A concerted effort to attack the Koch brothers is being mounted by the Democratic Party in their desperate attempt to keep control of the Senate in 2014. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the point man as the party has accused the brothers of using their money to influence elections as well as block aid to Ukraine. Reid stood on the floor of the Senate last month and called the brothers “un-American” and said they were “trying to buy America.” Reid has suggested that the Kochs backed GOP lawmakers who would only allow aid to the Ukraine when IRS rules that targeted PACs such as their Americans’ for Prosperity were delayed. He whined that GOP senators defending the Kochs were standing for the Kochs’ “radical philosophy,” and moaned, “Is even one of you willing to stand up and disavow the Koch brothers’ radical agenda?”
This past week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee stated, “Across the country Republican Senate candidates are embracing a dangerous agenda that’s good for billionaires like the Koch Brothers and bad for nearly everyone else in the country,” while at the same time they bragged that they had raked in a record-breaking February total of $6.8 million.
Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter fired back that the Kochs are “two of the most patriotic Americans … God bless the Koch brothers. They’re fighting for our freedom.”
The Koch brothers have reportedly invested $30 million in the super-PAC Americans for Prosperity to help target Democrats in Congress, including $700,000 to target Arkansas Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor. Pryor is hugely vulnerable; he already trails Arkansas GOP Rep. Tom Cotton by an average of 3 percentage points in polls across the spectrum.
Meanwhile, the pro-Democrat group Senate Majority PAC has reportedly spent $3 million in ads for Democratic senators in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and North Carolina. Philip Ellender of Koch Industries told Politico those ads were “the latest round in a series of attacks and attempts to silence private citizens who dare to disagree with the policies of the Majority Leader and the [Obama] administration.” He added that Reid is “intimidating political opposition and squelching dissent,” rather than doing what he should do- creating jobs and helping Americans.
Reid, of course, will not mention California billionaire Tom Steyer, a staunch Democrat who is supposedly going to invest at least $50 million of his own money on attack ads against GOP members who argue against climate change.
Predictably, as the Koch brothers stopped giving money to the few moderate Democrats, the Democrats united in their attacks against the Kochs.