March 17th, 2010
03:42 PM ET
5 years ago

Union hits back at Lincoln in Arkansas

Sen. Blanche Lincoln and union activists are at odds in new television ads.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln and union activists are at odds in new television ads.

Washington (CNN) – Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln is casting herself as an "independent voice" in her Democratic primary fight against Lieutenant Gov. Bill Halter, who has the backing of unions and liberal activists frustrated with Lincoln's moderate positions.

Just this week, Lincoln launched a new television ad taking aim at the "bunch of Washington D.C. unions" running ads accusing her of siding with big business over middle class workers.  A union-backed group called "Arkansans For Change" is behind those ads.

"I'm not working for them," she tells viewers in her response ad. "I work for you."

One union, the Arkansas AFL-CIO, is now hitting back at Lincoln for that claim, calling her "a hypocritical, flip-flopping D.C. politician." The group has endorsed Halter.

"It's easy for her to try to paint opponents as outsiders, but working class voters in Arkansas can see as well as anybody that she has turned her back on us," Arkansas AFL-CIO President Alan Hughes said in a statement Wednesday.

"Only someone who has become a career politician in Washington DC could spend ten years asking for our support, take hundreds of thousands of dollars from blue collar workers, then turn around and attack us as 'outsiders' because we wouldn't help her this time around," he said.

Unions and liberal activists, many of them from out of state, began lining up behind Halter this year after Lincoln refused to back a public insurance option in the health care reform bill. Lincoln also voted for CAFTA - the free trade agreement between the U.S. and Central American countries - which is not exactly a favorite piece of legislation among workers.

The AFL-CIO noted that Lincoln welcomed its endorsement during her 2004 campaign. "I'm honored to receive the endorsement today from the Arkansas AFL-CIO for my work in the Senate to improve the lives of Arkansas working families while fighting to keep our jobs from going overseas," she said at the time.

A spokesman for Lincoln's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.


Filed under: 2010 • Arkansas • Blanche Lincoln • Senate
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Maybe she can turn Republican . Not sure that they would want her...but it could work. The lesson here is to be true to the COUNTRY not just your own geography. She was going to lose either way....at least she would have finished her career with having been part of the largest health care reform package in history.

    March 17, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. dustin

    If she is an independent voice, why doesn't she run as an independent, can't stand this lady, hope she loses the primary.

    March 17, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. stop the nonsense

    Our middle class was built on the back of union type jobs. Yet today the unions are the pariah to conservatives and moderates- the very poeple that are the life-blood of their organizations.
    I'm not a backer of unions in the market place today, but to not see them as part of the growth of the middle-class in the 40- 60's is laughable.
    Their place in politics is far more logical than that of the religious based "family Values" Christians groups that spend millions in every election and on Washington bashing.
    Why must everybody be labled for their position on issues? you can want less wasted government spending but still want health reform. yuo can want us protect our citizens wihtout approving of unnecessary wars. you can see where government bailout helped save millions of jobs yet want taxes on extremely high salaries to offer programs to those in need, There is no label for these poeple except Americans.

    March 17, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Of course I would have to go with whoever the unions are against as they represent corruption and sleaziness.

    March 17, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. vs

    Doesn't Lincoln realise that the people that she is trying to please by this fake "independent" charade will not be voting for her anyway. If she continues to act like a Republican, they might as well vote for the real thing; a true rabid, mad dog bigot, who doesn't need to pretend to be rational. She doesn't have any place in the democratic party. After she is voted out she can either fade into oblivion, or continue to be in denial and rally with the T party nut cases.

    March 17, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. bob

    If the AFLCIO is against her that is enough for me, she deserves reelection

    March 17, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Repubhypocrites

    Get her OUT, She hasnt supported healthcare reform. Sorry Blanch you lose your government run healthcare......

    March 17, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Rickster

    Now wait a minute.......I thought the republican party was the one unwilling to expand the party?? I've heard democrats chirping for months now that the republican party was non-inclusive and there was no room at the table for dissenting views. How can this be? How do you spell hypocrisy? Oh yeah, d-e-m-o-c-r-a-t.

    March 17, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Stacey

    LOL LOL Dems are going to be annihilated in the midterms. The Radical anti American Fringe Liberal Party (aka The American Al Queda) is falling apart piece by piece and day by day before our very eyes. Real American taking back their country. Its great to see
    ___________________________________________________

    Let's see; so America is ready to vote the party of NO back in power despite the fact that they don't care about the American people and did absolutely nothing in the 8 years they had power! What a joke! Nothing will get done by the party of NO! LOL!! LOL!!

    March 17, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Duck Fallas

    Mother AND sister? Thats pretty sick.

    March 17, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Capt. Snarky

    Screw the unions. They've lost their relevance – They are nothing but a drain on industry in this day and age. Fight em, Blanche.............

    March 17, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Librarian

    She is typical of the worst that the democratic party has to offer. Resign or move to the GOP. She is pitiful.

    March 17, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Neaderthal Republicans

    Blanche –

    Only republicans simply say something as though it were fact and then expect [read hope] that the public accepts what they have said as the truth.

    If you have not put corporations before people, cite examples when you did that and DARE your opponent to do the opposite. Let us, THE PEOPLE hear your case.

    This is the age of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace. You can not longer hide from your record. You best believe we can find visual and auditory proof of what you have done or not done. The old political ways of lying [and getting away with it] are going to have to give way to technology.

    Get behind the Democratic agenda Ms. Lincoln or be punished on election day.

    March 17, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Wisconsonite - Stop Smoking the Tea Bags!

    Good! Get rid of her and replace her with a REAL Democrat! It just burns my hide when these hypocrites get elected by pretending to be of one political party or another, just to dupe people in to voting for them, then once they're elected they turn their backs on the very voters who put them in the seat! Buh-bye Blanche!

    March 17, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Ken

    If the socialist union thugs are for something, it is probably a bad idea. Look how well things are working out in Detroit and Ohio.

    March 17, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Wisconsonite - Stop Smoking the Tea Bags!

    "It is time to stand up to unions and dismantle them. There place in history is over and their influence damaging. Nothing but thugs"

    I am so SICK of the anti-union rhetoric spewed by the Rabid Right! Do you even have a CLUE what unions do to help their members??? I guess in your perfect world workers would have no rights at all!!! And by the way . . . .the REAL "thugs" are the insurance cartel and the Republican party!!!!!!!!

    March 17, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. Sue

    I would not back down Lincoln...........

    There is no way that a loony left Democrat will win in a conservative leaning race.

    In your conservative leaning state........If the majority have a problem with you-–even though you are a moderate--they sure as heck are not going to vote for/elect a loony left Democrat.

    The Democrats ONLY chance of keeping that seat, is if a moderate runs again.

    March 17, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. SAGAR RAKSIT

    Prove it Ms. Lincoln. Contributions from big business and her voting record affecting the contributors should be published. I don't think she cares for the party or common people's interest. All she is interested is to get reelected and hang on to power. If she she thinks she is an independent, why does she run as a democrat and not as an independent? Because she is an opportunist like some other so called democratic senators and congressmen who take full advantage of the party resources and make fool of the democratic financial contributors. There is a name for these types, parasites. It's time to challenge them in the primary and challenge them hard.

    March 17, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Dat

    The only group more corrupt and unreliable than a politicians are the unions. Unions are known for stealing from their members and using thuggish tactics to get their way so who would want to be on their side. She ought to count herself lucky.

    March 17, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. NC

    OUCH, she sounds like NC Republican Senator Richard Burr. He is against anything that will help NC.

    March 17, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Sue

    The loony left liberals who post on this site, should definitely take a look at Obama's approval ratings in Arkansas-–it is a good laugh.

    The majority in Arkansas do NOT want Obamacare. The majority in Arkansas will NOT vote for a loony left, liberal Democrat.

    March 17, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. duckunder

    LOL LOL Dems are going to be annihilated in the midterms. The Radical anti American Fringe Liberal Party (aka The American Al Queda) is falling apart piece by piece and day by day before our very eyes. Real American taking back their country. Its great to see
    -----------------------------–
    Good luck with that when 59% of Americans think the Republicans are obstructionist and Republicans have handled healthcare reform badly. Your hope for annihilation-well, probably ain't going to happen. Have a nice day!

    March 17, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Rick in AZ

    Which Union benifits are you Union bashers willing to forego? 40 hour work week? How about time and a half for overtime? Maybe paid sick days or Health Insurance in general, or paid vacations or safe working conditions? No? Then maybe unemployment insurance or no arbitrary firings? How about minimum wage? Good Union jobs built a strong Middle Class. With the decline of the Unions we are seeing a decline of the Middle Class. The bosses are Hogs-Listen to them squeal.

    March 17, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Steve in Denver

    @Enough:

    Really, pull your head out of the sand. Unions did something to GM? I was unaware of their place at the design table as GM cranked out huge gas guzzlers while their Japanese and European competitors were working for fuel efficiency. As Cummins and GE kicked their butts with diesel engines and locomotives, the unions demanded they stick with their outdated designs?

    GM's top management made continuing bad decisions, no union intervention required.

    Teacher's unions, really? A group of people teach our young to, what, get rich on their college education at $30k per year? How about the insane high stakes testing that neocons love to use as an excuse to privatize education (of course, the private schools that can get our money because the public schools failed the test don't have to administer the test). Perfect republican thinking, take things away from government provided services where the taxpayers can hold them accountable to a for profit model where there is no accountability.

    I guess everything is good as long as the evil unions don't get the money. Halliburton can kill soldiers with faulty wiring in showers, that is great. Don't let a government worker get the money to do the job right.

    Moron

    March 17, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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