From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Labor unions continue to try and drive the stake through incumbent Blanche Lincoln politically ahead of the June 8th runoff with Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.
An official for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, union says it bought $855,000 worth of TV ad time through June 7th for a spot tying Lincoln to... Washington.
It is ironic considering the ad is paid for by AFSCME, which is based in Washington.
Asked about it, AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale said, "Thousands and thousands of members who live and work in Arkansas that voted to support Halter."
Vale contends this is not a case of a DC union telling Arkansans what to do, but the other way around. "We don't tell them what to do," he claimed. "They tell us what to do about endorsements. So AFSCME members in Arkansas, were part of the vote by the Arkansas State Federation, who voted to endorse Halter. Once they made that decision we endorsed and helped in the campaign. In political endorsements/races we nationally, ONLY implement what that state decides to do."
A female voice with a slight drawl says in the ad, "When Blanche Lincoln moved her family full time to Washington, DC, she quickly became part of the place. And that's the problem."
It alleges further that "She was on the move all right, cozying up to the lobbyists, their big money and influence -- Goldman Sachs and the other Wall Street banks, big insurance companies like Blue Cross, big oil insiders -- BP, Texaco, and Amoco and the like. She took their money, did their bidding, moved up -- the Washington way. Then voted to send our good-paying Arkansas jobs like China and Mexico, used our money to bail out her Wall Street buddies.
And: "The more Blanche Lincoln voted with the Washington insiders, the further she moved away from us. How far away? Just days ago, she didn't cast a ballot in Arkansas because she'd already asked to vote absentee -- in Virginia. Hmmpf."
It concludes: "Blanche Lincoln packed up and left us years ago. Maybe it's time to send her packing for good."
"When Blanche Lincoln moved her family full time to Washington, DC, she quickly became part of the place. And that's the problem. ... "The more Blanche Lincoln voted with the Washington insiders, the further she moved away from us."