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Crossroads bashes Begich over missing unemployment vote. AFL-CIO comes to his defense.

Karl Rove’s group, Crossroads GPS, is airing a radio ad in Alaska, bringing up a month’s-old story about U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s trip to Hawaii when the Senate was voting on an unemployment extension. Begich missed the procedural vote on Jan. 7 to deliver a speech to the American Aviation group, to meet Hawaii’s governor and to attend fund raisers. The missed vote was well covered when it happened. Begich said at the time that the Hawaii trip was planned well in advance of the procedural vote. (Listen to the ad here: Hawaii radio ad.)

In the ad, a narrator berates Begich for missing work to go to Hawaii. To the backdrop of Hawaiian music, the voice of a young man exclaims, “Surf’s up dude. Cowabunga!” And in a bit of irony, Crossroads, a group that supports Republicans, tells listeners to call Begich’s office to tell him we need a “fully funded unemployment extension,” an extension that Senate Republicans have been repeatedly blocking. Begich has voted repeatedly to extend unemployment benefits.

Alaska AFL-CIO issued a press release, defending Begich over the ad. “The hypocrisy of this ad is thick. Karl Rove attacking Mark Begich for not supporting working families is akin to me giving a lecture on hair styling and beauty products,” AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami said.

Beltrami, it should be noted, is bald.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com