Ad Blasts Tanner for Labor Vote

Posted July 19, 2005 at 6:41pm

Campaign for America’s Future, the liberal group that has taken on GOP lawmakers such as House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas) and Rep. Bob Ney (Ohio), has for the first time launched an attack ad against a Democrat.

Starting today, the group is running a full-page ad in a hometown paper of Rep. John Tanner (Tenn.), criticizing him for voting against an amendment that would have nullified an agreement between Wal-Mart and the Labor Department.

“Wal-Mart got a real bargain when they bought Rep. Tanner,” said Toby Chaudhuri, communications director for Campaign for America’s Future.

The group has paid $8,000 to run the ads in the Jackson Sun.

Although Tanner is not the only Democrat to cast a vote in tune with Wal-Mart’s position, Campaign for America’s Future has focused on Tanner because he has received more than $17,000 from Wal-Mart’s PAC and individuals who work for the company, the group said. The ads call that amount “pocket change for a multibillion-dollar company.”

The amendment to the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies appropriations bill would have prohibited any Labor funds from being used to enforce a settlement agreement between Wal-Mart and the department. That agreement says that Labor will give the retail giant a 15-day notice before it investigates potential child labor violations.

The amendment was voted down June 24 by a vote of 165-to-234. Besides Tanner, 21 other Democrats voted against the measure. Three Republicans voted for it.

A spokesman for Tanner said “the vote in question dealt with a good-faith agreement between Wal-Mart and the Department of Labor, and Congressman Tanner did not feel it was appropriate for Congress to undermine that agreement on the House floor.”