MADISON--New political ads by corporate and CEO-funded groups have been flooding Wisconsin repeating misinformation from the controversial Walker administration about the budget and labor rights. The total sum spent is not yet known. Labor rights groups have responded to the crisis with some ads to make sure the people know that Walker and his corporate allies are refusing to negotiate and are determined to destroy labor rights. Here are some of these ads:
On February 24, the AFL-CIO ran an ad that drew from excerpts of the prank call that Walker accepted from a blogger posing as his billionaire funder, "David Koch." The narrator asks, "What kind of governor refuses to meet with nurses, teachers and firefighters, but takes a 20-minute call from an oil billionaire?" Here is a partial transcript:
NARRATOR: Governor Walker is set on eliminating collective bargaining for nurses, teachers -- people who live and work in our communities. He tells us it's for the taxpayers of Wisconsin. But to wealthy GOP funders like David Koch, it's a different story.
WALKER: During each day, we crank up a little more pressure, but 5- to 6,000 state workers will get at-risk notices for lay-offs. We might ratchet that up a little bit, too.
NARRATOR: Tell Republican lawmakers to put a stop to Gov. Walker's charades. Paid for by the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.
The AFL-CIO also created a TV ad titled "We Are One," that is two minutes long -- almost unheard of at a time when TV ads are typically only 10, 15 or 30 seconds long. The ad shows numerous video clips of union members rallying in states across the country in support of Wisconsin's public-sector union workers and against Walker. It features Rachel Maddow saying "These unions, they have all become unified around this fight." Another clip in the ad shows Maryland Governor Martin O'Mally saying, "When you try to make the unions the problem rather than the politically-difficult decisions that we have to make as a people, then you're not being very forthright and honest with the citizenry you're representing."
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America together also recently purchased time on Milwaukee and Madison TV stations for a minute-long, pro-union piece. The ad is titled "The Republican War on Working Families."
ActBlue also launched robo-calls in the districts of five Republican Wisconsin state senators, asking voters whether they would support recalling their senator for supporting Gov. Scott Walker's war on working families. A YouTube video with the call's voiceover has been posted on YouTube.
The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO launched a 30-second ad on TV and 60-second ad on radio titled "Rights." Bleak music plays in the background while a voice says, "For fifty years, Wisconsin managers and workers solved problems together. But there's now a move underway by some politicians in Madison to take away the rights of thousands of teachers, nurses and other trusted public employees. It's a bill to take away any say they have in the workplace, and to eliminate their union. And these politicians are trying to make it happen right now, this week, with almost no public input or debate. It's unnecessary and it's unfair to public workers and to taxpayers..."
Another television ad by the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO features a Racine, Wisconsin firefighter asking Scott Walker not to take away their rights, and saying (in an excerpt) "We stand together, or we fall together, and we're asking the people of Wisconsin to stand with us." No information is known about the size of this ad buy.