Koch brothers group launches ads thanking vulnerable Dem senator

Koch brothers group launches ads thanking vulnerable Dem senator
© Greg Nash

A group linked to the conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch is preparing a digital advertising campaign in support of a centrist Democratic senator who backed a key piece of legislation their foundation supports.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is readying the ad blitz thanking North Dakota Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE, who was one of several Senate Democrats to support the recent passage of a bill rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations, mostly on community banks, CNBC reported on Friday.

Heitkamp is up for reelection this year, and was one of five Senate Democrats who trailed their GOP challengers in a SurveyMonkey poll in March.

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The move from the Koch network comes just months after it attacked Heitkamp with a $450,000 ad buy for opposing the GOP's tax-reform bill, which was signed into law in December.

"AFP is committed to working with lawmakers — regardless of party — to advance common sense reforms that help people improve their lives. At the same time, we will continue to hold members who voted against this crucial reform accountable," spokesman Tim Phillips told CNBC.

"While we don't agree with Sen. Heitkamp on everything, particularly her vote against tax relief, we commend her for taking a stand against the leaders of her party to do the right thing. We hope to find common ground and work with Sen. Heitkamp on other issues moving forward including making tax relief permanent," he added.

Heitkamp was the only Democratic senator to be invited to the White House for the signing of the bill rolling back the banking regulations, while Trump praised "a lot of great Democrats" — including Heitkamp and Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterHow the border deal came together GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Border talks stall as another shutdown looms MORE (Mont.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSchiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Steel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs MORE (Va.) — for introducing the bill along with Republicans last year.

“We’ve kept a lot of promises,” Trump said last week at the bill's signing. “This is truly a great day for Americans, and a great day for workers and small businesses across the nation.”