Federal Politics

Published — September 26, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Daily Disclosure: Koch-backed nonprofit ‘educates’ voters about Obama

Americans for Prosperity to spend $1.3 million blasting Obama

Introduction

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative nonprofit funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, launched a new issue advocacy campaign criticizing President Barack Obama Monday.

The organization reported spending $205,000 on radio ads highlighting what the group calls Obama’s “failing agenda.”

The buy will ramp up to $1.3 million, according a press release, with radio ads and calls to voters targeting 13 states. The campaign is coupled with a national bus tour.

Issue ads can name a candidate but do not expressly advocate a yes or no vote. They must be reported to the Federal Election Commission as “electioneering communications” if, as with the new Americans for Prosperity spots, they come within 60 days of a general election.

Issue advertising all but disappeared when a federal district court required donors to the campaigns be identified. An appeals court, however, recently suspended that decision. Issue ads, unlike “express advocacy” ads can be interpreted as educational and not subject to IRS limits on political activity.

Americans for Prosperity, known for being financed by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch, is one of the top outside spenders in the election.

It has spent $30.9 million on independent expenditures, the kind of ads that urge a yes or no vote, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The entire sum has been spent opposing Obama, but Americans for Prosperity has spent unreported millions more on U.S. congressional races.

The appeals court decision means Americans for Prosperity, and other politically active nonprofits like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Action Network and American Future Fund, may return to anonymously funded “educational” issue ads, most of which nonetheless make a clear political statement.

In other outside spending news:

  • AFSCME PEOPLE, a political action committee of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, released “The Man” opposing Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif. and “Struggling,” opposing Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich. “Funder,” from AFSCME directly, opposes Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn. The PAC also reported spending $263,000 on canvassing expenses in opposition to Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth in New York’s 19th District.
  • Conservative super PAC American Crossroads released “Where,” opposing Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., at a cost of $1.6 million.
  • Its sister nonprofit Crossroads GPS spent $2.8 million opposing Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. It also paid for media opposing Rep. Tim Bishop of New York, who is running for re-election to the U.S. House.
  • SEIU COPE, the PAC of the Service Employees International Union, released “$6,400,” which opposes Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for supporting Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.
  • The super PAC Planned Parenthood Votes released “Cynthia’s Story,” in which a woman tells how her checkup at a Planned Parenthood clinic detected her cancer. The ad opposes GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has suggested cutting federal funding to the program.
  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released two ads on Tuesday opposing North Dakota Rep. Rick Berg, who is running for Senate, which come on the heels of anti-Berg ad “No Change,” as the Daily Disclosure reported Monday.
  • Conservative nonprofit Americans for Limited Government posted three web videos, one criticizing Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., for a “lifestyle of the tax and spenders,” another calling former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine’s leadership style as “chiKAINEry,” and the third tracking Sen. Jon Tester’s evolution from “innocent farmer to beltway bandit.”
  • Conservative super PAC YG Action Fund released “Jet Set Mike,” which criticizes Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., for his world travels while in office.
  • Now Hiring” from House Majority PAC opposes Chris Collins, the Republican candidate for U.S. House in New York’s 27th District.

Who paid for that political ad? You might be surprised by the answer. Email us and we will try to find out. Describe the advertisement — was it mean or nice? Will it affect your vote? When and where did it run and what were the names of the candidates? And PLEASE tell us what the disclaimer at the end says, and we will check it out.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Martin Shellabarger
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J. Stevenson, what are you drinking? Trump has more lobbyists in his administration than probably any other president. Trump is totally “for sale”, and the corporations know it. Grow a brain!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.