The Inside Story of the AFP Ads That Are Driving Democrats Crazy

by Eliana Johnson

Over on the homepage, I write about the origins of the ads, bankrolled by Americans for Prosperity, that have sent Democrats into a tizzy in advance of the midterm elections. Up in several swing states, they target incumbent Democratic senators for their support of Obamacare. The ads themselves are part of a larger effort on the part of the Koch-supported network of social-welfare groups that began in 2009: 

The ads themselves, which have inflamed Democrats this election season, represent five years of knowledge, accumulated through polls and focus groups, about how to use the health-care issue to pull Americans into the GOP camp. With AFP having spent over $30 million so far this year to bring down sitting Democratic senators, the ads also symbolize the changing nature of American politics. Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, unlimited outside spending by 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups has finally allowed Republicans to match the political muscle of labor unions, whose spending was also blown open by the decision, but which have long poured money into Democratic coffers.

AFP president Tim Phillips told me he thinks of 2014 as “as year five of what very well could be a decade-long or more effort to defeat government-run health care.” More here

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