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Obama's Labor Backers Planning TV Campaign

Updated 12:59 p.m.
By Matthew Mosk
Yesterday, the radio ad launched by UNITE HERE's local chapter in Nevada sparked sharp exchanges between the campaigns of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

Today, they'll have a television commercial to argue about. The group disclosed its plan to launch the commercial in a filing with the FEC this morning. The filing says the union spent $13,645 to buy time for the ad on the local Univision station, and it said the ad would be supportive of Obama.

Unlike the UNITE HERE radio ad, the television commercial is a warmer approach in support of Obama that doesn't mention the names of any of his opponents.

"Together we can elect a President who will unite people," is one line in the ad.

This comes on the heels of the group's pugnacious Spanish-language radio ad that called Clinton "shameless" and "unforgivable" because of a lawsuit her supporters filed to try to block caucus activities in casinos where the union's members work.

Clinton advisers said they didn't find the radio ad particularly "hopeful." The Clinton and Edwards camps took issue with Obama for accepting help from a union, given his earlier criticism of labor support for Clinton and Edwards in Iowa and New Hampshire.

"Senator Obama shouldn't be saying one thing about independent groups in Iowa and another in Nevada," said Phil Singer, a Clinton spokesman.

Obama's aides pointed out that in this case the union was directing its own independent effort. Campaign efforts by local chapters of SEIU in the earlier contests were handled by a separate "527 group" and overseen by one of Edwards's former top advisers.

A full transcript of the television spot follows the jump.

Translated from the Spanish:

Together we built our Culinary Union and together we are winning the Las Vegas Dream.

The companies can't divide us by race or by casino or by the job we do.

Senator Barack Obama believes that the way to change America is by bringing all people together.

Together we can elect a President who will unite people.

Barack Obama for President.

Together we win. Como Siempre.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 18, 2008; 12:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

"Bill Clinton's direct involvement in trying to get people disenfranchised in Nevada..."

...is but another indication of his passion to get back in the White House for 4 (maybe 8) more years, and while carrying Hillary along, to use this leverage of the imperial presidency, to smite his enemies near and far.

Posted by: FirstMouse | January 19, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

So the Clintons are up in arms that Obama supporters are running an ad in Spanish that calls Hillary a "sinverguenza" (shameless).

In Spanish there is a phrase for the way the Clintons and their surrogates (read: trained seals)savage their opponents ...

They "throw stones and then hide their hands."

That in itself would qualify Hillary--who professes not only innocence but victimhood in nearly all instances--and her followers as "sinverguenzas" (shameless).

There is another Spanish phrase that comes to mind here ...

"The truth hurts, but it doesn't offend."

Except in the case of the Clintons, they pretend that it does.

Que sinverguenzas!!! (What shameless people ... in any language.)

Martin Edwin Andersen
Churchton, Maryland

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | January 18, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

cab91 and others jumping on Obama's "hypocrisy": Obviously you don't understand how the campaign finance system works. Here is what I posted elsewhere to help you see the distinction.

The pro-Edwards ad campaign in Iowa was by a 527 run by a close associate of Edwards. The pro-Obama ad campaign in Nevada is an independent expenditure by a union PAC that has endorsed Obama. Obama is not inconsistent on this point.

There is an important difference between 527s and independent expenditures. A 527 is NOT subject to federal campaign finance regulation. The term refers to a section of the federal tax code delineating what kinds of organizations can run political ads and remain tax exempt. A 527 can receive unlimited donations, which was Obama's complaint: A handful of millionaires or well-financed organizations or corporations can create a 527 to run quick hits against a candidate, who is limited by campaign finance law in how he or she can respond.

The union ads being run in Nevada are independent expenditures subject to FEC regulation. That means all contributions are limited by law and publicly disclosed. Now, that's not to say independent expenditures don't have problems of their own. A common complaint is that often they are not all that independent of the campaign they support. But 527s are victim to the very same problem. At least with independent expenditures the contributions are transparent and on a level playing field.

The crucial point is that the union ad buys WERE REPORTED TO THE FEC, whereas 527 ads need not be, not to mention the source of the contributions.

So, criticize the ad campaign if you want, just know what you're talking about.

People who have been around the game as long as Clinton and Edwards certainly know the distinction. The fact that they lump 527s and federally regulated independent expenditures together as though synonymous is intellectually dishonest.

Posted by: jbaughma | January 18, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

If Barack Obama doesn't exude hope then Hillary Clinton throws it on the floor and stomps it to death. Hillary Clinton will never succeed in conveying a positive message because she is an unapologetically negative public figure. Whether she is disgracefully dismissing the testimony a revered military commander (e.g., see her response to Gen. Patreus) or showing her loyalty to the Washington establishment over voters like you and me, she is always a voice of demoralization and division.

Posted by: stardustziggy936 | January 18, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

CLINTON THINKS WE HAVE THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT BECAUSE LYNDON JOHNSON SIGNED IT.

SO WHY WAS SHE CAMPAIGNING FOR BARRY GOLDWATER(AGAINST JOHNSON) WHO VOTED NO ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT???

BY THE WAY CHECK OUT BILL CLINTON RACIST POSTCARD HE SENT TO HIS GRANDMA IN 1966 DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

CIVIL RIGHTS ARE AS IMPORTANT FOR HISPANICS AS IT IS FOR BLACKS AND FOR ANY OTHER MINORITY.

http://serr8d.blogspot.com/2007/10/bill-clinton-racist-postcard-buy-it-now.html

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | January 18, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

CLINTON THINKS WE HAVE THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT BECAUSE LYNDON JOHNSON SIGNED IT.

SO WHY WAS SHE CAMPAIGNING FOR BARRY GOLDWATER(AGAINST JOHNSON) WHO VOTED NO ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT???

BY THE WAY CHECK OUT BILL CLINTON RACIST POSTCARD HE SENT TO HIS GRANDMA IN 1966 DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

CIVIL RIGHTS ARE AS IMPORTANT FOR HISPANICS AS IT IS FOR BLACKS AND FOR ANY OTHER MINORITY.

http://serr8d.blogspot.com/2007/10/bill-clinton-racist-postcard-buy-it-now.html

Posted by: laplumelefirmament | January 18, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

This Nevada Caucus thing has turned into a big mess for the Democratic Party. It's become a proxy war between the Culinary Workers Union/Obama/Hispanics vs. the Nevada State Education Assoc./Clinton/Nevada Dem. establishment.

As far as the Casino Caucuses go, we will now see a very un-democratic spectacle of mostly low paid service workers vote at their workplace under the watchful eyes of their employers and union officials.

http://thepoliticalpost.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/judge-upholds-casino-at-large-caucuses-for-dems/#more-70

Posted by: thepoliticalpost | January 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama, Dec. 22, 2007:

"You've got these outside groups that are helping out candidates and it's a way of getting around the campaign finance laws. . . . [Y]ou can't say yesterday you don't believe in 'em, and today you have three quarters of a million dollars being spent for you. You can't just talk the talk. The easiest thing in the world is to talk about change during election time."

Barack Obama, Jan. 17, 2008:

"You won't hear me saying one thing one day to one audience and then saying something else another day to a different audience because I think it's politically convenient."

Obama criticized union expenditures in the Iowa caucus campaign but refuses to do so regarding UNITE HERE's independent expenditures in Nevada?

It's OK If You're Obama (IOKIYO)

Is it ok if the expenditure is in support of his candidacy but not anyone else's?

Is it ok if it is "politically convenient" for Barack Obama?

Posted by: cab91 | January 18, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Mr Mosk reminds me of a high school movie gossip.

Posted by: zukermand | January 18, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Brigittepj,
Aren't you making a case for Obama?
When the unions were making expenditures on JE and HRC's behalves, did you cry about it?

Posted by: ednyo2000 | January 18, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I am sick of hearing that Bill Clinton is closer to being Black than Mr. Obama. The Clintons effectively use Blacks to broker a palatable relationship with other Blacks that they believe are unable to think for themselves.

I remember when a Clinton aid was found dead in a park while paper was being shredded in his office. I remember when Ron Brown, former Commerce Secretary, was found on a hillside in the Pacific-rim area after a presidential airplane crashed, but "had no Black box"! What's that about? I remember Bill and Hillary did nothing about the student loan forgiveness plans they proposed to get into office in 1992 and 1996. That's why I voted for Bill in the first place.

I remember Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathline Willey and of course, Monica. Hillary was an integral part of that administration and even more so, White Water. Who are we kidding here, she is all about big money and corporate interest. That's how you go into an election with $200,000,000.00. Yes she has the experience, but what type? The kind to look away while she someone is being taken advantage of and calling it loyalty.

If Bill Clinton was remotely Black, they would have found him, and not caught him after the Monica debacle. I wish Black people would stop saying that man is Black, I am offended by that but understand why comedians make light of it so thy can provide for themselves and families.

The next high level Black (broker like Bob Johnson or Andrew Young) that say "Clinton is more Black ...." should be brought on a national forum and made to explaine what qualities he has to make him remotely as good as me, or my friends that do not cheat on their wife then can't understand the definition of what "sex" is or what it means to "inhale".

By the way, I don't know too many Black men that attended Yale or Oxford, and can send their children to Stanford. However, I do know a few which is far from too many or enough.

Posted by: EmmanuelWhite | January 18, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone besides me sick of the Clinton campaign saying that Obama's campaign isn't being hopeful?

Do they really think we're that stupid?

Posted by: wontvotehillary | January 18, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The transparency of the political maneuvers by the Clintons deserves some humor. We need to laugh, otherwise, the whole politics as usual is too depressing.

On a more serious note, the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle features an in-depth interview with Obama. Much more substantive than the usual coverage of the candidates.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/18/MNSNUH7GC.DTL&type=politics

Posted by: carolinwoodstock | January 18, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

May the best candidate win. And in my opinion, it's Obama.

Posted by: vbalfour | January 18, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"Obama criticizes unions when they don't support him. He disses a progressive president and gushes over Ronald Reagan" - says Bridgett

Wake Up Bridgett - Clinton Loved the Culinary Union before they chose to endorse the better candidate. Now she wants to pull a 'Bush' and disenfranchise them. Real Nice. I hope she feels their wrath.

If you listened to Obama's comment on Reagan you would have heard what he said.
He commented that the Reagan election was a 'sea change' in American politics. Of course - It Was. Obama comments that the election currently being contested will also be a 'sea change' --- just not in the way that Reagan would necessarily agree in.
;)

What is difficult about this for you to understand ? Are we moving to quickly for you ?

Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 18, 2008 12:16 PM

You Got THAT Right!

Posted by: latenightwhatnot | January 18, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Obama criticizes unions when they don't support him. He disses a progressive president and gushes over Ronald Reagan" - says Bridgett

Wake Up Bridgett - Clinton Loved the Culinary Union before they chose to endorse the better candidate. Now she wants to pull a 'Bush' and disenfranchise them. Real Nice. I hope she feels their wrath.

If you listened to Obama's comment on Reagan you would have heard what he said.
He commented that the Reagan election was a 'sea change' in American politics. Of course - It Was. Obama comments that the election currently being contested will also be a 'sea change' --- just not in the way that Reagan would necessarily agree in.
;)

What is difficult about this for you to understand ? Are we moving to quickly for you ?

Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 18, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama criticizes unions when they don't support him. He disses a progressive president and gushes over Ronald Reagan, a union buster. Why would any union support him? As usual, more hypocrisy from Obama and no coverage from the Press.

Posted by: brigittepj | January 18, 2008 11:38 AM


You Got That Right!

Posted by: pmorlan1 | January 18, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton's direct involvement in trying to get people disenfranchised in Nevada is very very irresponsible. If he was a champion of democracy he would have made public statements when the plan was made, but since he did it after the endorsement it is clear that all he cares about is political gain at the expense of regular folks. If you only look at what people do and if he and Hillary will disenfranchise regular folks for political gain what do you think they will do for the rest of us. Clinton is too polarizing and this kind of dirty action is why I would never vote for her.

Posted by: dan.littlejohn | January 18, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama criticizes unions when they don't support him. He disses a progressive president and gushes over Ronald Reagan, a union buster. Why would any union support him? As usual, more hypocrisy from Obama and no coverage from the Press.

Posted by: brigittepj | January 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

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