AFSCME zeros in on 26 legislators to prevent shutdown

Can AFSCME change the minds of 26 legislators?
If you live in a Republican district led by a "non-ideolog," prepare to be really annoyed by your television.

A "non-ideolog" is the word American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees use for a lawmaker who could potentially be swayed to compromise before a government shutdown. AFSCME and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees have identified 26 of these in Minnesota, and will be targeting them with an ad campaign for the next 18 days, the deadline to reach a budget deal.

Between last week and the end of June, AFSCME's ads will play a total of 11,500 times on TV, says Jennifer Munt, public affairs director for AFSCME. They are set to run 2,750 times in each of the 26 districts being targeted, she says.

The ads are part of AFSCME's "We Want to Work for MN" campaign, which aims to convince Republicans to tax the top 2 percent. AFSCME will also be dropping literature at these lawmakers' homes.

Here's the full list of legislators AFSCME hopes to sway (all are Republicans other than Terri Bonoff):

Dan Fabian, David Hancock, Carolyn McElfatrick, John Carlson, Roger Crawford, Joe Gimse, John Pederson, King Banaian, David Brown, Al Dekruif, Kelby Woodard, Rich Murray, Carla Nelson, Mike Benson, Jeremy Miller, Greg Davids, Ted Daley, Diane Anderson, Kirk Stensrud, Terri Bonoff, Benjamin Kruse, Branden Petersen, Pam Wolf, Roger Chamberlain, Ted Lillie, John Kriesel

The ad features employees from around the state who likely won't stay working under the shutdown:

Screenshot from AFSCME commercial.
Experts predict prisons will be guarded by minimized crews, and probation officers like this one may be laid off.

Screenshot from AFSCME commercial.
What critical employees will remain working during the shutdown will be decided by the courts this month. AFSCME suggests state employees who work with the elderly won't be on the list.
Screenshot from AFSCME commercial.
The commercial ends on this note, asking legislators to support taxing the top 2 percent.

In the meantime, AFSCME (like everyone else) is eager to find out what jobs the state deems critical, meaning which employees will remain working during a shutdown. As of today, a budget deal is still nowhere in sight.

"Right now it's just wait and see," says Munt.

Previous Coverage:

  • Countdown to government shutdown: Who's to blame?
  • Minnesota mails 36,000 layoff notices to state workers in case of shutdown

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