The BDS crowd is going on a therapeutic spending spree:
A liberal advocacy group plans to spend $8.5 million in a drive to make sure President Bush’s public approval doesn’t improve as his days in the White House come to an end.
Americans United for Change plans to undertake a yearlong campaign, spending the bulk of the money on advertising, to keep public attention on what the group says are the failures of the Bush administration, including the war in Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina, and the current mortgage crisis.
In selling the plan to fundraisers, the group has argued that support for President Reagan was at a low of 42 percent in 1987 but climbed to 63 percent before he left office. “All of a sudden he became a rallying cry for conservatives and their ideology,” said Brad Woodhouse, president of the group. “Progressives are still living with that.”
The group is a nonprofit corporation that made a splash by airing ads against Bush’s plans to overhaul Social Security in 2005. The group has conducted polls and focus groups and is now raising money for their anti-Bush effort. It gave a Power Point presentation to representatives of about 30 liberal and labor organizations last week.
It plans to announce the campaign at a press conference Thursday afternoon during a forum featuring liberal critics of the administration. It also aims to air its first ad in advance of Bush’s State of the Union speech on Monday.
Who’s behind Americans United for Change? The usual suspects, union bosses, and political losers. Here’s background info from the WaPo published last year:
Brad Woodhouse, president, a former press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and press secretary for Erskine Bowles’s unsuccessful Senate bid in North Carolina against Elizabeth Dole.
Suzanne Granville, deputy executive director and former official in the AFL-CIO’s women’s department.
Donors and key players:
Tom Matzzie, Washington director of MoveOn.org, who has helped fund Americans United as MoveOn pursues its own antiwar campaign. He headed online organizing for John F. Kerry’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 2004 and was online mobilization director for the AFL-CIO.
Gerald McEntee, president of AFSCME, the union of state and municipal employees and a fixture in Democratic fundraising.
John J. Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, who saw his union splinter with upstart service workers unions but has worked with the splinter group to help fund Americans United.
Andy Stern, president, the Service Employees International Union, a leader of the splinter group and an aggressive backer of Democratic political causes.
Anna Berger, head of Change to Win, the umbrella labor organization and budding AFL-CIO rival.
Larry Cohen, president, Communications Workers of America, who has moved to unionize white-collar, high-tech workers and may see antiwar activism as a hook.
Reggie Weaver, president of the National Education Association, the powerful teachers lobby.