Koch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp

Koch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp

A group associated with billionaire conservative donors Charles and David Koch is launching a six-figure ad buy attacking North Dakota Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDems to challenge Kavanaugh for White House records To solve the southern border crisis, look past the border The Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) MORE (D) for voting against the Republican tax overhaul.

The fiscally conservative group Americans For Prosperity (AFP) is putting about $450,000 behind the ad, which will begin running statewide through television and digital outlets beginning Wednesday.

“Heidi Heitkamp went to Washington and she promised to look out for us,” the ad's narrator states.

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“Instead, Heidi took hundreds of thousands from well-connected special interests, then gave special interests hundreds of thousands in handouts. Caribbean Rum distillers, Hollywood filmmakers, racehorse owners — they all cashed in. But when Heidi had the chance to help us with real tax cuts, she turned her back, voted no. Heidi Heitkamp — handouts for special interests, higher taxes for us.”

Heitkamp is one of 10 Senate Democrats seeking reelection this year in states that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump threatens ex-intel official's clearance, citing comments on CNN Protesters topple Confederate monument on UNC campus Man wanted for threatening to shoot Trump spotted in Maryland MORE carried in 2016. Trump took 63 percent of the vote in North Dakota, against only 27 percent for Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton to headline trio of DNC fundraisers: report Allegations of ‘Trump TV’ distract from real issues at Broadcasting Board of Governors Chelsea Clinton: Politics a 'definite maybe' in the future MORE.

The Democratic senator is expected to face Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court nomination reignites abortion fight in states | Trump urges Sessions to sue opioid makers | FDA approves first generic version of EpiPen Vulnerable Dem Sen. Heitkamp hits opponent on ObamaCare repeal votes Overnight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate MORE (R-N.D.) in the general election. There is very little polling of the race, but a February survey from Gravis Marketing found Heitkamp ahead by 3 points, 43 to 40 percent.

AFP recently launched an initiative called American Pay Raise in the 10 states with Democratic senators facing tough reelection bids. It includes a six-figure digital ad buy thanking lawmakers who supported the GOP tax bill that Trump signed into law in December.

No Democrats in the Senate voted in favor of the tax law.

The AFP ad buys are part of a broad offensive by the Koch network to sell the GOP tax law — and to attack the red-state Democrats who voted against it.

The tax bill was enormously unpopular at the time of its passage but recent polls show voters have warmed to the law since it went into effect.

The Koch Network has committed up to $20 million in advertising for the tax law. Since February, AFP has spent nearly $8 million in ads going after Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDems to challenge Kavanaugh for White House records The Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) Schumer to meet with Kavanaugh on Tuesday MORE (Ind.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThis week: Senate tries to avoid landmines on massive spending bill The Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) Schumer to meet with Kavanaugh on Tuesday MORE (Mo.), two Democrats who also are seeking reelection in states won by Trump.

The Koch Network will spend up to $400 million this cycle on politics and policy.

Allied groups have already put $1.6 million behind ads in Wisconsin attacking Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinTrump touts GOP election wins: ‘We have the team we want’ The Hill's Morning Report — GOP seeks to hold Trump’s gains in Midwest states Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries MORE (D-Wis.) for her handling of a prescription drugs scandal at a local Veterans Affairs center.

On the policy front, the network is urging the White House to get behind a Democratic proposal to extend protections to those covered by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and is urging Congress to pass a bill allowing terminally ill patients to use experimental drugs. Prison reform and reducing recidivism rates among former prisoners is another top Koch priority.