WASHINGTON - January 10 - Today, WakeUpWalMart.com, America's campaign to change Wal-Mart, launched a TV advertising campaign as part of a statewide grassroots mobilization effort calling on Maryland state legislators to override Gov. Robert Ehrlich's veto of Fair Share Health Care legislation. As part of the campaign, WakeUpWalmart.com also released results from a new Zogby Poll confirming a clear majority of Marylanders believe Fair Share Health Care legislation should become law.
"There is no plausible reason why Wal-Mart and Governor Ehrlich would oppose expanding health care for working families and their children. Maryland taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill because Wal-Mart, a company with $10 billion in profits, fails to pay its fair share for health care," said Paul Blank, campaign director for WakeUpWalMart.com.
The ad, titled "Fair Share," calls on all concerned Maryland citizens to contact their state legislators and ask them to support making Fair Share law by overriding Gov. Ehrlich's veto. The ad states, "If Wal-Mart and Governor Ehrlich win, children, families and Maryland taxpayers lose."
The 30-second TV spot will begin airing throughout the state of Maryland on Tuesday, Jan. 10. A copy of the ad is available for immediate viewing on the WakeUpWalMart.com Web site -- http://www.WakeUpWalMart.com. A transcript of the ad appears below.
As part of this week's initiative, WakeUpWalMart.com also released results from the first Zogby Poll on the Fair Share Health Care debate. The Zogby poll shows a clear majority of Marylanders support Fair Share Health Care legislation and believe it was wrong for Gov. Ehrlich to veto the legislation in the first place.
According to the Zogby Poll, 66 percent of Maryland adults agreed with the statement that "The veto should be overridden by the state legislature. Fair Share Health Care legislation is good for Maryland and should become state law."
The Zogby poll also found Maryland voters believe Gov. Ehrlich was wrong to veto Fair Share Health Care legislation by more than a 2 to 1 margin. 45 percent thought vetoing was the wrong decision, while only 19 percent felt it was the right decision.
Most striking, 74 percent of voters, when asked to look ahead to the 2006 statewide elections believe that an elected official's decision to vote against Fair Share Health Care legislation will have either "a great deal" or "some" influence on whether they choose to support that candidate for reelection.
Zogby International conducted the telephone poll on Dec. 26 - Dec. 27, 2005 with a sample of 700 respondents. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The poll was commissioned by WakeUpWalMart.com.
"Wal-Mart has spared no expense to try and kill this landmark health care legislation. Why would Wal-Mart oppose paying its workers their fair share for health care? How can Lee Scott, Wal-Mart's CEO, look any Wal-Mart associate in the eye and explain this outrageous stance?" asked Blank.
The breakdown of the poll results appear below.
"Fair Share" Ad Script:
What is Governor Ehrlich thinking?
Wal-Mart, a company with $10 billion in profits, isn't paying its fair share for health care.
So nearly one out of every two children of Wal-Mart workers have no health care or rely on taxpayer programs.
Now, Governor Ehrlich and Wal-Mart want to kill Fair Share Health Care legislation in Maryland.
If Wal-Mart and Governor Ehrlich win, children, families and Maryland taxpayers lose.
Call your state legislator and support the Fair Share Health Care Act.
Please view the ad at http://www.WakeUpWalMart.com.
Zogby Poll/ Results & Questions Released
What do you think is the most important issue facing Maryland today? (Multiple answers/Rank order)
a. Public Schools/Education, 92 percent
b. Health Care, 90 percent
c. Job growth and economy, 82 percent
d. Traffic and transportation, 71 percent
e. Environment, 68 percent
f. Taxes, 67 percent
g. Terrorism, 61 percent
h. Political corruption, 60 percent
i. Illegal Immigration, 59 percent
j. Corporate abuse, 54 percent
k. Other (record), .2 percent
Looking ahead to the 2006 statewide elections in Maryland, how much of an influence, if any, will an elected officials decision to vote AGAINST Fair Share Health Care legislation have on whether you then choose to support that candidate for reelection?
-- Influence, 74 percent
-- Little/No Influence, 21 percent
a. A great deal of influence, 26 percent
b. Some influence, 48 percent
c. Very little influence, 14 percent
d. None/ No influence at all, 7 percent
e. Not sure (Do not read), 5 percent
As you may know, Fair Share Health Care legislation is the name of the bill that would require large companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8 percent of their payroll on health care benefits for their workers. The Maryland state legislature passed Fair Share Health Care legislation but Governor Robert Ehrlich then vetoed the bill before it became law. In early January 2006, the legislature will be voting on whether or not to override the Governor’s veto.
At this time, which statement is closest to what you believe -- statement A or statement B?
a. Statement A - The veto should be overridden by the state legislature. Fair Share Health Care legislation is good for Maryland and should become state law.
b. Statement B – The veto should NOT be overridden by the state legislature. Fair Share Health Care legislation is bad for Maryland and should NOT become law.
Statement A, 66 percent
Statement B, 21 percent
Neither/Not sure, 25 percent
Do you believe that Maryland Governor Ehrlich did (right thing or wrong thing) when he vetoed Fair Share Health Care legislation earlier this year?
a. right thing, 19 percent
b. wrong thing, 45 percent
c. not sure, 36 percent