Presidential races

AFL-CIO goes door to door in swing states ahead of GOP convention

The AFL-CIO will have its members out knocking on doors early this year to counter the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

The nation’s largest labor federation is planning to knock on 640,000 doors in 23 states over the weekend for a massive canvassing campaign. Labor unions have traditionally begun their political efforts on Labor Day, but are starting a week early to coincide with the GOP convention.

{mosads}Joining in the canvassing effort will be MoveOn.org and Workers’ Voice, the AFL-CIO’s super-PAC. Workers’ Voice will also be sending out direct mail to 240,000 senior citizens taking direct aim at Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and his vice presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the union ground game would help Democrats and President Obama win the election this fall.

“Working families talking to their neighbors, co-workers, friends and families is kryptonite to the radical right-wing agenda,” Trumka said in a statement. “We’ll be breaking through the noise of misleading ads paid for by wealthy special interests and letting voters hear from the people they trust most on the economic issues they care about. That’s how working families will win this election and lift up the middle class.”

The direct mailer from Workers’ Voice is designed as a viewer’s guide for the GOP convention, with the warning label “viewer discretion advised.” Among many attacks, the piece asks, “Will Paul Ryan tell you about his plans to privatize Social Security and end Medicare?”

Much of the initial campaigning by the AFL-CIO will focus on six battleground states: Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The AFL-CIO has endorsed Obama for reelection. Labor, a key political ally for Democrats, will likely boost the party’s candidates at the polls this November with its voter turnout machine.

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