If you haven't already read Jane Mayer's chilling account of the stealth political dealings of the Koch brothers, do yourself a favor and take some time to do so. It's critical to know exactly how far those tentacles stretch.
The Koch brothers have their conservative little fingers in a lot of pies, from the tea parties to the climate change Prop 23 in California to systematically de-legitimizing the Obama presidency on multiple levels. And yet, their plates are not too full for them to add two more targets to shape the world to their right-wingnut liking: Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, both running for Congress in Florida.:
Orlando TV viewers may have caught new commercials, funded by Americans for Prosperity, and directly targeting the Congressional re-election bids for Alan Grayson and Suzanne Kosmas.
The national advocacy group, founded by billionaire David Koch, has paid for $1.4 million in TV ads in four states, including Florida, where Grayson and Kosmas face a GOP eager to claim their seats. The ads will also run in Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania until Sept. 8.
The ad, which you can see on the group’s YouTube page, prominently feature House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and “her big government policy agenda,” particularly the federal stimulus bill, cap and trade and the government bailouts, said Apryl Marie Fogel, state director for the Florida chapter of Americans for Prosperity. It’s part of a larger campaign that will also include bus tours and grassroots campaigning in these weeks building up to the November election.
Koch, owner of the Koch Industries oil and manufacturing conglomerate, has funded millions of dollars of TV ads that have made the Americans for Prosperity a big player among the many conservative groups trying to influence the midterm elections.
In point of fact, the DCCC and President Obama have both called out AFP/the Koches for their ads and asking for an investigation into their alleged tax violations:
In Austin, Tex. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama criticized Americans for Prosperity by name.
"Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country," he said. "And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation. You don't know if it's a big oil company, or a big bank."
Separately, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee filed a complaint against the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, alleging that the foundation is running attack ads in four congressional races in Michigan, Kansas and Missouri, in violation of tax rules for 501(c)(3) educational and charitable groups.
You can read the DCCC complaint here.