Sherrod Brown Gets AFL-CIO Super PAC Help

WASHINGTON — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is getting a boost from union members, with the AFL-CIO super PAC Workers’ Voice launching $50,000 in advertising against his GOP opponent, state Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Visitors to the websites of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch and the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday will see giant ads from Workers’ Voice saying that Mandel is “betting against Ohio families.”

Clicking on the ad will go to a page encouraging them to “send a message of disgust with Josh Mandel.”

The anti-family charge is based on a ThinkProgress post by Scott Keyes, who reported that Mandel “stands to reap a significant financial windfall if the government defaults by not raising the debt ceiling, a move he opposed last year and has indicated he would vote against if elected to the Senate.”

The ad buy is Workers’ Voice’s second in the Ohio Senate race. The super PAC’s first online ad campaign, which totaled $100,000, hit Mandel for the questionable donations he and other state Republicans have received from the Suarez Corporation Industries. The FBI is investigating the contributions.

Workers’ Voice is different from most other super PACs, in that it allows supporters to choose where to spend their money.

As The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reported in April, “Participants who undertake campaign activities — phone banking, neighborhood canvassing, field program volunteering and others — will be rewarded the equivalent of super PAC currency. That currency, in turn, can be used to direct which candidates and issues Workers’ Voice supports and how they support them, be it through online advertising, voter registration, get-out-the-vote operations or other mechanisms.”

This online ad campaign against Mandel was the first time supporters voted where to spend their money, showing the importance of reelecting Brown within the progressive labor community.

In June, The Huffington Post reported that no Democratic lawmaker had been bombarded more by outside spending than Brown. As of June 11, GOP-aligned groups had poured more than $7.5 million into TV ads to attack Brown, while progressive groups had spent $1.5

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