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Will Weatherford, Erik Fresen et al blasted over Medicaid in "Typical Tallahassee" ad campaign


House Speaker Will Weatherford and some of his fellow Republicans in the Florida House are being targeted in a cable ad campaign by SEIU over their refusal to accept federal Obamacare money to expand Medicaid (column about that here).

A sample of the ads is below (Erik Fresen, Manny Diaz is the first and Weatherford is the second). One quirk: Only Weatherford's ad accuses him of playing "Typical Politics" while the others say "Typical Tallahassee."

The press release:

Miami, FL – SEIU Florida State Council (SEIU Florida) will launch an advertising campaign today, calling out legislators in key districts for their lack of support in accepting an estimated $51 billion set aside by the federal government to expand access to quality healthcare for more than one million hardworking Floridians. 

The nearly six figure ad campaign will run on local broadcast and cable television, including CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, as well as radio in the Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee markets. The ads highlight the hypocrisy in Tallahassee and ask the public to call key legislators, such as House Speaker Will Weatherford, for their opposition to use federal funding to expand healthcare to working families.  This funding otherwise will go to other states to fund the expansion of Medicaid, as part of the Affordable Care Act. The campaign will run on the heels of district-specific surveys that showed more constituents willing to vote against incumbents who vote against expanding Medicaid to working families.

Click here to see ads, www.youtube.com/1199SEIUFlorida.

“SEIU Florida members, from bus drivers and janitors to bedside caregivers and nurses, will not stand idly by while some politicians in Tallahassee, including Speaker Weatherford, choose to play politics with our tax dollars.  Instead, these lawmakers should work to do what is morally and fiscally right for Florida,” said Monica Russo, president of SEIU Florida. “The fact that there are bills out for consideration that would double-tax Floridians, while covering a mere fraction of those who could be eligible, is completely absurd. The Affordable Care Act provides the necessary funds to expand healthcare coverage to more than one million working Floridians. It would also create more than 120,000 new healthcare jobs and strengthen Florida’s economy. To do less is irrational and irresponsible.”

The ads will also echo community actions taking place in Tallahassee and around the state this week where hardworking families, healthcare workers, veterans, students and the faith community are making their voices heard and imploring that the Legislature accept the federal funds and expand access to healthcare coverage.


SEIU Florida represents over 55,000 active and retired healthcare professionals, public employees, and property service workers in the state of Florida. SEIU members provide vital public services in Florida's hospitals, nursing homes, public schools, community colleges, municipal and county governments, malls, and universities. With over 2.1 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.