Labor Group Deploys Confrontational Campaign Tactics Against McCain

09/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reflecting a much more creative and confrontational approach to the presidential campaign, Change to Win, the major labor organization, is launching a "truth squad" that will hold demonstrations and protests of John McCain in ten key battleground states.

The group, which is comprised of seven unions and six million workers, started its effort on Monday with an event at McCain's campaign offices in Reno, Nevada, in which volunteers dressed as grim reapers with McCain masks staged a "foreclosure funeral."

The method seems designed to drive local media coverage as much as it is meant to change voter perceptions. But the targeted geographic regions are certainly influential. All told, Change to Win's truth squad, which will be made up of nine workers, will make 19 separate stops.

The first leg will see them host another foreclosure funeral in Las Vegas (in which workers will trout out a coffin filled with mortgage statements); a rally for Jim Gibbons, the embattled Nevada governor who used a state cell phone to text message his mistress, in Carson City (McCain has called Gibbons a "great governor"); and a "Yucca Mountain Disaster Prep," to highlight McCain's support for storing nuclear waste in Yucca, in Pahrump, Nevada.

After Labor Day, the group will head to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They also have launched a website, WorseThanBush.org, that will host additional information pertinent to the campaign, including testimonies from struggling workers who have objections to McCain's policy record.

"It's time for some truth about who John McCain really is and what a McCain presidency would mean for America's workers," said Anna Burger, chair of Change to Win. "Change to Win's Truth Squad is standing up to John McCain's campaign of distortion, which disguises a Bush-inspired agenda that will bankrupt our economy for four more years. At the same time, the Squad is standing up for Barack Obama whose presidency will help build a new American Dream for working families by delivering the change our members desperately need on the issues that matter most - the economy and jobs, health care and workers' rights."

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