In an ad about Cuomo's pension reform, AFL-CIO talks of fat cats teaming up with 'some politicians in Albany'
12:33 pm Mar. 8, 2012
This new AFL-CIO ad makes the case against state pension reform, saying that "Wall Street," "Big Banks" and "Corporate CEOS have teamed up with some politicians in Albany."
That's an indirect reference to Governor Andrew Cuomo. It's followed by a plea for viewers to "call the governor and the legislature," and Cuomo's name does flash across the screen at the end.
According to someone familiar with the ad campaign, the union is spending "seven figures" to air it around the state.
A couple of things worth noting here. On the substance: pension reform is indeed supported by Wall Street and banks and sundry other fat cats, but it's got support from other quarters as well, including the reliably liberal New York Times editorial board. And the ad doesn't mention that Cuomo's proposed changes are for future workers, not current employees.
Also, though, Cuomo has in fact teamed up with Big Business, more or less for the express purpose of protecting him from air assaults like this.
But in any case, this certainly not the full frontal assault prior governors faced. The first words in this 1199 SEIU ad from 2007 is "Eliot Spitzer, I'm no crybaby." Two years later, when cuts in state aide were proposed, 1199 SEIU rad a 30-second ad that featured a picture of Governor David Paterson against a black backdrop, as headlines from dramatic articles about the cuts flashed on the screen. The focus was clear: stop Paterson.
Cuomo's proposal may yet go down to defeat: Legislators in both houses, from both parties, are reluctant to make enemies of the public-employee unions, and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli staunchly opposes it. But it probably won't be because the governor was scared off by an ad.
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