The Republican Party's Senate Push Gets A Koch Brothers-Backed Boost, To The Tune Of $6.5 Million
The U.S. Senate is up for Republican grabs, and the Freedom Partners Action Fund wants to make sure that the GOP will clench crucial state races. Backed by the Koch brothers, the group dropped $6.5 million on campaign ads in tight Senate races in six states.
Campaign ads appeared Wednesday in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and North Carolina, all key battleground states in the 2014 battle for Senate control. Rather than vicious attacks, the ads all feature locals talking about why they are disappointed by the Democratic opponent and end with a direct endorsement of the Republican candidate. They are almost indistinguishable, only separated by names and varied accents, and united under their general disgust for Obamacare and President Obama himself.
It's like, come on, guys, if you were going to drop $6.5 million you could have at least gotten an original scriptwriter.
But there is something that sets this move apart from the generally shadowy dealings from the brothers Koch. This actually has their name on it. Well, sort of. The Freedom Partners Action Fund is the Koch Brothers' first super PAC that allows them to directly endorse candidates. So while the Freedom Partners Action Fund must disclose their financial backers (i.e. Koch), they can also expressly back their candidates of choice. And by that I mean Republicans.
According to the group's quarterly disclosure from October, Charles and David Koch contributed $2 million a piece to Freedom Partners Action Fund. The super PAC has already spent $15 million on midterm races.
The Koch brosephs are known for (trying to be) secretive about their massive amounts of political funding. So putting their names out there either says that they stopped caring about putting on a guise that they aren't puppeteering the thousands of Republican campaign ads, or they just really really want Republicans to take control of the Senate. And not by just a margin.
Right now, FiveThirtyEight, the site founded by statistics wizard Nate Silver, has the Republicans at a 65.7 percent chance of the winning the majority. But if that majority is too slim, it'll be the same tired political gridlock that we've been seeing with a Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House. In the Senate, you need 60 votes to move legislation, so to get anything done the parties might need to, oh, I don't know, work together or something. Dream big.
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