U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s recent crusade against the oil billionaire Koch brothers is catching on in Washington, D.C. Now, the New York Times reports a top Democratic PAC is going to take aim at the brothers, too.
The Senate Majority PAC — begun in 2011 by political operatives close to Reid, including Rebecca Lambe and Susan McCue — will spend $3 million on the ads, according to the Times. The ads are meant to counter much higher spending by the Koch brothers, and will be concentrated in the key states of Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and South Carolina.
The theme? That the billionaires are trying to buy the election, the precise meme that Reid has been repeating in speeches on the Senate floor for weeks now.
According to the Times, the ads are based on internal polls that show the Kochs play well as villains:
“Senate Majority PAC says its donors are increasingly eager to fight against the influx of the Kochs’ millions. Democrats say that internal polling shows that linking Republican candidates to the policies of the Koch brothers and Koch-backed groups will make voters more likely to discount attack ads underwritten by the Kochs.
“’It is a powerful quid pro quo and anti-middle-class argument that also raises further skepticism about the negative Koch ads against Democrats,’ said Matt Canter, the deputy executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
“Democrats add that in focus groups, voters have a negative response to the political involvement of the Koch brothers and their top concern is that the Kochs’ agenda hurts average people. Identifying the Kochs by name, Democrats say, is immaterial; in general, voters simply do not like the idea of special interests on either side trying to influence candidates with whom they share an agenda.”