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Rightwing Operatives Launch Dishonest Campaign Targeting Public Employees
Matt Singer on August 22, 2006 - 1:12pm
What happens when the Chamber of Commerce hands $8 million to a rightwing political operative for the purpose of beating up on unions? Sleazy attacks, attempts to mislead, and outright lies, apparently. At least, that's what has happened with Rick Berman's Center for Union Facts, a front group with huge amounts of funding from the Chamber. The Orwellian-named Center is running ads in four states attacking public employees and their unions. By less than random chance, the four states also have TABOR-style public spending cap initiatives headed for their ballots this fall. While Berman told the Associated Press in Montana that the ads are not related to the initiatives, evidence indicates otherwise. Berman's lackeys were hobnobbing with Howard Rich's libertarian gang at a meeting last weekend of Americans for Limited Government -- which is helping orchestrate the TABOR-style initiatives in states around the country, including the four where Berman is now running the ads. Berman has long been a plague on the body politic. This Center is no different. Contrary to their name, they've traded in misleading information since day one. When they launched their website in February, Progressive States policy director Nathan Newman caught the deceptions quickly. In one particularly noteworthy example, the Center highlighted $400 million in fines and restitution for labor racketeering, while failing to mention that virtually all of the fines were levied on management, not on unions -- that would be the same management that is picking up the tab for the Center. Voters in these states deserve better than lies and cheap attacks on hard working Americans.