Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Americans for Prosperity — one of the largest recipients of donations from the Koch Family Foundation — has been hammering Democratic senators in swing states with millions of dollars in television ads. But last week the group suddenly pulled $100,000 in ads slated to run in Alaska.


Democrats from Alaska offered 10 reasons. But Max Croes, spokesman for the re-election campaign of Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), believes it has to do with an oil refinery that Koch Industries is closing in North Pole, Alaska.

“I guess it took two weeks for the billionaire Koch brothers to finally realize Alaskans don’t appreciate them firing 80 Alaska workers and closing a refinery while at the same time funneling over $100,000 to outside political attack groups for misleading ads against Senator Begich,” Croes said. “Alaskans just aren’t going to buy what they’re selling.”

The ad first attracted attention for its noticeably un-Alaskan look and its star, an actress from MarylandAFP is also using actors in the Obamacare ad targeting Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

The use of paid “talent” is pretty standard for political ads, but when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, the right seems to be having a hard time finding real people to give testimony on how the law has hurt them.

In the Republican response to the State of the Union address, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), referenced “Bette,” a constituent who “found out instead that her premiums were going up nearly $700 a month.”  The congressmember’s local paper did a little digging and found that Bette had been misled by an insurance provider and decided to forgo coverage instead of using the health care exchange to find a much more affordable option. Rather than help this woman, McMorris Rodgers used her unsubstantiated anecdote to argue against the law.

That’s the great thing about actors — their stories can’t be fact checked.

Republicans have been playing up the fact that Koch Industries is only 59th on a list of top donors. This doesn’t include the donations that the brothers and their foundation give to Americans for Prosperity, which will never be known for sure, as the group is a “non-profit” that does not have to disclose its donors.

What’s clear is that no group is doing more to try to help Republicans take over the Senate than AFP, and the Kochs’ power comes not only from its vast network of organizations that it funds, but also from the way it coordinates its activity with other huge donors.

Despite this, their money was spectacularly wasted in 2012. And their business practices are interfering with their effort to pick up a Senate seat in Alaska.

Photo: Americans for Prosperity’s YouTube channel

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Daniel Jones

    Omerta in the form of public unity lest members be attacked by their own in primaries. Secrecy. Deception. Lack of concern for real people’s lives. profiteering and (with the non-profits’ non-disclosure rule) money laundering.

    Political organizations are the new Mafia.

    • trista niap

      My Uncle Caleb just got red Ford Focus ST
      by working off of a computer. try this F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

    • latebloomingrandma

      As is the “news” organization known as Fox.

  • daniel bostdorf

    It is no secret that money is the root of all political evil though out history. But the Koch brothers and its master propagandist Karl Rove have taken this to a very, very dangerous level of fascism.

    And the fake Alaska ads are propaganda. Not the truth.

    Koch brother have long ties to extreme fascistic conservative groups for 3 decades….For example, a little-known group called Freedom Partners with strong connections to the brothers came forward in September 2013 as the primary money source of nearly a 1/4 billion dollars given to a wide variety of right wing fanatic conservative political groups in 2012.

    Kochs back Americans for Prosperity,. Most notably this group launched a campaign against a Republican lawmaker who expressed openness to expanding Medicaid in his state under the Affordable Care Act.

    Here is a link to the national debate about the Koch Brothers that is a must read:

  • richardfiser

    Stop bitching and remember to vote.

    • elw

      And remind everyone you know to vote as well.

      • Allan Richardson

        Voting: the most effective form of bitching!

        • elw

          I agree but most often if people don’t speak-up or bitch (if you want to call it that) damage get done before you even have the opportunity to vote. Politicians are like training a dog, you have to them know they are doing something you do not like as they are doing it, because they forget that they did it as soon as it is done.

  • elw

    So they lied, it is what they always do. Just keep yelling loud and clear each time you catch them at it and you will see them running every where.

  • howa4x

    The Koch bros are great. They want to tell everyone to give up what they are getting. Do the Koch bros have health insurance? Of course they do, probably the best that money can buy. Do they need social security? Probably not with 31 billion each. Did build their company from the ground up? No they had it handed to them from Daddy. In reality they act like spoiled children, always used to getting their own way and never learning how to play fair in the sand box. Who would listen to them except dim witted and dopey republicans who have been taught like Pavlov’s dog, to vote against themselves, and their children.

  • dana becker

    I would hope that the people are much wiser today and realize that “Americans for Prosperity” is not about them but the 1%. They want the little people to protect the 1%’s prosperity and has nothing to do with the average american being prosperous.

  • voice_reason

    fact checking is the bane of most republican communications