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WATCH: Democratic Senator Turns Tables On Koch Brothers

Memo Pad Politics

WATCH: Democratic Senator Turns Tables On Koch Brothers


After enduring months of vicious attack ads from Americans for Prosperity — the right-wing, 501(c)(4) “dark money” group funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch — Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) is fighting back.

Senator Begich released the first television ad of his 2014 re-election campaign on Monday, directly targeting the Koch brothers for interfering in Alaska politics and misleading voters.

AFP has run two controversial ads in Alaska targeting the Democratic incumbent. The first, which criticizes Begich over the Affordable Care Act, featured an actress from Maryland portraying a concerned Alaskan voter. The second accuses Begich of “supporting a carbon tax…that will cost the average family over $2,000 annually,” a claim that FactCheck.org has rated “not true.”

Begich’s ad, titled “Into The Ground,” directly calls the Koch brothers out for their role in funding the deceptive attacks.

“First it was a D.C. actress pretending to be an Alaskan,” the ad’s narrator says. “Now ads attacking Mark Begich on a carbon tax have been called false and not true.”

The ad’s focus then shifts to the Flint Hills oil refinery in North Pole, Alaska. The Koch Industries-owned refinery announced in February that it would shut down no later than June 1, resulting in 80 lost jobs.

“They come into our town, buy our refinery,” says a man in construction gear, while another adds that they’re “just running it into the ground.”

“I don’t go down and tell them what to do,” another man says. “I don’t expect them to come to Alaska and tell us what to do.”

There is some reason to believe that the refinery attack, which is reminiscent of Democrats’ highly effective broadsides against Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, could put the Koch brothers on the defensive. After all, Americans for Prosperity suddenly pulled $100,000 in ad spending shortly after the Flint Hills closure was announced, as Democrats drew a connection between the job-killing decision and the Kochs’ hundreds of thousands of dollars of ongoing political spending in The Last Frontier.

Begich is not the only Democrat to attempt to turn the tables on the billionaire brothers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has recently begun attacking the Kochs at every opportunity, ripping them as “un-American” during a speech on the Senate floor, accusing the Republican Party of being “Addicted to Koch,” and posting a fact sheet on his webpage listing examples of their “radical philosophy.”

The attacks may shame the Koch brothers to some degree, but won’t stop them from continuing to pour their money into the midterm elections, which are on track to demolish records for outside spending. That could be a problem for Begich, who is widely considered to be one of the GOP’s top targets — and has certainly not seen the last of Americans for Prosperity’s attacks.

Screenshot: YouTube

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. James Donnaught March 10, 2014

    Typical of Kochroaches – they scurry away when you shine the light on them.

  2. Daniel Jones March 10, 2014

    Is anyone else as tired of these people trying to buy the country out from under the citizens as I am?

    Kochs–they mean exactly *dick*.

    1. FredAppell March 10, 2014

      Here is what really gets me, if people who claim to be real American conservatives truly stood by their supposed principles, they would feel exactly the same way we do concerning the Kochs. Their hatred for us must be powerful for them to willingly back a bunch of fascists,
      on the other hand, maybe they’re just clueless.

      1. Annemb March 11, 2014

        They aren’t conservatives, they are authoritarians!!

        Have you read, “Conservatives Without Conscience” by John W. Dean? He lays it all out for the reader.

        Great post!

        1. dpaano March 11, 2014

          I didn’t read that book, but I did read his book, “Broken Government,” which is really scary and explains how the GOP is trying to change our system to an “imperial presidency,” which is what they are accusing the Democrats of doing…..amazing, isn’t it? They lie and then they turn it around and blame it on Democrats. I’ll have to get the book you mentioned…..hopefully, it won’t be as scary as the one I just read!

          1. Annemb March 11, 2014

            I haven’t read “Broken Government” yet, but I put it on my “books to read” list. Conservatives Without Conscience opened my eyes to the difference between a real conservative and an authoritarian, which for the most part, is the TGOP party today. It is these who scare the hell out of me.

            I remember President Obama warned his base to make sure we get out and vote in 2010 or things would change. The base who were “disappointed” that he didn’t perform miracles since 2008, didn’t get out to vote. Well, he was right and we’ve been paying the price since then.

            We can’t give up, but must move ahead and push the Dems to move their butts, grow a spine and open their mouths to be on the offensive. Or else I’m afraid they’ll be a bigger price to pay – one being, our secular country will no longer be secular.

            You are a smart person.

            Blessings and thanks.

        2. FredAppell March 11, 2014

          Thanks for the kind words. I feel that I need to clarify who I was referring to in my post. You are absolutely correct in your assessment of them (the GOP leaders) being authoritarian but I was referencing the GOP constituency, you know the type, they supposedly believe in equality and liberty but they back fascists instead. I haven’t heard of the book you mentioned but I’ll try to find it, I’m still looking for the book that dpaano mentioned to you. As much as I love politics, I don’t read any books on the subject, perhaps it is time to change that, many thanks.

          1. Annemb March 11, 2014

            You are most welcome!

            I’m glad you clarified what you meant. For me, I’m sick of these people calling themselves conservatives, when in truth they aren’t. I thought they were, until another person who posted suggested I read “Conservatives Without Conscience” by John W. Dean, and that’s what clarified the difference between “real conservatives” and authoritarians. Another book I suggest is, “Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right” by Claire Conner. I haven’t the second one yet, but I heard her being interviewed. In her book, she gives the history of the tea party movement, which began way back with the John Birch Society. To quote the young people, “Awesome”!

            BTW, I’ve begun to read, “The men who invented the Constitution. The Summer of 1787.” by David O. Stewart.

            The TGOPs keep saying they are unwilling to compromise. They need to read this book and see how, indeed, our Constitution was written.

            I’m an activist, but have cut down on some programs I watch, because I can’t afford to have my blood pressure rise … not too much anyhow.

            Blessings… and BTW, you are a smart man!

          2. FredAppell March 11, 2014

            You are far too kind, my ego is swelling. :)) Of all the books you’ve suggested, “The men who invented the Constitution. The summer of 1787” sounds the most intriguing. The Constitution has been being debated since it was written but try telling that to the right wingers. The TGOPs falsely believe that compromise is weakness and a threat to their ideology. Life is a zero sum game in their eyes, one they want to win at all costs.

            I too stay away from programming that riles me up,
            they just aren’t worth your health, that’s for sure.
            I appreciate that you’re an activist, not enough of us get involved including myself so you have my gratitude and respect. There seems to be a growing stigma concerning activism these days, it’s unfair considering it’s an ancient human tradition.

            I look forward to future posts from you.

          3. Annemb March 11, 2014

            Now I’m blushing.

            Please don’t minimize what you do. Your words are strong and memorable.

            You have chosen the right book. It’s factual and written like a novel with the characters all alive. I have grown to love our Founders / Framers since I first watched the video 1776 while house sitting for a friend when GW was p…. I bought my own video and watched it 61 times mostly to keep me from giving up and most importantly, focused on the founding principles of our great country. What courage they – and their wives – all had. I admire and respect them very much. Yet, when I see what the TGOPs are attempting to do I become livid! I haven’t hesitated to email or telephone their D.C. office to give them a piece of my mind. Recently, I told John Boehner that he needs to go about doing the business of EVERY American, and stop being led by the nose by the tea party.

            Oops, there I go again.

            I wish you the best. Happy reading. I got myself a paperback of the book for my library after I began reading an Inter-library loan book which my local public library got for me. I went to Amazon and paid very little $$ for it. I didn’t get a brand new one, but got a new one with no markings or highlights in it. (I use pencil, lightly, not ink or highlight.)

            Blessings…Have a good evening.

            P.S. I look forward to reading your posts too.

      2. Brent March 11, 2014

        They don’t hate America, (and their not clueless) they just want to make America into their personal ATM ~ and they don’t hate us Citizens, anymore than we ‘hate’ cows/pigs/chickens before we slaughter them to put meat on our BBQs…..

        1. FredAppell March 11, 2014

          Great! So in other words, we mean no more to them than livestock to be slaughtered and eaten. LOL. They certainly do a bang up job of making us feel that way don’t they? You are right, they don’t hate us, they just don’t respect us. They see us a being lesser than them, therefore, we are nothing but a commodity to them.

      3. highpckts March 11, 2014

        They don’t hate “us”! They just love money and power! We truly are not even on their radar except as a means to get what they want!

        1. FredAppell March 11, 2014

          You’re right! I came to a similar conclusion earlier. Read my response to Brent. I like to throw a little humor and sarcasm in my posts and I do use the word hate a lot when describing the right wing. Perhaps I’m just projecting.

    2. dana becker March 11, 2014

      YES. I am tired. disgusted, disheartened, angry. And I will be voting against anyone pimping for the Kochs. .

      All you Dems in the Red States that are trying to disenfranchise your right to vote, had better get everything you need to register (do it early) and make sure to vote. It is the only right they, the Republicans, have not totally managed to take away from us…..yet.

    3. paulyz March 13, 2014

      You mean like George Soros??? hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  3. Dominick Vila March 11, 2014

    One of the greatest threats to our freedom and democracy is the influence of money on American politics. I believe there should be a realistic limit ($1K) governing political donations. Presidential candidates with more than X supporters should get equal amounts from the Federal government, and state candidates should get the same from the their respective states, and operate within those parameters. If they over spend, that’s their problem, and a sign that they are unfit to run.

    1. Buford2k11 March 11, 2014

      While I agree with you as to the severity of the corruption in the gop/bagger group, the Money=Free Speech is more or less tied to “Truth in Advertizing” or the lack there of…we lost when those laws were repealed and big money was legalized…Fascism on the way… to the USofA… we are seeing the effects first hand…it is ugly and dangerous…

      1. dpaano March 11, 2014

        We can thank the conservative Supreme Court for the Citizens United bill……of course, you do realize that the GOP has filled the Supreme Court with their cohorts in an effort to take over the government, right?

        1. dana becker March 11, 2014

          which is why they don’t want Obama adding more of his.

    2. Billie March 11, 2014

      I disagree with you on federal funding for campaignsl. I feel like if they want to run, then raise the money to do it. No federal funding.

  4. jointerjohn March 11, 2014

    Money does not equal free speech and corporations are not people. The only hope we have left is to recapture the Supreme Court and end this dark money highjacking of our democracy. Meanwhile, call out these liars every chance we get.

    1. Canistercook March 11, 2014

      Corporations have members – they are called owners of stock representing their members, Unions have members, they are called members of the Unions. Both select their political party.

      1. jmprint March 11, 2014

        Corporation are not non-profit – Union is an organization.

  5. Jenna Wentworth March 11, 2014

    Support Move to amend .org.

  6. Brent March 11, 2014

    How can we trust any Candidate who spends ‘Dark Money’ like the proverbial ‘drunken sailor’ not to do the same thing with ‘OUR’ money, once he gets elected; besides the point of owing ‘payback favors’ to those providers of ‘Dark Money’…….

  7. howa4x March 11, 2014

    The Koch brothers are true dark siders who lost their empathy about the human condition and the struggles people go through when they don’t have enough to eat of a warm place to stay in. this is because they we fed a diet of John birch society drivel growing up in a wealthy household. they wag a finger at Americans to work harder to get success but their wealth was inherited and not earned. Forbes just showed that they increased their personal wealth from 31 billion to 35 billion. That is a 4 billion dollar raise so they did very well under and Obama presidency and I wonder why they are against him? Maybe under republicans they could increase their wealth to 40 billion each. To them it’s a game of how rich they could get but to the rest of us it’s life and death. Why do they care if people get health care? Why are they so cruel to want to take it away? They are the soul of the republican party and this is why ultimately they will fail no matter how much money they throw around.

  8. Charvi3 March 11, 2014

    It has been the “Right Wing Conservative Movement” so to speak…during which they have done all they could to make the U.S. look like country incapable of govering itself nationally. We have been so caught up in “Nasty Politics” that we forgot we’re supposed to be a model for how democracy should be applied….they have not allowed bi-partisan negotiations…they, the Conservatives…do not want the middle class nor the needy or the poor to come to the government for help of any kind…now, how inhumane is that? We need to educate others about what they are about…and that is just themselves and to please only themselves….and they call the people in need as “Taker”….so wrong…their salaries are getting paid by the taxpayers monies…and they are given spending monies by the taxpayers…and the rents on their expensive homes are being paid by the taxpayers and their health insurance for their families are being paid by the taxpayers…to me it looks as if they are taking and keep taking from the taxpayers on a constant basis…so, please let everyone know that those conservatives do not want to help the middle class nor the needy or the poor…God Bless All Of You!

  9. RNPRN March 11, 2014

    The Kochs are a cancer on the US. Their father was a communist who worked in Russia. They don’t care about America, only their money.

  10. Canistercook March 11, 2014

    Well I guess as long as Soros and the Unions buy the Democrats right to government than the Koch brothers are needed to fight for Conservatives.
    There are two sides I guess.

    1. STMBT March 11, 2014

      YEAH but the Democrats are for America and the Rethuglican IDIOTS are just for themselves. and don’t give a DAMM about the less fortunite! and they say they are all good Christans!

  11. jmprint March 11, 2014

    It’s about time. Democrats need to call out every lie, over and over, until republican voters see that they are just puppets on a string. Bengazi, Religious leader defense, and the NRA constitution, are only props.

    1.) It has already been proven there wasn’t any wrong doing by the administration, oversight maybe, but isn’t that what happened on 9/11.

    2.) Most women that take some form of birth control and have abortions, believe in God and fear God far more then some that preach.

    3.) The constitution is not ALL about bearing arms. Arms that nobody is trying to take away, democrats ask for gun owners to be responsible people, it is unconstitutional to deny safety to our children and families.


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