(CNN) - Elections in Coralville, Iowa, a town of about 20,000, took a big city turn when the billionaire Koch brother's group, Americans for Prosperity, jumped into last year's mayoral and city council race.
"It was kind of like being endorsed by Charles Manson," is how Chris Turner, a fiscally conservative city council candidate, described the support by AFP to "The Daily Show's" Jason Jones.
Turner said in the segment that aired Wednesday that the group's tactics against his opponent were "reprehensible."
"It put me in a very awkward position," he said, adding later that he tied for last place in the election.
The New York Times reported on the powerful conservative political group's ambitions in the small, Midwest town days before the election last November, when AFP was mounting an aggressive campaign against the now-Mayor John Lundell using direct mail attacks, advertising and phone calls to voters.
Lundell, who won with 65% of the vote, told Jones that AFP's attacks were "full of very misleading, I would call lies," including allegations that he manipulated his property taxes.
"I've been through several elections and I welcome opponents but they brought an air of ugliness to this campaign that is not the way we run our government in Coralville," he said.
The Koch brother's group's attacks also warned that Coralville, where the city's debt was a major issue in the campaign, would become the next Detroit.
But not everyone was put-off by the outside influence.
Matthew Vadum, a conservative author who "The Daily Show" labeled as a "political insider," said to sell a point of view, sometimes you have to employ a bit of "salesmanship."
"Some man's sleaze is another man's class," he said. "You have to have a little bit of showbiz."
AFP's attacks didn't get the group far in Coralville. The Daily Show segments notes that none of the Koch group-backed candidates won in the Iowa race.