Ads Hit Gerlach, Kuhl on Union Vote

Posted March 9, 2007 at 6:22pm

As House Democrats and their allies continue to lash potentially vulnerable Republicans on the Iraq War, they also are keeping the heat on House GOPers who opposed a workers’ rights bill that passed the House earlier this month.

The group Americans United for Change began running radio ads today in the districts represented by Reps. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Randy Kuhl (R-N.Y.), who voted against the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill to make it easier for workers to unionize. Both Gerlach and Kuhl have never received more than 51 percent of the vote in their competitive districts.

The radio ads, which are set to run for the next 10 days in Philadelphia suburbs as well as the Rochester and Elmira, N.Y., markets, sound like a game show.

“It’s time for another episode of ‘Know Your Congressman,’” an announcer begins in the anti-Kuhl ad. “Today’s question — which New York Congressman voted against legislation that would help middle class workers get ahead? If you said Randy Kuhl, you are a winner!”

After a bell rings and a crowd boos, the announcer goes on to talk about the Congressman’s vote and the growing economic divide between rich corporate CEOs and middle class workers.

Brad Woodhouse, the executive director of Americans United, said the group is paying about $60,000 to air the two ads. He said Kuhl and Gerlach are examples of potentially vulnerable Republicans who are in “new situations” because they have to vote on legislation that boosts the middle class now that Democrats have taken control of Congress.

— Josh Kurtz