Pretty Sneaky: Anti-ObamaCare Ads Are Actually Anti-Climate Change Ads

Do you wonder why the Koch Brothers are spending tens of millions of dollars to upend the Affordable Care Act? Why would these oil and chemical barrons care so much about health care as an issue?

It all comes back to the same thing, says Center for American Progress. Incredibly, it’s really about preventing action on climate change, which directly affects their bottom lines.

Through groups like Americans for Prosperity, their real goal is to crush Americans’ belief that government can work for them and one of the prime ways to do that right now is to defeat "ObamaCare." If they can convince Americans of how incompetent government is, they surely won’t allow "big government" to spend billions to address climate change.
That’s what Tim Phillips, CEO of Americans for Prosperity, told the NY Times.

In just the first three months of this year, Americans for Prosperity has spent about $30 million on attack ads against Democrats that voted for the health care law. 

In Michigan, Democrat Rep. Gary Peters faces a tough race in his bid for the open Senate seat largely because he stands up to the Koch Brothers. He accused them of turning Detroit into
their personal trash can, leaving huge toxic piles of petroleum coke near the Detroit River – a byproduct of tar sands production.

Since the Koch Brothers are the largest owners of tar sand operations, Americans for Prosperity launched a $1 million,  three-week ad blitz gainst Peters, but instead of focusing on petroleum coke, they are smearing him for his support of the health care law. 

Koch tar sands acreage

The TV ad has been widely debunked as outright lies and misinformation. As you may have heard, it shows a woman who is depressed about how Obamacare has made it too expensive to get the medicines she needs for her leukemia. Journalists fact-checking revealed that she would spend $1200 less a year under the health care law, but that didn’t matter, they kept showing the ad anyway.

Behind the scenes, Americans for Prosperity is working to repeal Renewable Portfolio Standards in the states. In Kansas, where utilities must get 20% of energy from renewables by 2020, they have started a media blitz, running misleading TV and radio ads that say it’s leading to electricity rate hikes. We’ll write more about this in a follow-up article.

Environmental Groups Launch Campaign

The Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, Sustainable Business Council Action Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council and National Wildlife Federation are launching a $5 million campaign in an attempt to support key Democrat Senate candidates who are under attack by Americans for Prosperity:  Senator Kay Hagan in North Carolina; Rep. Gary Peters in Michigan and Rep. Bruce Braley in Iowa.

Half is being spent on digital ads and the other half on grassroots outreach in 11 states, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado and Montana.  

"While we may be drastically outspent by conservatives," their communications consultant David Di Martino told the Wall Street Journal, "This is just the tip of the spear of what our groups are willing to do for clean energy leaders."

They also plan to support Senator Collins of Maine in her re-election campaign, a rare, centrist Republican, because she supports the wind industry. "There will likely be several votes on clean energy issues this year, and we want Senator Collins to know we will have her back," Di Martino told the Wall St. Journal.

This year, they will be greatly assisted by environmentalist Tom Steyer, who is supporting candidates that are against the Keystone pipeline.  

While Democrats are raising more money than Republicans for Senate races at a record pace, according to Huffington Post, they could still lose the Senate in 2014 if their voting base doesn’t turn out. That’s because of two people – the Koch Brothers.  So far, they have outspent all Democratic efforts combined.


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