A powerful construction labor union withdrew a political ad criticizing California State Sen. Scott Wiener after the state legislature’s Jewish Caucus said it played on anti-Semitic stereotypes.
The State Building and Construction Trades Council also apologized for the Facebook advertisement, which depicted Wiener clutching Monopoly money against a backdrop of a Monopoly game board, according to CalMatters. The union has over 450,000 members across the state.
The ad criticized Wiener for Senate Bill 899, which would make it easier for schools and religious organizations to build low-income housing on their properties. The labor union wants lawmakers to require union labor on such projects.
The advertisement linked to the website of an outside organization that accused Wiener of “selling out” to developers, according to CalMatters.
The State Building Trades designed the advertisement in-house and initially pushed back on accusations of anti-Semitism. Robbie Hunter, president of the group, said that the union had designed identical ads depicting other lawmakers with the Monopoly backdrop, but never released them.
“… people that do the wrong things sometimes try to hide behind any issue they can hide behind,” he said.
State Building Trades removed the ad the next day and released a statement apologizing for it.
Wiener said that “a certain kind of ad can be offensive in one context, and not the other.”
“And the reality is that for as long as there have been Jews, there has been slander against us, that we are money-grubbing, greedy and trying to control the world. And that’s what makes it anti-Semitic,” he said. [CalMatters] — Dennis Lynch