Fed up with the conservadem approach to slowly killing healthcare reform, a coaltion of Unions have taken their gloves off and launched radio ads in Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, and Arkansas asking key Senators from those states What Side Are You On?
ANCR: This is a Public Forum. Our topic today is the health care crisis.
What luck! Our first caller is a lobbyist for health insurers! You're on the air.
CALLER: (bombastic voice) What health care crisis? We have the most profitable health care industry in the world. At a time GM is bankrupt and millions of people are losing their jobs, our profits are up 400 percent! (wheeze, snort).
We can't hire enough clerks to weed out sick people or deny claims! (laugh, snort). Just the other night we had a big party honoring a true healthcare visionary--the guy who came up with...pre-existing conditions!
Sure, Obama won the election. He has the people, but we have the Congress. So long as we have Republicans and corporate Democrats, nothing is gonna change. (laugh, snort)
Is this some wonderful country or not?
ANNCR: In his next town hall meeting,
we need to ask Senator Kent Conrad to explain why he has quality health care and YOU don't!
What your constituents want to know, Senator Conrad, is...which side are you on?
A message from the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association and over 2 million working families throughout the United States
The ads focus on Senators Chuck Grassley (IA), Max Baucus (MT), Kent Conrad (ND), and Blanche Lincoln (AR). The Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) and a coalition of Unions representing almost 2 million workers are planning to run these ads through the end of Congress's August recess.
The SMWIA is diverting the political funds it would regularly use for donations to purchase time for these ads, rather than to padding the campaign coffers of the Democrats targeted in them. The Union suspended all financial and intangible campaign donations to political candidates to focus on efforts to pass real health care and labor law reform. Other Unions are considering similar action.
These ads are part of an effort to cut through the noise and highlight the truth about the broken healthcare system the insurance industry, Republicans in Congress and some Democrats are fighting to protect.
According to SMWIA President Michael Sullivan, "it is imperative that these Senators serve the American people and not an industry which has thrown millions of Americans into debt and ruin while reaping a 450 percent surge in profits over the last ten years."
The ads are the beginning of a grassroots effort on the part of several Unions to pressure wayward Democrats in the House and Senate to pass real comprehensive health care reform.
Update: Earlier today, SMWIA Local 45 in Des Moines received some pretty nasty calls from a group of crazed tea baggers who were upset about the ads.
If you get the chance, show them some love.