Conservative group keeps spending big bucks to oust Senate Democrats
April 23rd, 2014
03:30 PM ET
6 months ago

Conservative group keeps spending big bucks to oust Senate Democrats

Washington (CNN) - Americans for Prosperity is definitely putting its money where its mouth is.

The conservative non-profit political advocacy group backed by the deep pockets of billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch announced Wednesday that it will spend around $2.5 million over the next two weeks to run television commercials critical of the federal health care law in four states where Democrats face a challenge in keeping Senate seats in party hands.

New numbers in key Senate battles

The ad buys in Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and New Hampshire bring to more than $35 million in AFP spending this election cycle on TV spots that highlight how the group says Obamacare has negatively impacted average Americans.

The ads have criticized Democratic senators or Senate candidates for their support of the health care law, and have applauded Republicans opposed to it. AFP's also run Obamacare-related spots in about a dozen or so competitive House races.

The new ads target Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan, who's running this year to keep the seat of retiring Sen. Carl Levin in Democratic hands.

"These politicians are doing a disservice to their constituents when they refuse to acknowledge that Obamacare is leading to canceled plans, higher costs, and lost access to doctors. That's why AFP is continuing aggressive efforts to hold them accountable for their support of Obamacare," said AFP President Tim Phillips in a statement.

The campaigns of the four Democrats were quick to issue statements attacking the new commercials, describing the spots as "misleading"

"Louisianians know better than to believe what they hear from the out-of-state billionaire Koch brothers," said Landrieu's campaign manager, Adam Sullivan.

Shaheen Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich said, "We know the Big Oil Koch Brothers are prepared to spend millions" to try and defeat Shaheen.

"You can't buy a Senate seat here," Vlacich added.

Key races to watch in 2014

Senate Majority PAC, the leading pro-Democratic outside group that's pushing back against AFP's efforts, says it has spent nearly $9 million this cycle to run spots in support of Democrats and critical of Republicans in key Senate races. Senate Majority PAC says it will continue to fight AFP and other pro-GOP outside groups.

Since the 2010 Supreme Court "Citizens United" ruling opened the floodgates for spending by outside political groups, AFP's been a big spender. In the 2012 election cycle, it dished out more than $33.5 million – a quarter of its entire spending – to run ads urging voters to say no to President Barack Obama.

So far this cycle, AFP's spent far more than any other outside group.

In the past couple of months, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken to the floor of the Senate to slam the Koch brothers.

The Nevada Democrat has described them as "un-American," having "no conscience" and has said that many of AFP's ads are untrue.

 


Filed under: 2014 • Americans for Prosperity • Colorado • Louisiana • Michigan • New Hampshire • Senate • Senate Race
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    @Tampa Tim
    Dear God, isn't it time for Karma for these two?
    -----------–
    Oh that would be a great Twilight Zone episode. They spin up there serf / followers to call for the good old days long ago – whenever that was. For Karma: They should come back in their next life as poor black slaves in the Old South.

    April 23, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Tommy G

    Thank God these patriotic Americans are helping to educate the American people about the disastrous Obamacare law, the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people by the Democrat Party of liars and thieves. Keep up the good work!
    --------------------------
    The Koch brothers could care less about Obamacare, guns, abortion, and most any other hot button, social issue among conservatives. All that they're really interested in is electing politicians who will enact the types of legislation that lets them get richer, while paying fewer and fewer taxes.

    All of these social issues are just carrots to get people to go out and vote against their own best interests. How does eliminating capital gains taxes help the middle class? It doesn't/ How does granting everyone a concealed carry permit help middle class? It doesn't. How does repealing the ACA help the middle class? It doesn't.

    How does cutting tens of billions from food stamps and college student grants help the middle class? It doesn't, but it gives an excuse to enact major tax cuts for the wealthy and their private corporations.

    April 23, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Smitty

    Face the facts, under the dems, unemp up, welfare up, spending your kids future WAY up. The Dems just cant handle running a shoe shine, much less the country. Its failure all fronts for the dems. Remember Obumbles just won BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR !!!!

    April 23, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Lizzie: "Tampa... Soros who makes 4 BILLIONS a year spends that much through moveon.org etc, and hides behind left organizations, the Koch brother say thats what we stand for and support it."

    If you think the Koch brothers don't hide their money, then you're incredibly naive. If they're so proud of what they do, then why don't they release the donor names and contribution amounts for American for Prosperity?

    April 23, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Tommy G: "Thank God these patriotic Americans are helping to educate the American people about the disastrous Obamacare law, the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people by the Democrat Party of liars and thieves. Keep up the good work!"

    Biggest fraud? You mean, the law with the Heritage Foundation centerpiece of the individual mandate at its core? That was first implemented by repub gov Romney?

    You are a piece of work, Tommy.

    April 23, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Hairy Reed: "The American people are all a bunch of liars. Obamacare is the greatest thing since the Hindenburg. You dummies just aren't smart enough to realize that we know what is best for you and your family. Now shut up, sit down and pay twice as much for that $12,000 deductible plan."

    No, folks like you who listen to RWNJs and fall for the lies hook, line and sinker are not just liars – you're a bunch of fools. Cowards, too, without the stones to admit you're being played by the likes of the Koch brothers to vote against your own self-interest.

    Anything's better than admitting that, I guess, right?

    April 23, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    -–Fraud is a clear-cut notion for GOP and ALL Republican Party. Eh!! Didn't these guys out-spend in last November election? What!! Yes, close to "Six Billion" dollars for Mitt the Twit. What happened? Drained that money in garbage tubes? Well, some of it ill-gotten from Trump, Sheldon Adelson, I am sorry, I forgot another Texan jerk name. What happened? Outcome was 336/104 electoral votes. Ha!!! Ha!!! It is better if they know money is not playing drama–drama plays money here. God bless! Vote just Democratic–if you love USA, if you have brain, Education.

    April 23, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Through their organizations, they were able to get Oklahoma governor to sign a bill that fines people for using solar power. And the brain dead wingnuts think they are patriots.

    April 23, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. yeahright

    .Lizzie

    Tampa... Soros who makes 4 BILLIONS a year spends that much through moveon.org etc, and hides behind left organizations, the Koch brother say thats what we stand for and support it.

    -----–

    Forbes has The Koch Brothers tied for the 4th richest people in the US with a net worth of $36 billion EACH. Soros is a mere pauper in comparison, he's 19th with a net worth of $20 billion. As for where Soros spends his money, you can research that on Open Secrets, it is no more hidden than the Kochs expenditures.

    April 23, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Keith C

    Obamacare is a redistribution of wealth.Yes, some people are getting the benefit. However middle class Americans are paying the price in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays, and paycheck deductions as well as the possible loss of their doctors. We middle class Americans don't need any commercials to inform us of the obvious. Believe me, we already know.

    April 23, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Harold Read

    Democrats must unleash the full power of their political weapons:
    – Have the IRS eliminate all Republican tax exemption and audit all Republican organizations

    – collect all phone calls and emails of all Republican Groups

    – brand and register anyone who is or supports Republicans as "terrorist" and treat accordingly

    Since the President can do it on a regular basis and there is no public outcry, these must be fully acceptable practices and must be used immediately!

    April 23, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. sifto

    Thank god for someone who can afford to call out the lies and corruption of the rich democrats..

    April 23, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. NamejJK. SFL. VOTE THE GOP ANTI-HEALTHCARE PARTY OUT iN NOVEMBER

    Keep dumping your money down the tiolet krochsuckers, oh, I ment your daddy's money. The only way you GOP CLOWNS can get a job is to BUY the company AnD all is democrates are coming out to send YOUR canadates Down the toilet in November !!!!!

    April 23, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Tampa Tim: "Through their organizations, they were able to get Oklahoma governor to sign a bill that fines people for using solar power. And the brain dead wingnuts think they are patriots."

    They're greedy – nothing more, nothing less. Their father built Stalin's energy infrastructure, then came back to the U.S. and helped found the John Birch society.

    You have Citizens United for giving so much influence to the Koch brothers by allowing their money to be deemed as "speech."

    BTW, Citizens United describes its mission as being dedicated to restoring the United States government to "corporations control" and to "assert American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security." Citizens United was founded in 1988. David Bossie has been its president since 2000. And as a tax-exempt organization, it doesn't have to reveal the source and amounts of its contributions.

    April 23, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Silence DoGood

    @Rick McDaniel
    New revelations in MD/VA..........44000 voters registered in both states. More voter fraud.

    Sir – you are the fraud:
    From your sacred journal FOX news itself on article you picked out of context: "George acknowledged that the number of voters who actually cast multiple ballots is relatively small. In the case of Maryland and Virginia, he revealed that 164 people voted in both states during the 2012 election."

    But I give you 164 points for conspiracy theory attempt.

    April 23, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Harold Read: "Democrats must unleash the full power of their political weapons:
    – Have the IRS eliminate all Republican tax exemption and audit all Republican organizations
    – collect all phone calls and emails of all Republican Groups
    – brand and register anyone who is or supports Republicans as "terrorist" and treat accordingly

    Since the President can do it on a regular basis and there is no public outcry, these must be fully acceptable practices and must be used immediately!

    -–
    Oh, quit whining, you pathetic little persecuted repub! Since when has this ever happened? You're just projecting what the Koch brothers would like their repub puppet to do if he ever gets elected.

    What a paranoid nut you are!

    April 23, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Keith C: "Obamacare is a redistribution of wealth.Yes, some people are getting the benefit. However middle class Americans are paying the price in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays, and paycheck deductions as well as the possible loss of their doctors. We middle class Americans don't need any commercials to inform us of the obvious. Believe me, we already know."

    Under our old insurance system, people with insurance subsidized those without, in the form of higher premiums – which INSURANCE COMPANIES set then as they DO NOW. Which doctors you get to chose from WAS and IS also determined by INSURANCE COMPANIES. Those companies are making decisions about choice based on their own economic model – what do you have against free-market capitalism, anyway?

    April 23, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Money has a corrosive effect on democracy. The SCOTUS decision on "Citizens United" ignored the best interests of the majority in favor of the one percent wealthiest Americans and BIg Business. Put away the "For Sale" sign. America has been sold to the highest bidder.

    April 23, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Gurgyl

    --don't say redistribution of wealth
    –yes, subsidies approved by GOP–
    –agriculture subsidies 20 Billion dollars
    –Financial industry. 3.7 Billion
    –gas/electric 3.1 billion
    Telecommunication 3billion
    –Aerospace 1.3 billion
    Retail/trade 1 billion
    Food/beverage/tobacco 800 billion dollars
    Average American family pays 6000 dollars a year
    Heaven forbid poor get something from govt.

    April 23, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. NamejJK. SFL. VOTE THE GOP ANTI-HEALTHCARE PARTY OUT iN NOVEMBER

    Have you cleaned up the pile of SLUGE from your plant in Detroit YET krochsuckers CLOWNS, truly the GARBAGE AND SEWAGE of the GOP anti healthcare party, and these LOSERS think they are going to take control of the government in November . Let's show these BUMS living off their daddy's money that they already lost the 2014 midterms!!!!!

    April 23, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Len

    And uneducated Americans continue to vote for republicans and tea party folks who say they have your interests but they do not. Check their record before you vote for them: Medicare, Social Security, Healthcare for women, education funding, environmental protection (clean air and water), big oil tax subsides, against alternative energy, and in 2010 adding jobs!!! And !!!!!!

    Wake up and do not let them take over the Senate. Must vote in 2014!!!!!!

    April 23, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    The only question CNN and the rest of the MSM is asking: "Where's our slice of that spending and what do we have to do and say for you to give it to us?"

    April 23, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Dead Bear

    And I thought Grover Norquist making GOP politicians pledge not to raise taxes was bad enough. But seeing all the Republicans on here praising these two for spending millions on ads that are proven to be flat out false is totally disgusting. You people should be ashamed of yourselves but, then again, that would require having a conscience first.

    April 23, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Thomas

    These are two smart brothers .

    And so honest and caring . the concern they both share for the environment is above and beyond .

    April 23, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh goody. My two favorite billionaires with nothing to do with their lives but fund a hostile takeover of our United States government. Guess they've had their fill of corporate takeovers.

    I can't imagine anything more disgusting than living under the rule of corporate hogs wanting to revamp the government "of the people, by the people, for the people" into their own private version of "of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation".

    April 23, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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