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For Immediate Release

Friday, June 25, 2010

New TV Ad: Senators Collins, Snowe Found the Money to Bail Out Wall Street …But They Can’t Spare a Dime to Keep Cops, Teachers and Nurses Working in Maine?

$100,000 Effort from AFSCME, Americans United for Change Urges Maine’s Senators to Get Their Priorities Straight and Pass the Jobs Bill

Washington D.C. — 

AFSCME and Americans United for Change unveiled a joint $100,000 TV ad campaign today calling on Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to get their priorities straight after voting to cut off struggling out-of-work Mainers from unemployment benefits and threatening the jobs of cops, firefighters, nurses and teachers across the state. See script below for "Priorities," which will begin airing on broadcast television Monday in Portland and Bangor.

Citing "deficit concerns," Collins and Snowe marched in lockstep with their Republican colleagues last night and blocked an up-or-down vote on the American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act (H.R. 4213) – urgently needed legislation that would end corporate tax breaks that send jobs overseas, cut middle-class taxes, extend unemployment insurance for millions of hurting Americans, and help states like Maine avoid difficult job-killing budget cuts.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, if Congress does not extend the enhanced Medicaid matching funds in last year’s Recovery Act, the resulting state budget-closing actions could cost the national economy 900,000 public-and private-sector jobs. CBPP also estimates that without this funding, Maine will face a new shortfall of $85 million. "Priorities" follows the TV ad campaign AFSCME and Americans United launched earlier this week in Maine sending a message Senators Collins and Snowe that "even our kids can understand" that more jobs now mean less long-term debt.

AFSCME President Gerald McEntee: "If Senators Snowe and Collins were truly concerned about the deficit, then they would have supported this jobs bill. It’s very simple -- more jobs now mean less debt later. But instead, their reckless filibuster and obstructionist actions will force devastating cuts in public services and major job losses in both the public and private sectors. Increased unemployment will lead to larger deficits. Make no mistake: Senate Republicans, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder against even allowing a vote on the bill, will be to blame when workers lose their jobs and our economy lapses back into a recession."

Tom McMahon, Executive Director, Americans United for Change: "It just doesn’t add up. Senators Collins and Snowe had no problem giving Wall Street banks a $700 billion bailout or putting the Iraq war on the nation’s credit card. Yet, now they say we can’t afford a bill that will preserve the jobs of hundreds if not thousands of cops, nurses, firefighters, and teachers in Maine? By saying ‘No’ to the jobs bill, Sens. Collins and Snowe actually said ‘Yes’ to bigger deficit problems down the road because more Americans out of work means less tax revenue and more people seeking public assistance. The Senators from Maine need to get their priorities straight and they can start by helping pass a robust jobs bill that meets Maine’s urgent needs."

Preview "Priorities"

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