In this political season, rhetoric is stirring and muddying the water to the point that the truth bobs along nearly undetected. Bulging with cash from the dues of their members, the nation's big labor bosses have launched a smear campaign filled with high-flying oratory and light on fact.
Their target is dozens of pro-small business
members in the House of Representatives, many of whom have received Guardian of Small Business awards from the National Federation of Independent Business for voting in support of small business at least 70 percent of the time.
By distorting these lawmakers' records, the deep-pocketed labor unions are hoping to heavily influence the November elections.
It's no secret that labor bosses view this campaign season as a life or death struggle to elect candidates who will push the liberal union agenda, top heavy with government mandated benefits.
The AFL-CIO has forced a nation-wide dues increase on its members and will use it to fund a $35 million campaign in support of congressional candidates.
And the union bosses are running television commercials falsely portraying pro-small business lawmakers as anti-working families, anti-senior citizens and ``protectors of the rich.''
For example, some of the AFL-CIO's ads accuse lawmakers of voting to cut Medicare while accepting a congressional pay increase.
But, in fact, congressional pay raises were frozen even before many of them came to Washington.
And they voted in favor of legislation which would have protected Medicare.
Fortunately, some broadcasters have taken issue with the AFL-CIO's advertising campaign. To date, more than a dozen television stations and several radio stations have refused to air or pulled from broadcast the labor bosses' latest attack against freshmen members of Congress.
The unions are not just resorting to paid advertising, but also are preparing to stage protests against pro-small business candidates at public appearances-all of this in an effort to taint the candidates' reputations with negative media attention.
Unfortunately, some of these negative ads have already paid off. It was Christmas in July for labor union bosses when the House and Senate recently voted in favor of increasing the starting (minimum) wage.
Ironically, when the friends of Big Labor were in control of the Congress and the White House, they made no attempt to raise the wage.
Only in an election year, under political pressure from union leaders, did they push for the increase.
And the congressional brou-ha-ha over raising the starting wage is merely the beginning. Richard Trumpka, the No. 2 AFL-CIO labor boss, has already announced that mandated health care coverage is their next focus.
In an effort to set the record straight regarding Big Labor's false advertising campaign, the NFIB and others have formed a coalition-``Americans Working for Real Change''-which supports a pro-growth, pro-job, pro-opportunity agenda.
The Coalition will soon begin airing its own TV and radio ads in selected congressional districts around the country to let the voters know the other side of the story.
Small-business owners cannot afford to sit out this election. The small-business ship could sink under the weight of Big Labor's cargo. It is up to each American to search the political waters for the truth, to grasp it, understand it and vote accordingly.
Mr. Faris is President of the National Federation of Independent Business in Washington, D.C., representing 60,000 small-business men and women.