TO: Reporters, Editorial Boards And Interested Parties
FR: Andrew Zucker, Campaign for Louisiana Communications Director
DA: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
RE: Koch Brothers On Pace To Spend Well Over $10M Against Mary Landrieu To Enact Their Anti-Louisiana Agenda
If you’ve turned on your television set in Louisiana at some point during this past week, you’ve no doubt seen the new attack ad against Sen. Landrieu. It “shows a number of people, who appear to be Louisianians, opening their mail to find a letter” indicating their health insurance has changed because of the Affordable Care Act. Only those people aren’t Louisianians, and those aren’t real letters they’re reading.
ABC News reports:
“But the people in the emotion-evoking ad are not Louisianans at all; they are paid actors.”
Hiring professional actors to impersonate Louisianians might be a new low in Louisiana, but for Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the group behind the ad, it’s par for the course.
AFP is the flagship attack group run by the billionaire Koch brothers, and they’re no strangers to playing fast and loose with the truth. Shadowy special interest groups linked to the Koch brothers spent “an astounding $400 million” trying to swing the 2012 elections, and if the past several months are an indicator of what’s to come, then they’re planning to do it all over again.
Since last September AFP has spent millions of dollars almost single-handedly waging the anti-Landrieu campaign in Louisiana on Bill Cassidy’s behalf. With the launch of their latest televised attack ad, measuring $750k over three weeks, AFP has now spent at least $2.6 million against Sen. Landrieu, and that’s just on television.
At the rate of spending $750k per month against Sen. Landrieu – an incredibly conservative estimate given the bottomless flow of cash at their disposal and the millions more the group is spending on digital advertising, in-state staff, offices and organizing efforts – the Koch brothers and AFP are on pace to spend well over $10 million against Sen. Landrieu.
Put it another way: the Koch brothers are treating themselves like they’re a candidate for Senate and up for reelection in Louisiana – and they might just outspend everybody.
Louisianians ought to then know what the Koch brothers are really fighting for, and what policies they really want for Louisiana:
Killing Bipartisan Flood Insurance Reform
While Sen. Landrieu was working alongside Sen. David Vitter to lead Senate passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act with unanimous support from our Congressional delegation, AFP was trying to kill the bill. AFP supports Biggert-Waters, the very piece of legislation responsible for astronomical flood insurance rate hikes facing up to half a million in Louisiana, and they’ve instructed lawmakers to “preserve the crux” of the law.
Rejecting Health Care For 250,000 Louisianians
AFP’s latest foray into Louisiana is a newly announced campaign to block access to health insurance for hundreds of thousands of Louisianians. Nearly a quarter million in Louisiana fall into the “Jindal Gap” created by Governor Bobby Jindal and Bill Cassidy’s rejection of federal funds to expand Medicaid at virtually no cost, yet AFP is launching a campaign to kill Medicaid expansion in Louisiana’s 2014 legislative session.
Enacting Bobby Jindal’s Disastrous Failed Tax Plan
AFP strongly advocated for Governor Bobby Jindal’s disastrous plan to replace our income tax with a massive sales tax. We all remember how that went. If AFP had been in charge of our state government, we’d have raised billions in taxes on the backs of small businesses and the middle class in order to finance a tax cut for the super wealthy.
Slashing Social Security And Medicare For Up To 600,000 Louisiana Seniors
AFP’s agenda for Louisiana would slash Social Security and Medicare benefits for hundreds of thousands of seniors. The group advocated privatizing Social Security during the Bush administration, which could have meant the end for seniors’ retirement savings during the Great Recession. And AFP joined with Bill Cassidy in embracing the extreme Ryan budget plan, which would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program. For Louisiana seniors that would mean an increase in Medicare costs by more than $6,000.
Between their efforts to kill bipartisan flood insurance reform, reject health care for 250,000 and enact Bobby Jindal’s disastrous failed tax plan while slashing Social Security and Medicare, the Koch brothers’ anti-Louisiana agenda has never been more clear. Not even $10 million will change that.