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PR Newswire US
Jan 31, 2005

by Staff & Wire Services

New RN TV Ad Hits Gov. Schwarzenegger's Attack on Nurses as 'Special Interest';

Prominent Hollywood Director, Producers Volunteered to Create Ad
OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Nurses Association today announced the launch of a television advertising campaign this week challenging the policies of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on patient safety and his depiction of Registered Nurses as a "special interest."

Ads will begin to run in every major California cable market on Wednesday, including on the rebroadcast of an A&E cable dramatization of Schwarzenegger's life. Additionally, the ad will air across California on a number of other cable networks, including CNN, Fox News, Lifetime, the Food Channel, Oxygen, the Learning Channel and some national markets next week.

Robert Greenwald, one of the nation's premier documentary and cable and network film directors, volunteered his time to direct the one-minute ad. He was joined by a production team of veteran professionals who also donated their time to help shine a light on the effects of Gov. Schwarzenegger's policies and his attack on nurses.

Gov. Schwarzenegger has ordered a rollback in the safety rules to assure minimum safe RN staffing in California hospitals and proposed elimination of the independent board created a century ago to provide uniform nursing care standards to protect patients. He has also vetoed numerous bills to expand healthcare coverage, reduce hospital closures, increase nursing education programs, and reduce RN workplace injuries.

In response to RN protests over his policies, Gov. Schwarzenegger dismissed RNs as "a special interest who don't like me because I am always kicking their butt." In contrast, the governor has yet to criticize corporate interests, such as the multi-billion healthcare industry. Corporate donors have given Schwarzenegger over $50 million in contributions, the Orange County Register reported last week.

The ad contrasts Schwarzenegger's ridicule of RNs as "special interests" with portraits of three RNs who provide bedside care in Los Angeles. "One thing the public should know," says Melita Dionosio-Temple, RN in the ad, "is one day you will be in that bed and realize that because of the number of patients one nurse has to take care of you may be calling and there is nobody there."

"When he ran for governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger presented himself as a populist who would put the 'people' in charge of policy in California. But the reality has been far different," says CNA Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro. "He has promoted the interests of his corporate donors at the expense of patients and consumers while branding nurses, who care for our families when they are sick and vulnerable, and teachers, who educate our children, as special interests. We hope this ad will help expose the contrast between his rhetoric and his record that more Californians are beginning to recognize every day," DeMoro said.

DeMoro also expressed the gratitude of CNA and its 60,000 RN members to Greenwald and his acclaimed production team for volunteering many hours to produce the ad.

Greenwald has directed more than 50 television movies, miniseries and feature films, garnering dozens of Emmy, Golden Globe, and other prestigious awards. Among his notable credits are the recent documentary "Outfoxed: Robert Murdoch's War on Journalism," "The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron," and "Uncovered: The War on Iraq."

In a statement about the new ad, Greenwald today said, "Out of respect for true heroes and heroines in our world, I have happily donated my time and efforts to setting the record straight."

The ad concludes by referring viewers for more information to the web sites for CNA: www.calnurses.org, and www.ArnoldWatch.org, a website maintained by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. The ad is also posted on both websites.

"Protecting the public is the nurse's role and Governor Schwarzenegger owes the nurses of California an apology for his demeaning comments about them and he owes the public a restoration of patient safety rules," said FTCR President Jamie Court. "The governor needs to spend more time with nurses and less time with hospital executives and nursing home operators."

For more info contact: Charles Idelson of California Nurses Association - 510-273-2246 or 415-559-8991


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