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‘Our Goal Is To Become A Force’: New Union-Connected Group Spends Nearly $5 Million On Facebook Ads

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A recently founded nonprofit organization tied to big labor has become one of the highest political ad buyers on Facebook in key swing states, according to a Politico analysis.

WorkMoney, founded by former longtime Service Employees International Union (SEIU) employee CJ Grimes, has dropped $4.5 million on Facebook ads since March when its page was created, according to Politico.

“Our goal is to become a force that politicians and decision-makers have to take seriously, and to pressure them to do the right thing,” Grimes told Politico.

The organization’s website described itself as a “not-for-profit group that helps Americans figure out how to navigate the worst economic catastrophe of our lifetimes.” Grimes also told Politico that the group is apolitical and doesn’t favor any particular candidate.

“I’m pretty aggrieved by both sides,” Grimes said, Politico reported. “We’re just not partisan. It’s not about the left and right.”

WorkMoney has released ads critical of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, according to Politico. One text message from the group called on Trump to “quit the word games” and blamed the Republican-controlled Senate for the U.S. unemployment rate during the pandemic, Politico reported.

Many of their ads request social media users to participate in polls, according to Politico. WorkMoney has been a top-10 Facebook spender in swing states Pennsylvania and Michigan, and was in the top 10 Facebook advertisers in Florida until mid-October.

“We had to start somewhere,” Grimes told Politico. “Swing state people are the only people that Washington is listening to.”

Grimes was the digital program director at SEIU until 2017 and later took on a leadership role with Fight for $15, which has had union support, according to Politico. SEIU, which endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in July, is not affiliated or involved with the group.

SEIU did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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Thomas Catenacci

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