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News & Updates



REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES SUPPORT THE KOCH AGENDA. This is not only about the Kochs’ effort to buy a US Senate. It is not only about the Kochs’ propensity to lie in TV ads.  This is about the Kochs supporting an economic agenda that is good for their family and bad for the middle class.  AP reports, “In an accelerating counteroffensive stretching from the Senate chamber to Alaska, Democrats are denouncing Charles and David Koch, the key figures behind millions of dollars in conservative TV ads hammering Democratic candidates and their ties to President Barack Obama. Democrats depict the Kansas-based Koch (pronounced "Coke") brothers as self-serving oil barons who pay huge sums to try to "buy" elections and advance their agenda of low taxes and less regulation.” Reuters adds the DSCC “has launched a campaign claiming the Republican Party is "addicted to Koch" (pronounced "coke"). The committee has promised to aggressively point out when Koch-backed ads are discredited and to create Web ads and a social media push.”


NY TIMES: DEMOCRATS STAND UP TO THE KOCHS. The New York Times this week says, “By far the largest voice in many of this year’s political races, for example, has been that of the Koch brothers, who have spent tens of millions of dollars peddling phony storiesabout the impact of health care reform, all in order to put Republicans in control of the Senate after the November elections. Now Democrats are starting to fight back, deciding they should at least try to counter the tycoons with some low-cost speech of their own. …The leader of this effort has been Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, who has delivered a series of blistering attacks against the Kochs and their ads on the Senate floor over the last few weeks. In addition, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has set up a website,, to remind voters of just what the Kochs stand for.”


FALLOUT FROM KOCH LIES. Michigan media outlets and independent fact checkers across the country are savaging the Koch brothers for their outright lies and false attack ads in Michigan, Alaska, Louisiana and other states. The Detroit News reported, “A Dexter cancer patient featured in a conservative group’s TV ad campaign denouncing her new health care coverage as “unaffordable” will save more than $1,000 this year.”  


ADS TARGET BILL CASSIDY’S KOCH ADDICTION. A new ad is holding Bill Cassidy accountable for his Koch addiction, and pledging support for the Koch agenda that is unpopular in Louisiana. The fact is Bill Cassidy is bought and paid for by the Koch brothers, who support an agenda that is good for the billionaire brothers and bad for Louisiana families. The Kochs are spending a fraction of their fortune to buy themselves a U.S. Senator that will protect tax cuts for outsourcing jobs, cut Social Security, and end Medicare as we know it. Watch the ad here.


MARK BEGICH TARGETS KOCHS IN FIRST AD.  POLITICO  reports that Mark Begich released his first TV ad today, “an attack on the conservative Koch brothers’ group Americans for Prosperity for the ads it’s been running against Begich this year.” The ad says, “First it was a D.C. actress pretending to be an Alaskan. Now ads attacking Mark Begich on a carbon tax have been called false and not true.” The ad refers to two previous anti-Begich spots from AFP: the first came under fire for featuring a Maryland actress. The second was panned by PolitiFact and FactCheck for lying about Begich’s opposition to a carbon tax. Watch the ad here.


ALASKA’S GOP GOVERNOR SUES KOCHS OVER CLOSED REFINERY. Earlier this year, the Koch brothers closed an Alaska refinery, citing “excessive costs,” and fired 80 Alaskan workers. Now the Kochs are attempting to escape liability for future cleanup costs of groundwater contamination that the refinery is responsible for. This week,  Alaska's Republican Governor Sean Parnell is suing the Koch subsidiary in order to hold them accountable for cleanup costs. In a show of bipartisanship, Mark Begich has announced his support for Parnell’s lawsuit against the Koch company. But Maryland’s Dan Sullivan still refuses to criticize the Koch brothers' actions, proving that he doesn’t care about the Alaskans the Kochs fired or the families they hurt.


WHAT FL-13 REALLY MEANS: BANNOCK STREET PROJECT IS CRITICAL. The takeaway from the special in Florida is that Democrats will need to invest heavily in a national field program in order to win in November.  Nearly 50,000 fewer people voted in the special than in the 2010 general election, a 21% drop off. Nearly 160,000 fewer people voted in the special than in 2012 general election, a 46% drop off. The FL 13 election really puts an exclamation point on the investment the DSCC is making to boost turnout. The Bannock Street project, named after Senator Michael Bennet’s aggressive ground game in 2010, will marshal $60 million, an unprecedented investment for a midterm, in voter contact programs aimed at registering new voters, turnout, and persuasion through the mail, on the phones and at the doors in senate battleground across the country. Learn more.


NEW POLLS THIS WEEK SHOW VOTERS SIDE WITH DEMOCRATS ON KEY 2014 ISSUES. According to the new NBC/WSJ and Bloomberg polls this week, voters overwhelmingly side with Democrats on the most important economic issues. According to Bloomberg, 57% of Americans support raising the minimum wage that Republican Senate candidates staunchly oppose while according to NBC/WSJ,   58% of voters are more likely to support a candidate that supports raising the minimum wage. Across the country, Republican Senate candidates support ending Medicare as we know it and privatizing Social Security. According to the NBC/WSJ poll, 69% of voters are less likely to support a candidate that supports reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits to address the budget deficit.


SCOTT BROWN CARES ABOUT SCOTT BROWN, NOT GRANITE STATERS. Scott Brown cares about Scott Brown and that’s why when he was in the Senate he repeatedly voted to protect the interests and special tax breaks of the big banks that fund his campaigns. If Scott Brown ever returns to the Senate he’d go back to doing their bidding. If this exploratory committee is anything more than another publicity stunt, he'll have a tough time convincing New Hampshire voters that he cares about anyone other than himself.


POLLS CONTINUE TO SHOW SHAHEEN EXPANDING LEAD OVER BROWN. Republican outside groups have outspent Democrats two to one in New Hampshire, but Jeanne Shaheen’s lead over Scott Brown has grown in three straight polls. Her favorability in the state is over 50% while Scott Brown is underwater. The most recent Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll showed Brown trailing Shaheen by 13 and the words most frequently associated with Brown were “carpet bagger/interloper” and “Massachusetts.”


FOX NEWS’S SCOTT BROWN PROBLEM. POLITICO reports that as Scott Brown moves closer to a Senate bid, he’s still getting a paycheck from FOX News. In the past, FOX has suspended contributors contracts if they showed a serious intention to run for office. Media Matters is calling on FOX to immediately suspend Brown’s contract.


“SCOTT BROWN’S PROSPECTS FOR A U.S. SENATE WIN ARE POOR.” Union Leader columnist Kathy Sullivan wrote this week, “[H]ere is the really bad news for Brown: his poll numbers are falling before the Shaheen campaign has brought out its heavy artillery: Scott Brown’s own record. He especially is vulnerable in his support for large energy companies….Brown’s positions on women’s issues also are a problem for him in New Hampshire, a state where the votes of moderate female voters can win — or lose — elections. He co-sponsored the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed employers to decide what medical care a company’s health insurance plan would provide.”




BRALEY MAKES CAMPAIGN ABOUT “IOWA VALUES.” The Carroll Daily Times Herald profiles Bruce Braley’s campaign this week. “Braley himself is thrilled to make this campaign about Iowa values, especially the belief that politics is about building relationships in order to bring people together, regardless of party label. ‘The reason I'm running for the Senate goes back to my hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa… No one asked what party you belonged to when you needed help. ... That's what people expect in Iowa from their elected representatives.’… Despite their political differences, Braley said, he can ‘absolutely’ work with Grassley on policies to benefit Iowans, and noted that the veteran Republican senator ‘was the first person to call me after I was elected’ to the House.” A new Quinnipiac poll this week showed Braley with strong leads over all his potential Republican opponents.


LA TIMES PROFILES MICHELLE NUNN’S “MESSAGE OF PUBLIC SERVICE & VOLUNTEERISM,” GEORGIA’S CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS. The LA Times profiles Michelle Nunn today, “The lanky mother of two has tried to float above the partisan fray with a message of public service and volunteerism, which she hopes will resonate with Democrats who fled the party and even with some Republicans….It won't hurt her with Republicans that she recently ran Points of Light, the nonprofit started by former President George H.W. Bush.” “An influx of African Americans moving from other states has made metropolitan Atlanta's black population the nation's second largest after New York, demographers say….White voters, meanwhile, have shrunk from 75% of the electorate in 2000 to 61% in 2012.” “Five main Republican contenders are pushing one another further right in an effort to appeal to the waning demographic of conservative whites, but none has consistently emerged as a front-runner. The bruising primary is making Republican elders nervous and GOP consultants quietly warn about a Todd Akin-like problem — shorthand for the 2012 Missouri Senate race in which Akin won the Republican nomination only to lose the general election after he suggested that "legitimate rape" rarely results in pregnancy.”


MICHIGAN’S “RAPE INSURANCE” LAW GOES INTO EFFECT WITH TACIT SUPPORT FROM TERRI LYNN LAND. The Huffington Post reports, “Starting Thursday in Michigan, a woman must purchase an additional insurance policy if she wants reimbursement for an abortion, unless her life is at stake. The new law drops coverage of most abortions from existing policies -- even to terminate a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. Women who buy their own individual policies, rather than getting coverage through an employer-based plan, won't be able to purchase the additional coverage, called an abortion rider, from Michigan insurers.” The law went into effect Thursday with tacit support from Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land.


TOM COBURN STUMPS FOR MONICA WEHBY, RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT HER TRUE ABORTION POSITION IN ONE OF THE MOST PRO CHOICE STATES IN THE COUNTRY. The Oregonian reports that Tom Coburn is in Oregon this weekend to raise money for Monica Wehby. Wehby is taking criticism for aligning herself with Coburn who “fiercely opposed to abortion and attracted headlines in his 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate when he said, ‘I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life.’” Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon issued a release Thursday saying that Wehby should "sever ties with Senator Coburn immediately and tell Oregon voters where she stands on women’s health."


TWEET OF THE WEEK. As if Mitch McConnell needed his campaign to make him appear more awkward and odd... The McConnell campaign, who has previously misspelled their own candidate’s name in web ads, inadvertently elicited a whole lot of laughter at McConnell’s expense when they posted a bizarre b-roll reel to YouTube this week. This week’s award goes to Yahoo’s Chris Moody for the Mitch McConnell gif he created mocking McConnell.