Federal Politics

Published — October 18, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Daily Disclosure: Koch-funded groups attack Obama for ‘war on coal’

Ads target swing states of Ohio and Virginia

Introduction

Secretive nonprofits affiliated with oil and coal companies, including Koch Industries, are hitting Obama hard for what they call his “war on coal.”

Yesterday, for example, the nonprofit American Energy Alliance reported that its new ad “Stand with Coal,” cost more than a half-million dollars and is running for two weeks in the coal-producing states of Ohio and Virginia.

The ad accuses President Barack Obama of wanting to bankrupt the coal industry, alleging that his plan is to “kill affordable energy.”

The American Energy Alliance is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which means its donors remain unknown to the public. Its president, Thomas Pyle, is the former director of federal affairs for Koch Industries and former lobbyist for the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. He also served as a policy analyst for Rep. Tom Delay, R-Texas, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The American Energy Alliance is affiliated with the Institute for Energy Research, a free-market energy nonprofit that has received backing from the Koch-run Claude R. Lambe Foundation. Pyle is also the institute’s president.

Robert Bradley, the CEO of the institute called those who are concerned about global warming “climate alarmists” in an op-ed in The Washington Times.

Dustin DeBerry, the institute’s director of donor relations, once worked for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Board member Wayne Gable the a managing director of federal affairs at Koch Industries and has held leadership positions at Koch-funded nonprofits including Americans for Prosperity, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

The Institute for Energy Research has also received funding in the past from ExxonMobil, National Public Radio reported in 2008, as well as other foundations affiliated with energy executives.

American Energy Alliance is not the only group to attack Obama’s energy policies, which include investing in renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions, as well as expanding offshore drilling.

American Commitment, a non-disclosing nonprofit led by former Americans for Prosperity staffer Phil Kerpen, is one of the pro-coal leaders this election. It runs WarOnCoal.com and has aired campaign ads urging voters to support coal by voting against Obama and the Democrats running for U.S. Senate in Ohio and Virginia, Sen. Sherrod Brown and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.

One American Commitment radio ad accuses Obama and Brown of “betraying coal,” saying their “war on coal is also a war on jobs.”

Americans for Prosperity, which was founded by David Koch, continued its own pro-coal campaign with an Ohio radio ad last week. The group has conducted several pro-coal rallies and targeted anti-coal policies in other ads, as well.

All three groups, along with a handful of others, oppose what Americans for Prosperity calls Obama’s “draconian” fuel efficiency standards — requirements that car manufacturers improve gas mileage — and the administration’s commitment to renewing tax credits for wind energy production. (See letter signed by the trio and other conservative groups).

William Koch, the brother of Koch Industries’ Charles and David, owns the energy company Oxbow Carbon and is one of the top donors to super PACs this election. He has contributed $3 million to the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future.

Charles and David, for their part, intend to spend $400 million this election, which may come through nonprofit organizations such as Americans for Prosperity, which do not disclose their donors.

In other outside spending news:

  • Majority PAC, a super PAC backing Senate Democrats, released “Confrontation” opposing Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the state, and “Character,” opposing Rep. Rick Berg, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in North Dakota.
  • House Majority PAC, a super PAC backing House Democrats, released “Even Harder,” opposing Republican Rep. Dan Benishek, who is running in Michigan’s 1st District. The super PAC reported spending more than $950,000 on numerous U.S. House races.
  • Club for Growth Action, a conservative super PAC, released “Lobster” opposing Rep. Joe Donnelly, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Indiana, and “Wow” opposing former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona.
  • Americans for Job Security, a conservative nonprofit, released “Washington Money Tree,” an ad criticizing Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is running for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.
  • The League of Conservation Voters Inc. and Sierra Club Independent Action co-produced “Imagine,” which supports former Maine Gov. Angus King, an independent, in his bid for U.S. Senate.
  • Patriot Majority USA, a liberal nonprofit, reported spending more than $1 million on ads opposing Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Georgia state Rep. Lee Anderson, the Republican candidate for U.S. House in Georgia’s 12th District.
  • Conservative super PAC American Crossroads reported spending $11.7 million on ads opposing Obama. Its sister nonprofit Crossroads GPS reported spending $2.5 million opposing Obama and Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Virginia, Wisconsin and North Dakota.
  • The super PAC Planned Parenthood Votes reported spending $944,000 supporting Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate candidates in Wisconsin and Montana.
  • The NRA Political Victory Fund reported spending $1.7 million supporting Republicans and opposing Democrats in U.S. Senate races in North Dakota, Nevada, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, and supporting Romney and opposing Obama.
  • SEIU COPE, the political action committee of the Service Employees International Union, reported spending $2.3 million opposing Romney, Heller and Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif.

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.

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