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AFGE, DNC Chair Stage Counter-Rally Against Romney-Ryan

Members of the American Federation of Government Employee’s 5th District join DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz in a counter-rally against Mitt Romney. (DO NOT READ ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY)

As President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney geared up for last night’s debate, swing voters of the sunshine state were treated to another dose of political activism; not from talking heads or canvassers, but from federal employees.

Hundreds of members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) staged a powerful rally in support of President Obama outside of the Hilton Daytona Beach Ocean Front Resort in Daytona Beach, Fla., Friday. Florida Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz joined the rally with NASCAR ARCA Series driver Leilani Munter.

“As a federal employee, if you are looking for job security there’s only one choice and that’s President Obama”, said Everett Kelley, national vice president of AFGE’s 5th District. “Gov. Romney plans an immediate 10% cut in spending and once the Ryan Budget is implemented, medicare will be cut and healthcare reform will be repealed”, he said. However, the support isn’t based on party lines, says Kelley, but by looking at the everyday issues faced by government employees.

Kelley deemed the rally to be a huge success, despite initial push-back from the Secret Service and other security officials determined to prevent the protest from gaining momentum.

AFGE scheduled a leadership conference at the hotel months prior to the rally. Upon being informed of Mr. Romney’s arrival to the area, they took advantage of their location and launched a counter-rally in support of the candidate they know will fight for their jobs and security.

“We know we’d be on the chopping block as federal employees if Mr. Romney is elected president,” said Kelley in an interview with The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

“We want to rain on his parade,” he said.

Romney has pledged to cut approximately $5 Trillion from U.S. Government spending over the next 10 years and has been unclear on how he would do this specifically. Government employees, currently facing the threat of sequestration, aren’t sure what Romney is up to, but they are determined not to find out.

In addition, Rep. Wasserman-Shultz, who represents Florida’s 20th District of Broward and Miami-Dade County, defended the president’s policies. She pointed to Obama’s 31 consecutive months of private sector job growth and his aggressive advocacy for women’s rights.

Munter used the opportunity to jest Romney’s comments in a prior debate where he alluded to his diverse administration as governor by showcasing a binder full of women’s resumes.

“If Mitt Romney has a binder for female race car drivers I guess that’s where you’ll find me,” she said.

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