ALBANY—Two health care organizations, including the state's largest union, are beginning a multi-million dollar political campaign opposing David Paterson's proposed cuts to hospitals and nursing homes.
"It is clear that we have our backs to the wall," said Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, at a press conference to unveil the campaign. "It's with a heavy heart that we have to do this."
Raske was joined by Kevin Finnegan, political director of 1199 SEIU. They debuted an ad that will start running across the state, which directs their ire at David Paterson and his proposed cuts. A mailer being sent to a million homes juxtaposes Paterson's name with a sad-looking woman hovering over a hospital bed.
"I can't believe Governor Paterson is the one doing this," says a woman in the ad wearing scrubs.
The spot will air at the cost of about $1 million a week for four weeks, GNYHA spokesman Brian Conway said. It is decidedly harsher than their first ad this budget cycle, which aired in December. In addition, 200 people will go door to door to oppose the cuts.
GNYHA and 1199 ran a similar campaign against Eliot Spitzer in 2007, and got him to back down from proposed health care cuts.
The union is advocating a mixture of federal aid, a tax on high-income earners and smaller cuts to bridge the budget deficit.