A TV ad for Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall attacks “out-of-state billionaires from New York City” opposing his re-election in West Virginia. A pro-Rahall committee’s TV spot focuses specifically on those billionaires, Charles and David Koch.
David Koch’s response: the maximum possible donation to Rahall’s Republican challenger, state Sen. Evan Jenkins.
Koch, the executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc., sent $5,200 to Jenkins yesterday, federal records show. Rahall’s ad began running April 25. The anti-Kochs ad by House Majority PAC, a pro-Democratic super-political action committee, starting appearing on West Virginia televisions April 24, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG.
The Koch brothers founded Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit group promoting limited government that’s run ads more than 21,000 times in House and Senate races attacking President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul. Americans for Prosperity paid for ads in Rahall’s district last November and again in February linking the congressman to Obamacare.
Charles and David Koch are the fifth and sixth richest people in the world, each with an estimated net worth of $51.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Koch brothers are a frequent target of attacks by Democrats seeking to rally support from party donors and activists in a lower-turnout midterm election year.
Rahall was first elected in 1976, making him the seventh most-senior House member and fourth most-senior among those seeking re-election this year. He has usually won his re-election campaigns easily, though Jenkins, a former Democrat, is Rahall’s most serious Republican challenger to date. West Virginia’s 3rd District, which includes the bottom third of the state, gave Obama just 33 percent of the vote in the 2012 election, his worst showing in any district where a House Democrat is seeking re-election this year.