Todays’ Huffington Post has a timely report by Marc Cooper on the push-back by AFSCME members against their union’s sleazy attempt to smear both Barack Obama and John Edwards on Hillary Clinton’s behalf.
Unionists Slam “Hypocritical” Leaders for Anti-Obama Mailer
Union members in Illinois and Iowa are denouncing their national leaders as hypocrites for sending out a deceptive campaign mailer aimed this week at Barack Obama. They are livid that the political arm of their 1.4 million member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) financed a mailer to Iowa voters slamming Obama for opposing individual health care mandates – the same sort of mandates long opposed by the union.
“This is definitely hypocritical, absolutely,” said Carter Woodruff, an activist with Iowa AFSCME and a former official of the union state council. “It’s a desperate attempt to attack [Obama] for unfounded reasons. It’s a shame they stooped so low.”
The union’s direct mail flyer was written in a disguised manner that suggested it came from the John Edwards campaign and not from AFSCME and it slapped Obama for taking what it called “the timid way out, offering yet another band-aid solution.”
AFSCME’s national leadership endorsed Hillary Clinton last October and is expected to spend millions on her behalf if she wins the nomination.
Hillary Clinton has recently targeted Obama’s rejection of universal health care mandates claiming that it would leave 15 million Americans un-insured. Mandates, of the sort supported by Clinton, would require every American family to purchase a health care plan with subsidies offered to those with lower incomes. Obama, by contrast, has argued that the problem with health insurance is precisely that it is unaffordable and that mandates would only aggravate the problem.
The Edwards campaign, which shares the Clinton position on health care mandates, nevertheless denounced the AFSCME mailer as unprecedented in its deception. “There have been a lot of misleading tactics and tricks in the last few weeks, but we’ve just never seen anything like this before,” said Edwards’ Iowa state director Jennifer O’Malley Dillon in a statement. “Either they are trying to trick people, or they’ve realized that on health care, John Edwards is the candidate who speaks honestly about what it really costs and what will be required to have truly universal coverage.”
McEntee’s office did not reply to requests to respond to today’s denunciation by the Illinois and Iowa members.
(Probably will post this at Planet Orange, too…masochist that I am.)
I don’t like to infect the DD karma with this sort of political pollution, but this one is worth reading.
Personally, I’m backing Edwards and Obama (in that order), since Al Gore has let me (many of us) down by not running.
If Edwards should win the Democratic nomination (a longshot), Obama as his VP would be a no-brainer.
If Obama should win the Dem nomination (increasingly likely)–and assuming Edwards wouldn’t want to run again for VP–I hope Obama asks Sen. Jim Webb to be his running mate. That would shut up the one-mantra (“Experience”) nay-sayers, cuz Webb has been made the Dems’ key spokesman on all things military on the basis of his experience.