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Opinion: AFL-CIO budgets $53 million for election cycle

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This should pay for a lot of phone banks and door-hangers. The AFL-CIO announced Friday that it would spend a record $53 million in the 2008 election cycle -- all of it for grassroots mobilization. And it plans to mobilize an army of 200,000 union volunteers for precinct-walking and other get out the vote efforts. Overall, it expects to spend $200 million on the campaign.

The labor group said it intends to target Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin -- core regions of the country’s traditional manufacturing base.

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That’s a lot of effort. But the problem the labor movement has faced in recent years is a decrease in membership and a failure by its endorsed candidates to win trhe White House in 2000 and 2004. But labor victories and Democratic gains in the 2006 elections could provide a foundation for the 2008 cycle.

- Scott Martelle


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