'China Cheats' Ad Targets Candidates
By Matthew Mosk
As independent groups continue to engage in the presidential primaries, the Service Employees International Union reported a fresh $60,000 mailing into Indiana on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama yesterday. A nonprofit group seeking to energize manufacturing and steel workers has also gotten into the act, waging an unorthodox campaign that appears in subtle ways to be helping Sen. Hillary Clinton.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing, a nonpartisan group organized under the tax code as a 501(c)4, had launched an advertising campaign called "China Cheats" in Pennsylvania and is now moving the effort into Indiana. The alliance is a project of the United Steelworkers union, United States Steel Corp. and Allegheny Technologies.
Newspapers in seven Indiana media markets -- Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, South Bend, Terre Haute and two outlets in northwest Indiana -- will be carrying the "China Cheats" ad, which demands candidates enforce trade laws with China (click here for a PDF of the ad).
Efforts to energize the group's target audience -- blue-collar workers -- stand to benefit Clinton, who saw a significant edge in support in western Pennsylvania's steel towns.
The alliance is also planning radio ads in Indiana and a candidate forum in the state, and it has launched a campaign blog monitoring candidate statements about trade and the economy. One Indiana newspaper reported the group purchased print advertising worth $250,000, but little is known about the group's overall spending plans.
The group's director, Scott Paul, said in a statement that the goal of the effort is to urge presidential candidates to speak out and hold China accountable for unfair trade practices that result in job losses. "Voters who care about the economy are the dominant demographic for the primary candidates," Paul's statement said. "The candidate who clearly commits to solving the China crisis is going to win Indiana."
Web Politics Editor
April 25, 2008; 11:35 AM ET
Categories: The Hidden Campaign
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