Ad Update: Religious Groups Back Reform, Unions Target Senators’ Tax Plans
"Labor unions are showing their increasing displeasure over [health reform] financing proposals that target their healthcare benefits by launching attack ads against key lawmakers, causing the Senate's leading advocate of taxing such benefits to seek an end to one especially aggressive campaign," Congress Daily reports. The Laborers' International Union of North America pulled an ad in Montana attacking Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus at the senator's request, and after he asked to meet with the union's president to discuss proposals (Dann, 6/30).
Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the Finance committee's leading Republican, will become the target of the same union's ads in his home state today, Roll Call reports. "Grassley's office appeared unfazed by the three-day ad buy designed to discourage the Finance panel ranking member from supporting a proposal to tax the value of health insurance benefits like regular income." Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad was also targeted with ads, but after Baucus contacted the union, those ads were suspended, too (Drucker, 6/30).
A union spokesman said the ads would resume if the senators do not reverse their position on the new taxes, USA Today reports.
Also in advertising news, religious groups plan to launch a five-state ad campaign that will "discuss the moral reasons for making health care more affordable" and support the reform efforts, The Associated Press reports. The liberal-leaning religious groups include Faith in Public Life, Faithful America, the PICO National Network and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (Fram, 6/30).