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Democratic congressional candidate Tom Malinowski (NIKITA BIRYUKOV PHOTO)

AFP Foundation launches labor-day weekend anti-union campaign

Koch backing could become an issue in CD7

By Nikita Biryukov, September 03 2018 3:02 pm

In the wake of the Janus decision, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation launched an advertising blitz aimed at reducing public union membership on Friday, broadcasting radio ads and sending mail to teachers in hopes that they opt out of their unions.

The group sent mailers with sample opt-out forms to tens of thousands of New Jersey teachers, said AFP NJ Director Erica Jedynak. AFP also launched a radio ad encouraging members to opt out of their unions on NJ 101.5.

“Let’s talk about your union. Do you feel your dues are too expensive?” The ad says. “Thanks to a recent supreme court decision, you now have a choice to opt out. Visit MyPayMySay.com to learn more about these new freedoms. MyPayMySay.com will show you how you can keep more of your paycheck.”

The website helps members opt out by streamlining paperwork.

Some Democrats are displeased with the campaign and its Labor-Day-weekend timing.

“It’s disgraceful that, on the day we celebrate the contributions of the American labor movement, this far right, corporate backed entity would so brazenly attack New Jersey’s teachers unions,” said Tom Malinowski Political Director Mitchelle Drulis. “New Jersey’s celebrated public-school system is due in no small part to highly trained, supported, and well-resourced education professionals who must be protected.”

Rep. Leonard Lance, Malinowski’s opponent, received a $10,000 donation from Koch Industries, which is headed by David and Charles Koch, who fund AFP and use it as the main channel for their political advocacy efforts.

The new campaign could put Lance in an awkward position down the line, as he’s secured endorsements from some formidable New Jersey unions, including the Building and Construction Trades Council and the state Policemen’s Benevolent Association.

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