Larry Scanlon, AFSCME's political director, told The Hill that the general election contest has begun.

"Our position is: we are in a general election now. We want voters to hear our message," Scanlon said. "We have endorsed Obama, and we're going to do what we can to get him re-elected."

AFSCME, the country’s largest public sector union, doled out $500,000 for Internet, television and radio ads against Romney in Ohio, which holds its primary Tuesday, according to Federal Election Commission records. In January the union allocated $1 million to Internet and TV ads blasting Romney in Florida before its Jan. 31 primary, The Hill reported.

Scanlon said the ads aren’t meant to affect primary results, but rather to offer a negative portrayal of Romney for all voters.



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