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SEIU speaks out on McMahon dirty tactics to confuse voters

by: ctblogger

Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 15:48:02 PM EST

UPDATE 4:30 PM: SEIU demands that McMahon end the deceptive T-shirt tactics.

SEIU Demands McMahon Campaign Cease-and-Desist Use of Deceptive T-Shirts

Hartford, CT-Local unions affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) just faxed a letter to the Linda McMahon for Senate campaign, demanding that the campaign immediately cease its deceptive use of shirts designed to look like the signature purple T-shirts identified with SEIU member activists or risk facing legal action. The text of the letter is as follows :

Dear {McMahon campaign},

This is a formal legal demand that you immediately cease and desist from further deceptive practices concerning our Union. Let us begin by explaining why we use the word further.

As you know, the McMahon campaign has been distributing door hangers telling voters to vote for Obama and McMahon on the Independent Party Line. The door hangers don't mention that McMahon is actually a Republican who has endorsed and helped give $150,000 to Mitt Romney, nor that President Obama has actually endorsed your opponent, Chris Murphy. That is bad enough. Worse is that these door hangers are distributed only in African American voting areas to give the false impression of support from America's first African-American president, while at the same time the McMahon campaign continues to distribute Republican material in other areas of the State where she wants to tout her support of Mitt Romney. This level of bitter and cynical manipulation is an insult to the intelligence of voters both in the cities and outside them.

But today the McMahon campaign's level of deception has gone one step further, paying polling standers to wear "Obama/McMahon" t-shirts styled to look like they are the t-shirts traditionally worn by our Union members, who are strong supporters of President Obama and Chris Murphy. Leave aside the fact that we have been told that many of these paid poll standers will actually vote for Chris Murphy. Leave aside the fact that Linda McMahon's policies would throw working families into poverty while she used cuts to Social Security and Medicare to fund tax cuts for billionaires. The effort to trade off the respect our Union has built among its members and other supporters of working families in order to give voters the false impression that we support the McMahon campaign is not only morally indefensible - it is illegal.

We hereby formally direct your attention to C.G.S. §9-364a, a criminal statute that gives rise to a civil action which we intend to bring to remedy your corrupt conduct. In order to avoid continuing claims for damages and other relief, we hereby demand that your supporters immediately cease using the misleading t-shirts.

This is not professional wrestling. The contest between you and Chris Murphy is very real, and the consequences of a McMahon win for all working families in Connecticut would be very dire. We do not believe you will succeed in the conspiracy in which you have engaged - the people of Connecticut whether in the Cities or the suburbs are smarter than you think they are. But if you've confused even one voter by you cynical and manipulative acts, it's one too many. Continue at your own peril.

The letter was signed by:

David Pickus, President, New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199

Kurt Westby, Connecticut Director, Local 32BJ

Steven Cohen, President, Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges (4C's)

Bob Rinker, Executive Director, Connecticut State Employees Association, Local 2001

Ron McClellan, President, Connecticut Employees Union Independent, Local 511

Paul Filson, Director, SEIU State Council

From Paul Filson, SEIU State Council and Deborah Chernoff

Voters in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport, CT are being greeted by paid Linda McMahon election-day employees wearing purple t-shirts urging a ticket splitting vote. (See attached photos.) The t-shirts look suspiciously like SEIU's signature shirts which urge voters to support Barack Obama.

"This is a cynical and phony attempt to further confuse voters. SEIU is well known around Connecticut, especially in the cities, for its member activists, always clad in their purple t-shirts," said Paul Filson, Director of the SEIU CT State Council.

"SEIU has enthusiastically endorsed Chris Murphy and Barack Obama. I've received numerous calls telling me that they were initially confused by the McMahon t-shirts."

"What is particularly disgusting is that Linda McMahon is a strong supporter, and huge financial contributor to Mitt Romney," Filson continued. "She tells most people in the state 'vote for Romney', but she tells people in the Cities she's for Obama. How stupid does she think people are?"

"SEIU is outraged by the deception. Even the thought that SEIU would support a ticket splitting vote for Obama and McMahon is repulsive. McMahon's support for tax cuts for the wealthy and her threats to social security and Medicare, and her opposition to Obama care make her clearly an anti-working families candidate. SEIU will explore all avenues, including legal ones, to make sure our name is not associated with McMahon in any way."

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