Begich fires on Koch brothers in first ad

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) is taking aim at the conservative Koch brothers in his first television ad, accusing them of running a smear campaign against him and blasting the duo for laying off workers at an Alaska oil refinery.

ADVERTISEMENT
Begich's attacks come in response to a series of TV ads running against him from Americans for Prosperity, a group largely funded by the Kochs.

"First it was a D.C. actress pretending to be an Alaskan. Now, ads attacking Mark Begich have been called 'false' and 'not true.' Who's behind the attacks?' the ad's narrator asks, before showing a montage of people criticizing the Kochs.

"The Koch brothers, the billionaire Koch brothers. I do not believe it. They come into our town, fire a refinery, just running it into the ground, leaving a mess. A lot of Alaskans are losing jobs and I'm definitely concerned about the drinking water. I don't go down to tell them what to do, I expect them not to come up to Alaska to tell us what to do," say a half-dozen people.

The ad labels Begich "true Alaskan," a theme his campaign has pushed — both against the Kochs, outsiders in the state and against his likely GOP opponents, both of whom moved to Alaska as adults.

The Kochs have been spending profusely in Alaska and elsewhere attacking Senate Democrats, combining to spend $30 million already on ads nationwide. They recently ran an ad accusing Begich of backing cap and trade global warming legislation that fact-checkers have deemed misleading.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been on the warpath against the Kochs, calling them "un-American" in recent speeches on the Senate floor.

Begich's leadership PAC took $5,000 from Koch industries during last election cycle.

Americans for Prosperity fired back on the ad.

"It's disappointing that Senator Begich's first message to Alaskans is a Washington-style, negative attack ad that does nothing to address any of the real concerns voters have about his record," Alaska AFP spokeswoman Heidi Gay said in a statement sent by AFP's national office.

"Senator Begich already misled Alaskans about ObamaCare; now he keeps changing his answer about supporting a carbon tax. Although he has tried recently to distance himself from past support, even Politifact concluded he would be a 'maybe' on a carbon tax vote. He has given a different answer every time he has been asked about it."

—This post was last updated at 1:30 p.m.