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

Union hits back at Lincoln in Arkansas

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="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. proud mother and sister of a soldier

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

    March 17, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. SIMP

    nobody should support this republician in sheep clothing. This stupid woman just needs to change her party to republician, she had done nothing but been a pain in the rear end when it comes to supporting the President. I heard this fool tell morning joe that the President has not called her to come to the White House, guess what you lying traitor? He won't

    March 17, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Lincoln has to go, her opposition to legislation that would have helped workers join a union shows she is really only a DINO and more interested in HER future, not us common folk here in Arkansas.

    Halter has my vote.

    March 17, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Jacq

    She out of office

    March 17, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. rdepontb

    Bye, bye Blanche. You took the money, now take what it's earned you-being cast out of office. I wish you no misfortune at all, but it does not seem likely that your big business contributors will be vying for your attention much longer, much less have you on their payrolls.

    March 17, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. ProfBill

    I blanch when I see someone as foul as this carrying the name of Lincoln...

    March 17, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Marc

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

    A bit hard to prove that statement of yours, ma'am...

    March 17, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    I've sent money to Halter to help him beat her. She's a republican trying to pass as a dem. Kick her out.

    March 17, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. jeremy.....Dallas...Texas

    Well done. I will come to knock doors the week of primary. She must be voted out. She is part of politicians happy to spend billions of our tax dollars in Iraq and nothing to we tax payers. If public option is bad,why is she having one? She is evil and incompetent.

    March 17, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Michael from Ventura

    Hit her hard and often! She seems to have selective memory on some of her constituents!

    March 17, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. badger

    She really works for corporations namely Wal-Mart.

    March 17, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Key Liberal

    Senator Bill Halter!

    March 17, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. get real

    This public fight with a union will actually win her votes in Arkansas.

    March 17, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Mark from Louisiana

    I sure will be glad when we have a law prohibiting unions from being involved with any level of politics.

    March 17, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. chris l

    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

    March 17, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Brim

    Typical nastiness from a politician but Blanche Lincoln is no fool. It is a wise move right now in the southern states. A politcian being seen as a tool of unions is just one other of the major reasons to vote them out.

    March 17, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Way to go Arkansas!!! Turn around is fair play. The slime can and will fly both ways. We've been taking their crap silently for too long. Taking the high road with these types of opportunistic and flip-flopping predatory politicians JUST DOES NOT WORK!


    March 17, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. D.

    Just the ironic name of this group "for Change" is already tainted. Change, change and we got worse than ever political back-room deals. This is not the "change" we voted for and the word "change" is gone forever as a slogan. This time the majority will want "Counter-Change."

    March 17, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. johnrj08

    Lincoln has shown time and again that she lacks any real convictions other than holding onto her job. This has led her to pander to the right-wing and turn her back on policies which would benefit her constituents. She doesn't deserve to be a US Senator.

    March 17, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Don't worry Blanche, the republKKKans will step up and make up for any lost campaign funds and help you save your job, after all, you are one of "them"!

    March 17, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Matt

    Bye Bye Blanche!! This Arkansan will be GLAD to see you GO!!

    March 17, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. CONNIE

    So Unions can endorse who they want but when the Supreme Courts said it was ok for Corporations to contribute to their person it is wrong,
    is it because the unions is mainly democrats and corporations republicans I see a double standard here but then that is all i have seen since Obama came to the White House.

    March 17, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Enough is Enough

    Unions destroy jobs and companies look what they did for GM and the steel industry. They are responsible for keeping bad teachers from getting fired. One of the best ways to pick who is the best choice is see who the unions back and pick their opponent.

    March 17, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. Ayn Randy

    Most unions are very corrupt these days, work only for their own benefit and to h*ll with everyone else. The country is sliding to Hades and they don't care, as long as they get theirs.

    March 17, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Duck Fallas

    She looks like John Kerry, only not as pretty.

    March 17, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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