AFSCME and Americans United for Change (you may know them as “Big Labor”) are aggressive backers of a bill pending in the Senate that purports to deal with jobs, but which conveniently also contains a large tax hike on those long-term enemies of the unions: investment funds.
The bill has become contentious as a result of the fact that many Senators (both Republican and Democratic) see a two-headed monster that they have no interest in supporting because, so to speak, if the bill passed it would essentially giveth with the one hand and taketh away with the other. In other words, for all the good the bill will do to help promote job and wealth creation, it will simultaneously damage the investor class, which will of course make it more difficult to support long term job growth.
Two Senators who dislike the current approach to this bill? None other than Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.
So what are AFSCME and AUC doing? Running an ad targeting Snowe and Collins of course—and not just any ad, but an ad (rather shamelessly) featuring everyone’s favorite political weapon: cute kids. This is intended to further emphasize that if Snowe and Collins fail to support a bill that opponents say could hugely imperil jobs moving forward, they hate Maine kids. It is always “for the children”, or something.
Here’s the ad:
This isn’t the first time that Big Labor has gone up against Snowe and Collins. Collins, in particular, was a prime target for Big Labor during her 2008 re-election campaign because of her opposition to the perversely-named Employee Free Choice Act (“card check” to the rest of us).
However, for as much clout as organized labor has – or in many instances think they have in the state, these types of efforts have proven to be a waste of time (and money) in the past. As we all know, in 2008 Collins utterly wiped out Congressman Tom Allen in the midst of the biggest Democratic wave election in a generation.
With regard to this fight, like EFCA, both Snowe and Collins should feel great latitude to say “no” and push for a bill that separates job-creation measures from job-killing tax hikes, whether Big Labor likes it or not.
That ad might (and by might, I really mean “will”) just turn out to be a phenomenal waste of Big Labor’s time and money.