Ad blasts union ties to Blago in salvo against Employee Free Choice Act

A pro-business group intent on torpedoing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is taking the battle to the airwaves in Colorado and three other states with a million-dollar ad campaign, TPM Election Central reports. The 30-second TV ad, which began airing Tuesday, links embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to a union backing the legislation and ends with a plea to “call Sen. (Ken) Salazar. Tell him to say no to the Union Boss Bailout.”

The ad is funded by a group called Americans for Job Security, which was labeled “a sham front group that would be better called Corporations Influencing Elections … masquerading as a non-profit to conceal its funders and the scope of its electioneering activities” by the Center for Responsive Politics in a 2007 complaint to the FEC (PDF) cited by SourceWatch. The group released another ad opposed to the EFCA after the November election but CBS refused to air it, the Breitbart blog reported, citing the possibility viewers would be “confused” by its portrayal of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Here’s the ad, which will air for “more than a week” in Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota and Arkansas, tailored to Democratic Sens. Salazar, Ben Nelson, Byron Dorgan and Mike Pryor, according to TPM:

Salazar, who has reportedly accepted an offer to be President-elect Barack Obama’s secretary of the interior, is probably not the most effective target for the message, but TPM reports this is just the latest salvo in what will likely be labor’s biggest legislative battle in the upcoming session of Congress.

A spokesman for SEIU, which is the union slammed in the ad and which is waging a high-profile campaign for the EFCA, released this statement in response to the ad:

“This attack against working people from a business-funded front group is a desperate attempt to distract from what really matters. America’s families need change that works to rebuild the middle class with the free choice to join unions for better wages, benefits, and retirement security. That’s why we need the Employee Free Choice Act.”

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Ernest Luning

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