The nations largest labor organization said that it would invest more than $50 million and extensive manpower into getting Barack Obama elected to the White House, primarily targeting three crucial swing states and dozens more that are politically on the fence.
The AFL-CIO is expected to spend $53.4 million in a massive get-out-the-vote campaign that could reach some 3 million union voters who are still undecided in battleground states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. An integral part of the campaign focuses on Obamas health-reform platform, said AFL-CIO political director Karen Ackerman. We are for universal healthcare, and we want full coverage, Ackerman told reporters at a news conference in Denver before the start to the Democratic National Convention.
Ackerman said that employers are increasingly shifting the cost of care to their employees, but arent raising salaries or wages enough to offset the added financial burden. The question of universal, quality healthcare in this country affects workers who have unions, workers who have healthcare and workers who dont, she said. So it is absolutely a top-tier issue for us.
Union voters in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2004 largely voted for then-Democratic nominee John Kerry. Clearly, the union votes in these states are determinative, Ackerman said. Overall, one out of every four voters in 2004 was a union member. Moreover, the AFL-CIO said it will target 510 separate federal and state races this election cycle to help sway voters to elect mostly Democratic candidates. -- by Matthew DoBias
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