Koch Network Goes After Democrats for Criticizing/Accepting Big Outside Spending

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 31 2014 3:43 PM

Koch Network Goes After Democrats for Criticizing/Accepting Big Outside Spending

If you watch TV, or TV online, or online video of any kind—look, if you're a sentient human living in America right now, you see lots of GEICO ads. The insurance company's ad strategy basically consists of omnipresence, of telling any joke that might work for any audience. It's what I thought of immediately after seeing a pair of ads from American Encore and American Committment.

What are these groups? American Encore is the new iteration of the Center to Protect Patient Rights, which, as a lengthy ProPublica investigation explained, was a conduit for political spending from the Koch network. Now, as was the case under the old name, the group is run by Sean Noble. His group distributed $182 million in the 2010 and 2012 cycles, but doesn't have to disclose the source of its donors. We only know from disclosures from previous campaigns, and from finance investigations in California, that the Koch network seeded the money for this ad and others now running against Democrats who've been criticizing undisclosed spending.


In that ad, we're told that Democrats are wrong, wrong, wrong to attack campaign spending by wealthy philanthropists. But hours after this went up, another ad—with the same narrator, and some similar video clips—emerged from American Commitment. Founded in 2012 by Phil Kerpen, who'd been a vice president at David Koch's Americans for Prosperity, American Commitment initially got seed money from the Center to Protect Patient Rights. It's using $50,000 to put this ad on the air in D.C. and some swing states.

Where once a comforting female voice told us to stand up for free-speech rights, now the same voice is telling us of the threat posed by two wealthy brothers who happen to be named something besides "Koch." Give them this: There's clearly no illegal coordination happening.



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

Why Men Can Never Remember Anything

The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Can Never Remember Anything
  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PM Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
Sept. 19 2014 3:24 PM Why Innovators Hate MBAs
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.