Senate Democrats Slam ‘Grossly Misleading’ Koch-Backed Ads

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The Democrats targeted by the conservative Americans for Prosperity with a new major ad buy are slamming the new ads as “grossly misleading” and “lies” that misrepresent their positions.

On Thursday AFP, the Koch brothers-backed group, announced that it would spend $2.5 million on a round of ads attacking Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) on Obamacare. The ads featured the three senators saying that Americans would be able to keep their old insurance plans if they liked it under the new healthcare law. But, the Democrats shot back, the ads take their words out of context. Both the Hagan campaign and Landrieu campaign noted that those two Democratic senators have strongly criticized parts of the healthcare law. Landrieu and Hagan both supported legislation that makes insurers offer the option of letting people keep their old policies permanently.

“A new year and a new smear from a Koch-brothers backed group that has no accountability to North Carolinians, takes secret, undisclosed cash and has a record of airing ads that fact checkers call ‘false,’” Hagan campaign communications director Sadie Weiner said in a statement on Thursday.

“Outside interests like the Koch Brothers are spending millions to buy a Senate seat because they know Kay will never carry the water for their special interest agenda like her opponents have shown they are all too eager to do,” Weiner continued. “Kay supports a commonsense fix to allow people to keep their plans, but all of her opponents and their special interest backers want to go back to a time when insurance companies can charge women more for coverage, drop you from your plan when you get sick and deny you care altogether because of a pre-existing condition.”

Similarly, Landrieu’s campaign called the ads “grossly misleading.”

“Like clockwork, the out-of-state billionaire Koch brothers are back with yet another grossly misleading attack ad that outrageously cuts video footage of Sen. Landrieu out of context in an effort to distort her record of working to fix the Affordable Care Act,” Landrieu campaign manager Adam Sullivan said in a statement. “The fact is Sen. Landrieu has always supported measures to fix and improve the Affordable Care Act. She introduced legislation to keep the president’s promise, publicly pressured the administration until a fix was made and is continuing her work on behalf of Louisianians to fix and improve the law. Unfortunately for out-of-state billionaires like the Koch brothers, their lies don’t change those facts.”

New Hampshire Democrats took a different approach on behalf of Shaheen. The New Hampshire Democratic Party argued the AFP ad buy was an attempt to give a boost to former Sen. Scott Brown (D-MA) who taken steps that seem to be preparations to running for Senate against Shaheen.

“The Big Oil Koch Brothers desperately want Scott Brown back in the Senate, representing their interests, not ours. Scott Brown’s already voted to protect Big Oil’s special tax breaks. So they’ve added New Hampshire to their national smear campaign, and they’re spending big bucks on phony attacks on our Senator Jeanne Shaheen,” New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said in a statement. “The Big Oil Koch Brothers don’t care about the people of New Hampshire. They want to kill health care and stop people from getting health insurance and, they want a friend of big oil, Scott Brown, back in the Senate, giving big oil all the breaks.”

Latest DC
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: