Monday, August 23, 2010

CD8: Giffords Bracing for Attack Ad Onslaught

Posted By on Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Team Giffords is bracing for for a few slaps in the days to come.

Anne Hilby, spokeswoman for Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' reelection effort, notes that Americans for Prosperity has announced plans to spend $4.1 million to run attack ads in 11 states and recently added three congressional districts in Arizona to the list of targets, according to the Associated Press.

"This group has been putting millions of dollars into an agenda to privatize Social Security and promote tax cuts for millionaires and tax cuts for companies that send jobs overseas," Hilby told The Range this afternoon. "It appears, based on our information, that they have identified (Jonathan) Paton or (Jesse) Kelly as allies in that effort and they're going to be running ads, essentially on their behalf. You have a choice between an agenda to protect special interests, and then you have the congresswoman, who has been standing up for Southern Arizona, fighting for border security, fighting to protect our military families and
fighting to create solar-energy jobs here."

Americans for Prosperity is one of many political operations run by the Koch brothers. If you want to know more about their political leanings, you can read this New Yorker piece. A taste:

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

In a statement, Koch Industries said that the Greenpeace report “distorts the environmental record of our companies.” And David Koch, in a recent, admiring article about him in New York, protested that the “radical press” had turned his family into “whipping boys,” and had exaggerated its influence on

American politics. But Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

Here's more from the release from the Giffords campaign:

Koch Industries and its subsidiaries have led the way in shipping jobs overseas to China and India; one even had the distinction of winning the 2006 Outsourcing Center and Forbes Magazine ‘Outsourcing Excellence Award’ in recognition of their work effectively sending American jobs to China.

Over the past 25 years, the Koch Family Foundation has funneled $132 million into right-wing attack groups, including Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. This election cycle, Americans for Prosperity is running a multi-million dollar TV advertising campaign attacking those who oppose outsourcing jobs and privatizing Social Security and Medicare.

Campaign Manager Rodd McLeod expects this is the opening salvo of the millions of dollars special interest groups will spend this cycle trying to buy control of Arizona’s 8th District.

“Special interests groups like this one are not interested in helping Southern Arizonans,” McLeod said. “They want to get their hands on Arizona's money by privatizing Social Security and getting tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas—and they're trying to elect guys like Kelly and Paton to help them do it.”

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