First on CNN: Conservative group reveals plans in anti-Democrat Senate strategy
June 19th, 2012
05:23 PM ET
2 years ago

First on CNN: Conservative group reveals plans in anti-Democrat Senate strategy

Washington (CNN) - A major conservative advocacy group revealed Tuesday the next steps in its strategy to influence Senate campaigns this fall. Americans for Prosperity will launch a fresh round of political attack ads against Democratic policies in six races and support the ads with rallies, bus tours and other political activities in each state.

"We're going to launch a half a dozen Senate television ads in the next 10 days," AFP President Tim Phillips told CNN. "It'll be a very significant effort… a two week buy in almost every state. So a big buy. I mean, these aren't phantom buys."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

The total cost to air the six ads: nearly $3 million, said AFP Director of Public Affairs Levi Russell. The states: Montana, Nevada, Florida, Missouri, Wisconsin and Virginia. The ads will run on both cable and broadcast television stations. AFP is a major booster of the tea party.

The group started airing its Wisconsin and Montana ads on Monday. The cost: roughly $400,000 each, according to Russell.

Next up: AFP individual ads in Virginia and Florida beginning Thursday. Missouri and Nevada will see the AFP spots beginning Monday. All the spots will be supported by political activities on the ground. For example, Phillips began a three-day tour of Montana on Monday to promote the group's message.

AFP said its ads do not endorse a specific candidate. Instead, the group advocates certain issues, such as U.S. energy policy, the deficit, and reduced taxes. Yet all the spots target Democrats running in each individual race.

For example, in Wisconsin, AFP has targeted Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin's ideology. In Montana, they focus on Democratic Senator Jon Tester.

"These ads are demonstrating the fact that there is very little daylight between some big-government supporting senators and President Obama," Russell said. "Locals are often surprised and disappointed to learn that their senator has adopted the Obama agenda, rather than doing what's best for their home state."

Responding to AFP's efforts, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Matt Canter said: "The Koch brothers and this dirty organization are helping build the worst democracy money can buy. Charles and David Koch think that they can spend their filthy billions trying to buy themselves a bunch of corrupt Senators that will let their company do whatever, whenever, with whoever they want. Voters know that these Republican candidates that are being propped up by Koch money will support the Koch agenda and vote against the middle class in the US Senate."

The billionaire corporate titan Koch brothers are major AFP backers. Critics claim the brothers bankroll conservative political causes to further their own corporate interests – a claim the brothers and their supporters deny.

AFP is especially emboldened after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's win earlier this month. The group spent over $10 million in the state to run ads and other political activities – like a state bus tour – to help Walker survive the recall.

AFP has run other political ads of the 2012 cycle, including one in April attacking the Obama administration's energy policies.

Also see:

Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations

Rubio to shelve GOP immigration plan

Romney credits governors with states' success


Sunny Romney predicts Wisconsin win


Filed under: 2012 • Democrats • Republicans • Senate
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Pander Bear

    Yawn. Koch front group hates Democrats. Pictures at eleven.

    June 19, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Why don't these embarrassments masquerading as "public servants" try doing their jobs! They must have to sneak up on their paychecks!

    June 19, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. CBR

    Wow! Where have these people been the last two years. Neither house has been able to do anything because the sides are so polarized. The actions by this group should be used for all politicians who have refused to work toward passing the budget. There are many Republicans who should be targeted if this is done fairly.

    June 19, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. Moderate Independent

    Thank God my state does not have a senate race this year.

    June 19, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. DENNA

    Considering that the conservative economic plan is what got us into this mess, I would think that the GOP would just shut up. George Bush is not responsible for this mess, the GOP way of governing is what caused it. George was just the water boy. You cannot have two wars and tax cuts at the same time. Now the GOP want another crack at completely destroying this country with their stupid economic plans. Will we ever learn?

    June 19, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    The Republicans are on the wrong track again....slash and burn rhetoric toward trying to save the money at all cost, cut spending, cut services, cut repsonsibilites of the American government to bring spending to a tremendous halt! They have tried it in Europe and now are facing a massive return of the Great Recession. The fact that this is a world econmics problems lends itself more to the BANKS of the WORLD that control the money. It does NOT work and now they want everyone to blindly follow the Republicans off the proverbial cliff!!

    June 19, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. Lisa P

    Oh, come on! If you aren't showing your ridiculous, biased, obvious ad in heavy rotation - three times every half hour, at least! - then you just aren't serious. How do you expect your spin and half-truths to work if you don't incessantly hammer them in from now until November? :-D

    June 19, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  8. Cindy

    This is the group that is going to destroy America. They should call themselves the "Ugly American Party. Even the Ryan budget will not balance the budget.

    June 19, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Oh goodie, because the Democrats have enough ammunition (a favorite word of cheney when he shoots friends in the face) to come back at anything and everything you teapublikkans have done and said in the last four years.
    No jobs, tax benefits for the rich, taking civil and personal rights of women, gays, Blacks, Latinos, never mind the seniors and poor.
    You have nowhere to hide. You have been playing a game of chicken trying to shove your beliefs down our throats and it got you nowhere except to show what a bunch of Neanderthals you all are.

    June 19, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  10. 111Dave111

    Kind of Ironic, Rich People spending un-godly amounts of money trashing Democrats, while complaining they need more tax breaks.

    Hope Blue Collar America is noticing.

    June 19, 2012 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Tell us your donors and how your way will work better... I don't see how cutting regulations will work because they keep the playing field level in some ways. Is everyone suddenly going to become honest with how they do things? I don't think so. Rationality only goes so far.

    June 19, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  12. Larry L

    Republicans have rendered the US Senate completely useless. Their obstructionism shows their real patriotism – caring far more about politics than about the good of the American people. They are lap-dogs for the rich.

    June 19, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. Marry

    In the end it all depends on the voter. Does he really believe that the “corporations” have his interest in mind? It is actually obvious that they do not, but will the voter bother to vote accordingly? As they say, money talks – but what does it say to the voter and to DEMOCRACY? It says loud and clear CORUPTION and buying what 1% want not what is good for 99% or the country! Let’s see if people can comprehend that by NOvember!

    June 20, 2012 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  14. Please Grow Up

    We Americans are so easily fooled!

    June 20, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  15. Anthony

    Cutting taxes and increasing military spending won't balance the budget. If the strategy sounds familiar, it has been tried before. Ronald Reagan tried it in 1980s, and ended up having to raise taxes. Republicans won't be able to repeat what Scott Walker did in Wisconsin at the federal level, because they can't cut federal spending unilaterally. The biggest items in the federal budget are the military, Socia Security, and Medicare. (It is not Obama's health care plan. The price tag of the plan is spread over 10 years, and spending on the plan won't really start until 2014, so it has not been a factor in the deficits.) Although Scott Walker rolled over the unions in Wisconsin by taking away their collective bargaining rights, it is a safe bet that Republicans won't be able to roll over seniors. Unlike the unions in Wisconsin, seniors vote.

    June 20, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |