December 14, 2003
Enid Doggett

AFGE Launches Issue Ad Campaign for 2004

Broadcast Ads Criticize "Corporate Giveaways," Outsourcing of Veteran Services

(Washington, DC) - The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) this week launched the first in a series of issue ads aimed at building public awareness about the negative impact of contracting out federal services.

"We want the public to know what's really going on in government. Taxpayer money is just being squandered with no accountability to the American people. We think the taxpayers deserve better," said John Gage, president of AFGE.

The two ads are currently running in New Hampshire and Iowa, two key presidential primary battleground states. One ad called "One Christmas" includes video footage from the 1941 classic "Meet John Doe" and describes the shelling out of taxpayer money to big corporations. The ad says… "For big corporations like Halliburton that get no-bid government contracts worth billions, Christmas comes almost every day. And when contractors go over budget or commit fraud, it seems as long as they keep writing big contribution checks to the Bush campaign, they just keep getting more government contracts paid for by you and me."

Recent cuts in services to Veterans and contracting out is the subject of an ad called "Veterans Only." The ad features a nurse from a VA facility in Minneapolis and three veterans.

Both ads were produced for AFGE by MacWilliams, Robinson and Partners; a Washington D.C. based media consulting firm. "' One Christmas' takes a humorous approach to a very serious subject, while the 'VA Only' ad was aimed at having real people tell the story of what's going on in VA facilities nationwide," said Will Robinson, senior partner at the firm. A copy of the ads can be seen at

Contracting out is a major issue for AFGE. The Bush Administration has pledged to cut 850,000 federal jobs. "Every action, every regulation rammed through Congress by this Administration lines the pockets of big campaign contributors. This includes the outsourcing of inherently governmental services vital to the public, such as Social Security and Medicare," said John Gage, president of AFGE.

The American Federation of Government employees represents some 600,000 employees, including civilian employees at the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Social Security, and Veterans Administration, Department of Labor and includes a non-bargaining unit for TSA screeners.

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