Koch Brothers targeted in new Senate ad
March 10th, 2014
10:33 AM ET
4 months ago

Koch Brothers targeted in new Senate ad

(CNN) – Sen. Mark Begich is taking aim at the Koch brothers.

The first-term Alaska Democrat, who faces a challenging re-election this November, has been targeted in two TV commercials put up by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the deep pockets of the billionaire industrialist brothers, David and Charles Koch.

Now Begich is pushing back, slamming those ads in a new commercial, the first TV spot of his re-election campaign.

"First it was a D.C. actress pretending to be an Alaskan. Now ads attacking Mark Begich on a carbon tax have been called false and not true. Who's behind the attacks," says the narrator in the ad.

The commercial goes on to showcase Alaskan voters who are critical of the Kochs, and attacking them for what they say is the closing of an oil refinery owned by Koch Industries.

"They come in to our town, buy our refinery," says one man.

Another man says the company is  "just running it into the ground,"  with another saying it's "leaving it a mess."

The spot concludes with another man saying "I don't go down and tell them what to do; I don't expect them to come to Alaska and tell us what to do."

A Democratic source with knowledge of the Begich ad buy confirms to CNN that the commercial, first reported by Politico, is running starting Monday, in the Anchorage and Fairbanks markets.

A spokesman for Americans for Prosperity pushed back against Begich.

"Senator Begich has yet to give a coherent answer on why he pushed for a price on greenhouse gas emissions, or voted twice to pave the way for a carbon tax. With Alaskans paying some of the highest energy prices in the country, it would be nice to see Begich be honest and stop trying to distract from his record," AFP Communications Director Levi Russell told CNN.

AFP has spent around $850,000 to run their two TV commercials in Alaska. The group has been the biggest spender to date this election cycle, shelling out nearly $30 million since October to run ads, most of them focused on health care, that attack Democrats and praise Republicans.

Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like Alaska.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has repeatedly attacked the Koch brothers as being "un-American" and having "no conscience," and he's argued that the "vast majority" of the AFP ads are untrue.

AFP President Tim Phillips said recently that Reid is using scare tactics against detractors.

"For a politician to try and silence and intimidate an American citizen solely because they don't like the facts that are coming out and the story they are telling says more about the politician than it says about Americans for Prosperity," Phillips told CNN's Leigh Ann Caldwell in a sit-down interview near his office in Arlington, Virginia.


Filed under: 2014 • Ads • Alaska • Mark Begich
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Ali

    It is time we as people stood up to the top1% and their Tea Party led by the Cuban alien Cruz

    March 10, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The ills of America, exacerbated by the control of the Democratic Party, are now being blamed on ll of the Democratic party's opposition.

    People need to wake up to the reality.........those are NOT the people in charge. The Democrats are the people in CHARGE!

    if you want better government.......you have to replace what you HAVE NOW!

    March 10, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. much thunder...little rain

    begich is toast ...his win last election was a fluke ...go pitch obama care to the voters

    March 10, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Silence DoGood

    What do you think the "occupy wall street" movement was about? People are fed up with fat cats who are doing GREAT with our current government, manipulating the middle class to grant them even more power and more money. I have no trouble with people making money, but have a big problem when they try to buy me and my vote.

    March 10, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    ACA is a Law. 15.9 percent uninsured now down from 17.7 percent in 2013. 4 million get coverage now, lowest quarterly level since 2008. Black uninsured rate dropped to 2.6 percent. New state board markets are offering tax payer subsidized private insurance to all middle-class households. Obamacare is a success, working great.

    March 10, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. wendel

    the Koch bros should stay away from Alaska . they think they can buy anything . I hope The People band together on this one.

    March 10, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Stuffitu

    Of course they are targeted in ads for democrat liberal "progressives. They are responsible, taxpaying working Americans, some thing the left absolutely abhors. Dingy Harry is attacking them from the Senate floor where he can't be sued for the idiocy he spouts, like he did when he claimed that Mitt Romney owed 10 years worth taxes and that people who lost their coverage or had their rates raised were liars. The next thong you know is the democrats will be claiming that their enemies are Homo sapiens. That is the mentality.

    March 10, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Stuffitu

    Are they mentioning george Soros who boasted of the billions so dollars he made with Obama actions? Their is a real lurid character.

    March 10, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. g

    why bother voting the koch,s and their lobbyist pretty much run the country.corporate states of america

    March 10, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. jinx9to88

    Koch brothers control the puppet strings for all the GOP representatives. I am a republican but as long as Koch brothers, who don't represent my views and I am pretty sure most republicans, are controlling the strings of the GOP elected officials I find it hard to vote GOP again.

    March 10, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Enough is Enough

    You mean the evil Koch brothers who just donated a huge sum of money to a hospital in New York, where the wonder people of NY were protesting against them? I guess they were just trying to keep up with the Clinton's....oh....wait....the Clinton's took $225K from a hospital that laid off hundreds of employees...almost the same thing. You progressives crack me up! You would recognize the truth if it walked up and bit you! I guess you all missed the news about the Koch's being way down the list of major political donors....well below progressive backing unions....you guys certainly aren't the brightest bulbs!

    March 10, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Areyoua1percenter

    @Rick McDaniel Sorry sir, but would you vote of choice be Repub? I'm imagining so, because for some reason they are able to convence their voters of things not real to their actual environment. Example, that because we have a Dem pres, the Dem are in control...Well if they were actually, IN CONTROL, the government shut down wouldn't have happened. Example 2, Rep tell their low to middle class voters, that somehow they are loosing more than the low to middle class Dem voters...if their agenda hurts your Dem next door neighbor IT HURTS YOU TOO. Trust the people who live next door and up the street and around the corner from you not the people who would afford to buy your neighborhood.

    March 10, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Sniffit

    " the Koch's being way down the list of major political donors...."

    A list that can't really be made because of the 501(c)(4)s and their ability to keep the identity of their donors secret. It's called "dark money"...learn it.

    March 10, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Stuffitu

    Of course they are targeted in ads for democrat liberal "progressives. They are responsible, taxpaying working Americans, some thing the left absolutely abhors.
    ----------------------
    Let's not overlook the fact that the anti-Koch ads would have never been produced had they not fired the first shot. Okay?

    March 10, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "when he claimed that Mitt Romney owed 10 years worth taxes "

    Harry Reid never claimed that. He certainly said something that you're twisting into that, but he didn't say that Romney owed 10 years of taxes.

    March 10, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Ron L

    Here the problem with this whole situation. If JUST 65% of all AMERICANS were to VOTE, the Koch brothers could spend as much money as they wanted and their candidates would still LOSE!! The problem here is not the Koch brothers, the problem is MOST Americans don't take the time to investigate what is the entire story is to these attack ads. We have become LAZY, and APATHETIC when it comes to our politics. This is the real reason the Republicans have had success in the last elections. If the MODERATE Americans of BOTH PARTIES would quit sitting on the sidelines and VOTE, most of this mess would quit happening. This is a DEMOCRACY and it only works properly if everyone PARTICIPATES!!! And whether all of you reading this likes it or not, a CARBON TAX will be a part of our future or there will be even more DRASTIC weather in our future.

    March 10, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    "...the Clinton's took $225K from a hospital that laid off hundreds of employees...."
    "...Are they mentioning george Soros who boasted of the billions so dollars he made with Obama actions?..."
    "...Dingy Harry is attacking them from the Senate floor where he can't be sued for the idiocy he spouts, ..."
    "...The ills of America, exacerbated by the control of the Democratic Party, ..."
    -------------------------
    Look at what they're trying to do. Bait and Switch. Change the subject, by making inflammatory remarks designed to elicit a response from you, which changes the subject from a topic that they would lose to a talking point they feel they can win.

    The bottom line is that they simply do not want to discuss the ads that have been produced in response to the initial ads by the Koch sponsored group. The ads never would have produced if the Koch's had not thrown the first punch, which was below the belt at that.

    March 10, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. bobo

    Dem's are having such a tough time........

    Sen. Reid (D-NV):“In fact, one of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it.” (Congressional Record, S.8642, 8/3/09)

    Sen. Murry (D-WA): “Again, if you like what you have, you will be able to keep it. Let me say this again: If you like what you have, when our legislation is passed and signed by the President, you will be able to keep it.” (Congressional Record, S.6400, 6/10/09)

    Sen. Landrieu (D-LA): “If you like the insurance that you have, you'll be able to keep it.” (MSNBC’s Hardball, 12/16/09)

    Sen. Hagan (D-NC): “We need to support the private insurance industry so that people who have insurance they're happy with can keep it (National Journal’s Congress Daily, 6/18/09)

    March 10, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Enough is Enough

    "They come in to our town, buy our refinery," says one man.

    Funny, if it was YOUR refinary – why did you sell it to them. If you simply work at the refinary then it isn't YOUR refinary. Funny how progressives think that somone else's investment and risk is theirs.....

    March 10, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Enough is Enough

    @Rudy – I norice that you don't try to argue against the facts – Did the Clinton's take $225K from a hospital that laid off 100's of workers? Did the Koch brothers donate a large sum of money to a NY hospital? You progressives really can't deal with facts...it is ALL spin with you guys.....

    March 10, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. physics1200

    bobo The Dems. you mentioned are now getting a break form Obama. If that is not politically motivated I don't know what is.

    March 10, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein

    I would hope that the Koch brothers understand that there is a need to reduce gas emmissions of all kinds. They fail to see the money making potential of this. If they can figure out a way to reduce pollution of any kind, then they have something that can be sold to companies around the world (mostly Europe at this point).

    March 10, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. ChrisM

    All Americans can thank the Citizens United ruling for the Corporate take over of America. Oh and dont forget the take over of the Corporate Congress also.

    March 10, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Enough is Enough

    @sniffit – So the "conservative" rag Mother Jones lied?

    March 10, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Enough is Enough

    @Rudy – I norice that you don't try to argue against the facts – Did the Clinton's take $225K from a hospital that laid off 100's of workers? Did the Koch brothers donate a large sum of money to a NY hospital? You progressives really can't deal with facts...it is ALL spin with you guys.....
    --------------------------
    Actually, what is most noticeable is your refusal to discuss a valid issue. The Koch's ads were laced with lies. The sad part is that they hide behind organizations with altruisitic sounding names. Their only objective is profit.

    March 10, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |