Wisconsin ad battle continues between liberals, conservatives

As the conflict over union rights continues in Wisconsin, influential national groups, both liberal and conservative, continue to ratchet up their presence in the debate with new television ads and campaigns.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced today it will begin airing an ad that urges Wisconsinites to "Stop Obama and his union bosses today."

"Families are struggling. State budgets have run dry. And the federal debt is skyrocketing," a narrator in the ad says. "But Obama and the union bosses are standing in the way of economic reform."

The ad merges the debate over national deficits with the ongoing dispute over Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's so-called "budget repair bill." The legislation would, among other things, scale back public workers' benefits, as well as their collective bargaining rights. Walker has said his proposals are necessary to balance the state budget, but unions say restricting collective bargaining rights won't impact the budget.

"With... union bosses lined up to fund Barack Obama's billion dollar re-election campaign, we must continue to stand with Republican governors across the country who are fighting to move their states and the country forward," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

Another conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, is launching a bus tour across Wisconsin tomorrow in support of the governor. The "Stand Against Spending. Stand With Walker" campaign will hit 10 cities, ending in Madison on March 6.

"While union protestors continue to rally on the taxpayer's dime and opposing groups attempt to stifle public debate, Americans for Prosperity will not be intimidated," Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips said in a statement. "We will continue to take a firm stand against wasteful government spending and support responsible economic policies like Governor Walker's."

The grouped, backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, has run ads in the state, but the involvement of the Koch brothers in the state conflict has become the subject of controversy. Last week, Walker was pranked by a liberal blogger who called the governor pretending to be David Koch.

Liberal groups are also bolstering their presence in the debate. Today, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America are releasing an ad attacking the "Republican war on working families."

The ad features middle class Wisconsites protesting outside of the capitol and puts the governor's proposal of the tax breaks for businesses that he enacted in January.

"Governor Walker and the Republicans just gave over $100 million in tax cuts to corporations and now they are asking teachers and nurses to pay for it -- attacking workers rights to negotiate for fair benefits," Wisconsin teacher Emily Pease-Clem says in the ad.

The ad directs viewers to the the website WarOnWorkingFamilies.com and comes on the heels of a new robocall campaign from PCCC and DFA to determine whether liberal voters in Wisconsin would support recall efforts against some Republican state lawmakers.

The ad is slated to air through Friday in the Madison and Milwaukee media markets, and the groups are raising money to extend the ad buy. Already today, within two and half hours of launching the ad, the groups have raised $40,000 online. Last week, the two groups raised nearly $160,000 for Wisconsin Senate Democrats, who remain out of state in protest of Walker's proposals.

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