Unions, Obama dark money group press GOP on immigration
A new fight over immigration appears to be brewing, but it likely has more to do with the 2014 elections than with any real chance legislation will be passed.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appeared to close that door on Wednesday, when he ruled out any negotiations over the sweeping immigration law the Senate passed in June. On the same day, Organizing for Action, the dark money committee that grew out of President Barack Obama's campaign, sent an email to supporters calling on them to pressure Republican lawmakers to take up the immigration bill. The committee suggested targeting Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the GOP's vice presidential nominee last year.
Meanwhile, two major labor unions are targeting other GOP House members. The Service Employees International Union, which spent more than $13 million in the last election cycle, is running ads decrying the Republican-controlled House's inaction on immigration in Ohio, the home state of Boehner, and in the districts of six other Republicans who are facing competitive races next year. They are:
- Gary Miller of California
- Mike Coffman of Colorado
- Rodney Davis of Illinois
- Joe Heck of Nevada
- John Kline of Minnesota, and
- Michael Grimm of New York
The AFL-CIO also is launching an ad campaign that targets the GOP in general. Using video clips of various Republican lawmakers, such as Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, using particularly harsh rhetoric about immigrants, the ads suggest that those comments reflect the attitude of the entire party. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said last week that the labor combine intends to spend $1 million airing the ads — produced in both Spanish and English — in markets nationwide. The ads are available on Ad Hawk, Sunlight's archive of political ads. But so far Political Ad Sleuth, Sunlight's tool for tracking ad buys, has picked up no sign of the AFL-CIO purchases. But the SEIU has been active in a number of key markets.