Union Official Resigns After Airing Controversial Campaign Ad
A top union official resigned Thursday after a campaign ad a month-old union PAC purchased caused protests from both parties and labor officials.
Paul Filson, executive director of the SEIU Connecticut State Council, resigned following a digital ad that likened Dr. William A. Petit to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Petit, the lone survivor of a 2007 home invasion, is running for a state House seat in Plainville. The ad asks voters to “Stop Donald Trump and Republican William Petit’s attack on women and families.”
It was widely criticized Wednesday by Petit, Republicans, a union official, and his opponent, Rep. Betty Boukus, D-Plainville.
SEIU Connecticut State Council sent a statement Thursday night that explained they are not able to coordinate with Labor United for Connecticut and didn’t approve and was not made aware of the digital ad that was geotargeted to Petit’s district.
“Once the ad became public yesterday it was clear it was not reflective of our locals’ or SEIU’s standard and it should have never taken place,” the SEIU Connecticut State Council said in the state. “We offer our sincere apology to Dr. Petit and feel strongly this ad should have never run in his district under any circumstances.”
The statement goes on to state that “It is extremely regrettable that such poor judgment was exhibited by those tasked with running the independent expenditure and we have taken action to remove those responsible from the campaign.”
Petit was targeted by the PAC along with a dozen other House Republicans, who became the subject of similar digital ads.
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said the ad was wrong on so many levels. She said the same ad was used to target Republican candidates who are women.
“How does that even make sense?”
House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said earlier in the day that he was disgusted by the ad and suggested that someone should lose their job.