A barrage of ads from the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity attacking two Arizona Democratic representatives were answered Thursday by a PAC dedicated to electing Democrats to the U.S. House.
“The billionaire Koch brothers have been spending freely to promote an agenda that is decidedly anti-family, anti-worker and anti-senior,” Andy Stone, communications director for House Majority PAC, said in a release. “House Majority PAC is standing up to make sure those misleading and deceptive attacks do not go unanswered.”
Stone said the ads defending Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber would run for a week at a cost of about $200,000. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy nonprofit, has already dropped a total of $650,000 against the two Arizona incumbents this year.
Overall, since September 2013, Americans for Prosperity has spent an estimated $20 million on television ads targeting House and Senate Democrats for their support of the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, The New York Times noted that the response from Democratic-affiliated PACs and other outside groups has been limited so far.
The ad supporting Kirkpatrick, titled “Listens,” will run in Phoenix. Interestingly enough, it mentions the Affordable Care Act but with a slightly critical tone.
"It’s here, in small towns and wide-open places, that Ann Kirkpatrick listens and learns. It's why she blew the whistle on the disastrous health care website, calling it 'stunning ineptitude,' and worked to fix it," the narrator says. "She fought to hold insurance companies accountable, so they can't deny coverage for pre-existing conditions or drop coverage when you get sick."
Kirkpatrick is shown walking with constituents wearing cowboy hats and sitting on a haystack in a horse barn with a small child.
Three Republicans are vying to challenge her, including Arizona state House Speaker Andy Tobin.
The commercial for Barber is called “Billionaires” and will run in Tucson. It takes on the Koch brothers directly and targets retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, a Republican looking to unseat Barber.
"Seen these ads? They're paid for by out-of-state billionaires who are pushing a reckless agenda that eliminates the minimum wage and privatizes Social Security. That's why they're supporting Martha McSally," the narrator says.
The ads ends with the narrator saying, “Martha McSally: She’s really not for you."
Levi Russell, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, responded to the Democratic ads in a statement: “It would be refreshing to see Representatives Kirkpatrick and Barber be honest and upfront about the impact of [the Affordable Care Act], rather than attack and demonize those who are speaking out.”