The leaders of Minnesota’s two largest public employees unions today announced they’re spending $300,000 on advertising in support of Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed budget.
Dayton is currently at an impasse with Republican legislative leaders on how to plug a $5 billion deficit for the 2012-2013 biennium. Dayton has proposed a fourth-tier income tax increase on the state’s wealthiest earners, which Republicans oppose.
The buy compliments the money being spent by the liberal Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM) on its advertising campaign. ABM is spending between $500,000 to $1 million that was raised with union support.
The American Federation of State, Council and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Council 5, and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) on Thursday will start airing 30-second TV spots. That’s the day that layoff notices go out to public employees in advance of the government shutdown that will occur if lawmakers don’t reach agreement by June 30. The ad campaign will continue until July 1.
The television ads, which are entitled “We Want to Work for MN,” will run on statewide broadcast and local cable channels.
AFSCME Executive Director Eliot Seide and MAPE Executive Director Jim Monroe said they will use local cable channels to target 26 Republican legislators in hopes of persuading six GOP House members and four GOP senators to join DFLers in passing a budget that Dayton will sign.
In the cable markets of St. Cloud, Bemidji, Albert Lea and Winona, the ads will run 750 times on broadcast TV and at least 2,000 times on cable networks.
The campaign also includes phone banking, literature drops and meetings in legislative districts.
The Inter-Faculty Organization and the Middle Management Association are also part of the coalition with AFSCME and MAPE.