Throughout the next two months, we will hear a common complaint from Blanche Lincoln as she runs for re-election against Bill Halter: that outside interests are coming into Arkansas and telling the people who should represent them. Surely she’ll say that about MoveOn.org, national labor groups, and the Sierra Club, which just launched a series of IE ads in Arkansas.
Of course, it’s the Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club objecting to Lincoln’s support for stopping the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. And similarly, the state AFL-CIO, the local coalition for working Arkansans, just endorsed Halter in the primary.
The Arkansas AFL-CIO says it’s backing Lt. Gov. Bill Halter’s bid against Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary.
Arkansas AFL-CIO President Alan Hughes says the union’s executive board voted to support Halter. The union backed Lincoln in her re-election bid in 2004, but had soured on her because of her positions on health care and key union organizing legislation.
Lincoln is no stranger to support from outside the state. Her joining with Lisa Murkowski to block the EPA regulations may be due to hundreds of thousands of dollars from electric utilities. And her contribution list reveals a litany of outside money. But the strongest rebuttal to her argument about extremist outsiders can be made by the state President of the AFL-CIO, who once backed Lincoln. Arkansas has seen its labor population dwindle, but the optics matter to knock down Lincoln’s narrative.
UPDATE: Here’s outsider coastal elite Bob Menendez of the DC outsider Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee supporting Blanche Lincoln.