Big spending group goes up again in 2014 ad wars
May 14th, 2014
10:00 AM ET
7 months ago

Big spending group goes up again in 2014 ad wars

Washington (CNN) - Americans for Prosperity is once again 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's going to run new television commercials in a key Senate race in Colorado and an important House battle in New Hampshire.

The spending on the new ads brings to more than $35 million the amount the conservative group has shelled out to run TV spots in key Senate and House races around the country. The vast majority of the commercials highlight how the group says the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has negatively impacted average Americans. The commercials criticize Democratic lawmakers and candidates for their support of the health care law and praise Republicans for their opposition to the measure.

The spot in Colorado touts Rep. Cory Gardner, the two-term GOP congressman who's challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in November. Flipping Udall's seat and five others held by Democrats would give Republicans control of the Senate.

"Congressman Cory Gardner supports building the Keystone pipeline, to create new high paying energy jobs. He's focused on spending less and spending smarter and voted to balance the budget. And Cory stood against Obamacare and for real health care reform," says the narrator in the commercial.

CNN: Key races to watch in 2014

AFP tells CNN that it's spending $150,000 to run the ad for about 10 days in Colorado.

Senate Majority PAC, the leading pro-Democratic outside group that's pushing back against AFP's efforts, says it has spent $11.1 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.

The group says starting Thursday it will spend $700,000 to run a new ad in Colorado for three weeks.

"Congressman Gardner has consistently advocated and advanced a reckless and irresponsible agenda, and we are going to make sure voters are keenly aware of the stark choice in this election," Senate Majority PAC campaigns director Ty Matsdorf told CNN.

House races also in spending spotlight

While the Senate races grab more attention, some House contests are also seeing a major infusion of spending by AFP. The group tells CNN that around 30% of its ad spending goes towards around a dozen House races. The latest spot is in New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District, where first-term Democrat Ann McClane Kuster faces a tough re-election.

"Obamacare is hurting us, yet Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster defends Obamacare," says the announcer in the commercial.

"AFP is committed to holding politicians accountable for their support of bad legislation like Obamacare, which is wreaking havoc on the lives of millions of Americans, and is particularly bad in New Hampshire," said AFP president Tim Phillips, in a statement.

Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

The group tells CNN they'll spend $700,000 to run the ad for three weeks.

Since the 2010 Supreme Court "Citizens United" ruling opened the floodgates for spending by outside political groups, AFP's been a major player. In the 2012 election cycle, the group spent around $130 million, with a quarter of that cash going to run ads urging voters to say no to President Barack Obama.

So far this cycle, AFP's shelled out far more than any other outside group, and by November's election its spending may come close to its 2012 tally.

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 • Ads • Americans for Prosperity • Colorado • Congress • Cory Gardner • David and Charles Koch • New Hampshire
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Americans for Prosperity is once again putting its money where its mouth is."

    Americans for Prosperity is once again putting its money where its lies are.

    FIFY

    May 14, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Why don't they mind their own business? Or, is it that they feel that minding everyone else's business is their business? Meanwhile, you have their political supporters proclaiming freedom and liberty for all as their sole purpose.

    May 14, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    -You mean you can buy election with your money? No wonder, Pres. Obama cries for EDUCATION in America.

    May 14, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. smith1

    their adds are untrue. look at the nonsense ol carl just spouted about Hillary. The dummies who follow these guys don't do any home work and take their comments at face value. Spending like this should be stopped on both sides of the isle. Our country is up to the highest bidder. Thank you supreme court for corrupting the whole system.

    May 14, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. smith1

    free speech is only free if you can afford to have it heard!

    May 14, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    What can Koch do for you? Buy your politicians so that they only represent Koch Industries interests.

    How is this democracy?

    May 14, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Vence

    Time to start boycotting Koch industries!

    May 14, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. tom l

    Rudy wants these guys to mind their own business. How ironic. I want the government to mind their own business but he sure doesn't have a problem with that. So private citizens just need to shut up and let the govt talk, right Rudy?

    May 14, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. gosto

    Recall the corrupt GOP Supreme Court! Drowning out others' protected free speech with unlimited "money speech" is no more "protected" than shouting fire! in a theater and is a violation of the First Amendment!

    May 14, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Tom l

    Geitner has a new book and says that he was told by the administration to give misleading information on the Sunday morning talk shows. Does CNN even talk about this? Wouldn't a person detect a pattern going on here?

    May 14, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    Why don't they mind their own business? Or, is it that they feel that minding everyone else's business is their business? Meanwhile, you have their political supporters proclaiming freedom and liberty for all as their sole purpose.
    -------------
    Yes, it is all about "freedom":
    The Koch's believe everyone should be free to buy votes.
    Rand Paul feels everyone should be free to be racist and discriminatory.
    Radical Christians believe everyone should be free to stop some people from marrying.

    You know if you just keep saying "free", anything and everything sounds OK.
    Flexible conservative "morality".

    May 14, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Americans for Prosperity is once again putting its money where its mouth is"

    And apparently this pleases CNN enough to sing monetary praises of Mr. and Mr. Koch day in and day out. Now if only we could get media to actually only run ads which are factually correct and not filled with rhetorical talking point innuendo.

    Buy, hey. Thanks CNN for giving extensive coverage to AFP. We in Minnesota might otherwise miss out on the ads being run in .... say, Colorado and New Hampshire.

    May 14, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Scotish mama

    What would a post be if we did not have the wealthy buying votes of the American people. And shall we say "Koch bros and Virginia James. Government bought and paid for. I would also like to bring up Serco, a company fleecing every state in the lower 49.

    May 14, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. Scotish mama

    Missouri needs a good dose of replacement government.

    May 14, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. tom l

    Ahhhh, the wonderful company Serco that is paying people to sit in front of a computer and hit refresh every 10 minutes. I'm glad that Rudy and Sniffit have employed them and are paying for their services. Oh, wait a second! I have to pay for them too? I just wish the govt would mind their own business and leave us alone.

    May 14, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    Rudy wants these guys to mind their own business. How ironic. I want the government to mind their own business but he sure doesn't have a problem with that. So private citizens just need to shut up and let the govt talk, right Rudy?
    ------------------------------–
    Silence DoGood said it best.

    Yes, it is all about "freedom":
    The Koch's believe everyone should be free to buy votes.
    Rand Paul feels everyone should be free to be racist and discriminatory.
    Radical Christians believe everyone should be free to stop some people from marrying.

    You know if you just keep saying "free", anything and everything sounds OK.
    Flexible conservative "morality".
    -----
    Tom, don't you think it is highly impolite to talk at and about people, anymore? I'm sorry if the explanation that you requested as to why the NJ legislature's panel that is investigating Christie has 5 Democrats and only 3 Republicans didn't fit your narrative, but it seems that the facts very rarely do.

    BTW, your Republicans have been complaining about the evidence taken from the committee by a subpoena from the U.S. District Attorney's office. Democrats hadn't gone through it, either.

    May 14, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "I want the government to mind their own business "

    It's business is the health and welfare of the public, interstate commerce, taxes, etc. Sorry you haven't learned that yet.

    May 14, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. Scottish Mama

    Kochs and ilk are the ruination of the united States.

    May 14, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Congressman Cory Gardner supports building the Keystone pipeline, to create new high paying energy jobs. He's focused on spending less and spending smarter and voted to balance the budget. And Cory stood against Obamacare and for real health care reform," says the narrator
    -------------------------------------------------
    Oh look, a two-fer.
    How much money do the Koch brothers stand to make if the pipeline gets approved?
    I think it would be more than enough to offset the cost of these ads.
    The fact that they, er, the GOPeeing Teatards could also gain the Senate would be the icing on the cake.
    If you think these two brothers are concerned about getting you a pipeline job and America's democracy you should think again.

    May 14, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Tom l

    The only "narrative" that I am responding to was from you and your ilk (that was fun and a shout out to Mallory) sniveling about the imbalance of the Benghazi panel when you and your ilk (Mallory!) are so supportive of another committee with the exact same imbalance. Is the Benghazi panel following the "rules" that you were so great to point out? I believe they are so why is one imbalance following the rules good and one imbalance following the rules bad?

    And to have a "narrative" you have to be beholden to one party which clearly you are and clearly I am not. As the Great Pontificator, Rudy, likes to say....nice try bit we gotcha!

    May 14, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Donna

    Senate Majority PAC, the leading pro-Democratic outside group that's pushing back against AFP's efforts, says it has spent $11.1 million this cycle
    ---

    So where are the Democrat PACs getting all their money? Why doesn't CNN list their major contributors like they do for Republican PACs? Showing some biased reporting here CNN. Treat these PACs the same. Don't smear one and let the other off the hook or portray them as somehow better.

    May 14, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Mason

    Love the Koch's. Wish them continued prosperity with all their companies and keep up the good work politically. They are pretty diversified and hopefully they will expand their refinery business in Texas. They participated in a drilling project when I worked for a company some years ago and they are very nice people. It was a winner of a deal like most things they do.

    May 14, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. jinx9to88

    Thanks SCOTUS for destroying our democracy. No longer does mine or any other middle class person vote counts.

    May 14, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Sniffit

    "Ahhhh, the wonderful company Serco that is paying people to sit in front of a computer and hit refresh every 10 minutes. I'm glad that Rudy and Sniffit have employed them and are paying for their services. Oh, wait a second! I have to pay for them too? I just wish the govt would mind their own business and leave us alone."

    Oh brother...what a wonderfully puerile mélange of random tinfoil hatted conspiracy mumbo-jumbo and juvenile ad hominem personal attacks on other posters you've got there. And yet you want people to respect you and your posts?

    FYI...Serco created 1,500 jobs in Alabama, Arkansas and Kentucky as part of their $1.2B contract to process the ACA applications for the gov't and private insurers. They're a "job creator"...as was the ACA that made the jobs necessary in the first place.

    May 14, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Tommy G

    Sniffit
    --
    "I want the government to mind their own business "
    --
    It's business is the health and welfare of the public, interstate commerce, taxes, etc. Sorry you haven't learned that yet.
    --

    My healthcare is MY HEALTHCARE. I don't want the government dictating to me or my family what we can and cannot have, must buy and waste money on. One size, does NOT fit all. The federal government has no business interjecting itself in my personal healthcare plans or choices. This is why Obamacare remains so unpopular.

    And the federal government has no business be a forced contribution charity organization. They were given the ability to tax people to provide for common needs like roads and defense. That power has now been perverted by the left to take from one to give to another, a massive wealth redistribution scam. A scam that is now used by politicians to buy votes so they can take more and give to their supporters. This country needs to repeal the 16th amendment and repass it with sever limitations because right now, the government thinks its owns everything I make.

    May 14, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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