(CNN) – The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is going on the offensive against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, accusing him of risking the livelihoods of American workers in order to score political points.
In a video published on YouTube and set to be projected onto the side of buildings Monday night in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, the union charges McConnell is holding up federal funding for his own state to keep from adding to the national debt.
"Tell Mitch McConnell: stop playing politics with state budgets and people's lives," a message says in the 30-second video.
The organization also ran a full-page ad in McConnell's hometown newspaper featuring editorials from eight newspapers that advocate congressional action to help states ward off unemployment.
"Senator McConnell is the chief architect of a 'just say no' strategy that will lead to thousands of teachers, police and firefighters losing their jobs, put our fragile economic recovery at risk and increase the deficit," Blaine Rummel, the group's Assistant Director of Legislation, told CNN. "It's time for Sen. McConnell and the Republicans to stop trying to score political points by doing all they can to stall America's economic recovery."
Asked why the union would target McConnell when he is not up for re-election until 2014, Rummel also told CNN that the campaign focuses on McConnell because of his role as the Republican leader in the Senate.
"He is the leader of the Republican strategy that is going to force layoffs for nearly 1 million Americans," Rummel said in an email to CNN. "It has nothing to do with when he's up for re-election. It has everything to do with looming layoffs of thousands of teachers, police and firefighters."
CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger suggested that focusing on McConnell could benefit progressives in this year's midterms.
"As the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Sen. McConnell is a juicy target," Borger said. "Given that this is not a presidential year, he's one of the more identifiable faces of the GOP. And so while he's not up for re-election, the control of the Congress is at stake."
The ads coincide with the Kentucky Republican's remarks Monday before the National Conference of State Legislatures 2010 summit, held this year in Louisville, Kentucky.
Sen. McConnell's office did not respond to a request for comment.
Updated: 5:00 p.m.