AFL-CIO takes on McCain-Feingold

WASHINGTON: AFL-CIO has attracted national attention and criticism by launching a high-profile lobbying push against aspects of the McCain-Feingold bill on campaign finance reform.

WASHINGTON: AFL-CIO has attracted national attention and criticism by launching a high-profile lobbying push against aspects of the McCain-Feingold bill on campaign finance reform.

WASHINGTON: AFL-CIO has attracted national attention and criticism by launching a high-profile lobbying push against aspects of the McCain-Feingold bill on campaign finance reform.

In a statement, AFL-CIO stated that it supports the principals behind campaign finance reform. But it takes issue with certain points of the bill that it says would limit the freedom of speech.

'We first held meetings internally with our affiliate unions in order to devise our position,' said Larry Gold, AFL-CIO's associate general council. 'We have now engaged with members of the senate and members of our staff to communicate our concerns.' The lobbying effort is being handled exclusively out of AFL-CIO.

A New York Times editorial last week criticized AFL-CIO's position, claiming, 'The union move is bad for the country and ultimately for labor's Democratic political allies.'

The coalition objects specifically to the bill's ban on 'electioneering' broadcast, which would prevent any advertising by unions or corporations supporting candidates 60 days prior to an election.

'The bill would still permit most nonprofit organizations to undertake this advertising,' the statement read. 'So a special interest group funded by wealthy individuals could broadcast in opposition to a minimum wage increase while unions would be barred from the airwaves.'

AFL-CIO also opposes the bill's language concerning coordinated activities between candidates and unions. Another issue is the amendment on 'paycheck protection,' which would complicate the union's ability to fund political candidates. AFL-CIO said it is 'intended to silence the voice of working families in politics and legislation.'



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