Union Launches Spanish-Language TV Ad Against Whitman


The Service Employees International Union is launching a new Spanish-language TV ad aimed at dissuading Latinos from supporting former eBay CEO Meg Whitman in the state's high-priced gubernatorial election.

The ad is part of SEIU California's $5 million campaign, dubbed Cambiando California ("Change California," in English), targeting Latino voters in the Golden State.

The new ad highlights Whitman's intent to eliminate 40,000 jobs from the state payroll, a stance she has softened to 33,000 in the last week, the AP reported. SEIU accuses Whitman of wanting "to get rid of nurses, firefighters, and teachers--hurting not just their families, but ours too." The state, meanwhile, has faced a projected $14.4 billion bap between revenues and spending in 2010 - 2011, according to the state Legislative Analyst's Office November 2009 estimates.

Responding to the ad, Whitman campaign spokesman Hector Barajas sought to impugn SEIU's motives in opposing cuts to state payrolls. "The only interest SEIU seeks to protect is their own gold-plated pensions, while at the same time California's working families are waiting in the unemployment line," Barajas said. [See UPDATE below.]

State and national labor unions have worked to oppose Whitman in her bid for governor. The California Nurses Association and the conglomerated California Labor Federation have both campaigned against her, supporting her Democratic rival, Attorney General and former Gov. Jerry Brown.

SEIU says its state affiliate in California has dedicated over $10 million to the governor's race. In addition to this $5 million campaign, SEIU California contributed to two labor-backed independent-expenditure campaigns, California Working Families and Working Californians, over the summer.

Text of SEIU's "Buenos Empleos" television ad translates thusly:

They are our future. They're the reason why we work so hard, and why we need a Governor who will fight to create good jobs.

Republican Meg Whitman wants to cut the jobs of more than thirty thousand state workers. Whitman wants to get rid of nurses, firefighters, and teachers - hurting not just their families, but ours too.

No wonder working families Support Democrat Jerry Brown for Governor -because Jerry Brown knows how to create jobs and expand opportunities for our families.

(Let's vote for) Jerry Brown for Governor.

Here's the ad itself:

UPDATE: Whitman campaign spokesman Hector Barajas responds:

"The only interest SEIU seeks to protect is their own gold-plated pensions, while at the same time California's working families are waiting in the unemployment line. Latinos face a 17% unemployment rate, a nearly 25% underemployment rate, and a 50% graduation rate and the labor unions are spending ten of millions of dollars for more of the same with Jerry Brown. SEIU knows that Meg Whitman will change Sacramento, cut government spending and cut taxes, while Jerry Brown has a plan to raise taxes to fund our bloated government and reward the unions who have funded his campaign."
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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