U.S. Chamber Voter Education Ads Hit the Airways

Nov 18, 2011

With just under a year to go until the 2012 elections, the U.S. Chamber is squaring off against a powerful and well-funded coalition of labor groups by launching a new television ad campaign to ensure that voters are educated on important issues affecting the economy.

The ads are airing on network and cable television in 15 markets across Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington state.

“We are undertaking this significant effort because, now more than ever, our country needs policymakers who will support pro-growth solutions. The business community is going to work earlier and harder to hold Washington accountable for actions that stifle economic growth and slow job creation,” says U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue.

In 2012, the Chamber will conduct the largest voter education and grassroots mobilization campaign in its nearly 100-year history. It will focus on the Chamber’s Jobs Agenda and aim to hold members of Congress and candidates accountable for their positions on health care, energy, labor, and regulatory issues, among others. The Chamber seeks to capitalize on the electoral successes of 2010 with an “Advance and Protect” strategy in 2012: advance its interests in the Senate and protect the pro-growth gains in the House.

“American families deserve to know how the decisions in Washington are impacting their pocketbooks, their lifestyles, and their livelihoods. The U.S. Chamber is committed to presenting the facts to Americans on what lawmakers are doing to help or hurt our economic recovery,” Donohue said.

The announcement of the Chamber’s advertising campaign come on the same day that Service Employees International Union (SEIU) leader Mary Kay Henry announced that her organization was endorsing the reelection of President Obama. The SEIU’s PAC contributed $26 million to President Obama’s 2008 election and is expected to spend more in 2102.

The union has also partnered with two other labor groups --Americans United for Change and AFSCME -- to launch ads against Republicans in three Senate races. The ads target Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.

The Chamber ads are drawing a strong response from opponents. In the Ohio Senate race, a Democratic Party spokesman attempted to disavow the ad highlighting Senator Sherrod Brown’s 9% voting record with the Chamber.

As Rob Engstrom, Senior Vice President and National Political Director said, “Votes, not words, are what matter most to the business community and the Chamber will engage earlier and stronger than ever before to highlight the difference between candidates who support free enterprise policies and those who have supported bigger government and more regulation.”

The Chamber’s ads can be viewed here.

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