Kochs Go Beyond Obamacare

Since October, the billionaire-backed non-profit Americans for Prosperity has hewed to one simple message: Obamacare is bad.

They’ve been by far the most vocal group in the country on this point, running 24,000 TV  ads in 14 states — criticizing the health program in every single one.

The focus is broadening now — a little.

AFP, which was founded by billionaire energy executives Charles and David Koch, has produced its  first three spots that don’t mention the Affordable Care Act a single time. Not once.

“While we certainly have no intention to stop talking and educating on Obamacare, we’re incorporating other important issues into our messaging,” said AFP spokesman Levi Russell.

The latest starts today in the heart of West Virginia’s coal country — with a commercial that features a woman who blames Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall for failing to fight Environmental Protection Agency rules which she believes caused her husband to lose his mining job.

The 60-second ad will be up for three weeks — part of a $400,000 ad-buy in the state, according to AFP. Rahall’s seat will be among the most difficult for Democrats to hold this year, according to the Cook Political Report, which rates it a “toss up.”

Another non-Affordable Care Act spot began airing June 12 in Iowa and attacks Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley for flip-flopping on the Keystone XL pipeline, a favorite Koch cause. Braley, as a congressman, initially supported constructing the pipeline and then voted against it, according to the ad.

Also notable about this spot: The Kochs take a page from the Democratic playbook by accusing Braley of being controlled by special interests.

The third blasted Louisiana’s Sen. Mary Landrieu for “overspending our tax dollars.” Landrieu, a Democrat trying to hold on to her Senate seat this year, is an advocate for the Keystone pipeline — so avoids criticism from the group on that point. It ran 205 times from May 21 to June 10, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG data.


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