Union leader: Ohio GOP candidates represent 'false populism'

A senior union leader will say Tuesday that several Republican candidates from Ohio, if elected, will equal "one ugly future" for America.

In a speech at the Ohio AFL-CIO convention in Columbus, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will lay into the state's GOP gubernatorial nominee, John Kasich; Senate candidate Rob Portman; and Tom Ganley, Rep. Betty Sutton's (D-Ohio) Republican opponent.

"Kasich, Portman and Ganley equal one ugly future for America! It's a bleak vision of a weak nation in decline," Trumka will say. "That's their true promise for America, hidden behind a wall of false populism and name-calling."

In prepared remarks, Trumka will take shots at Kasich's stint as a managing director with the now-defunct Lehman Brothers, as well as Portman's time as U.S. trade representative during the George W. Bush administration. The union leader will also blast Ganley for wanting to cut government programs while seeing a car dealership he owns benefit from the "Cash for Clunkers" program last year.

"Tom Ganley in Akron — running against our own Rep. Betty Sutton — promises to, and I quote, 'cut the Dickens' out of government programs," Trumka said. "That's the same Tom Ganley whose Mercedes dealership made millions off the Cash for Clunkers program, but when it comes to the rest of us, he's all 'You're on your own.' "

Trumka will also tell union members they can make the difference in electing Democrats and making sure Congress doesn't flip to Republican control.

"Because it's going to come down to us and we're going to make the difference — district by district, a few thousand votes, a few hundred votes. Those will be the margins — the difference we make," Trumka will say. "It’ll be you. It’s going to be your vote. Your members. Your worksite leafleting. Your neighborhood walks. Your commitment to Labor 2010. Your programs."

The labor movement will be key to Democrats this election, as they are expecting heavy losses when voters head to the polls in November.

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