(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.
Not only will police and firefighters lose their jobs, the ones left on the job aren't safe. Neither is the public – who answers your emergency calls when there are only skeleton crews left??
They assume this right-wing nutter can read?
McConnell does not care about main street. He is worth over $20 million, and needs the big dollars in bribes from big oil and the financial industry to maintain his republican lifestyle.
It's the AFSCME that's risking the livelyhoods of American workers in the private sector. We're the ones that have to pay your bloated salaries and early retirement packages. We're going broke supporting you. You need to get real about what your jobs are really worth.
Unions = dinosaurs
God Bless them! I wish them luck. How long will it take before the rest of the American middle class wakes up to realize their government and their way of life is under direct attack from extremists and conservatives on the right. Cary Tea baggers and GOP supporters who want to eliminate the middle class! They call everything we have worked for or gained – socialism! Highways, the military, Tricae, health insurance, social security, medicare, unemployment insurance, farm aid, security programs, anything funded by the taxpayer they wanty to eliminate it! All that will be left over at the end is the super rich, that is their vison for America...
It's about time some one stand up to this uncompassionate, unhuman, money loving, coldhearted senator. Thank you AFSCME! Keep hitting him the same way he continues hitting the American citizens.
Queue ideologically motivated union bashing from the nihilist right wing lunatic fringers....
More power to the people most affected by this arrogant 'man'.
He wants to be King of the Hill himself, and will do anything that he can do to have as many 'publicans' as he can get elected this fall so that he can become the replacement for Senator Harry Reid next January when the Senate comes back to roost in the capitol.
Just another 'publican' who has let his ego get ahead of common sense.
We have one here in Alabama, too.
Unions again. Let's take a peek, These are public employees who's employment is never in question (Cuts= Union jobs and dues) What about a national debt which is now so huge it is considered a National Security issue. States and the Government are broke, They have to stop spending! I am in NYC and by this time next year we are going to be in as much trouble as California. Keep the Police, Fireman and EMS. Everything else gets cut by 50% Smaller Government requires less money savy? If we as people have to cut way back, So does our Government or we are toast.