From DailyKos Elections:
• WI-Sen: The Koch-backed Concerned Veterans for America recently launched another $1.6 million ad campaign against Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and her allies at VoteVets are up with their own $1 million buy defending her. The spot accuses out of state billionaires of “playing politics with Wisconsin’s veterans,” and says they’ve been airing false attacks. (Wisely, they don’t repeat those attacks.) They then say that Baldwin helped pass bipartisan reforms to strengthen oversight at veterans’ hospitals like Tomah. The GOP has already run several ads arguing that Baldwin ignored problems at Tomah, and while the actual facts say otherwise, expect to hear a whole lot more about it in the year ahead.
Now I’m seeing precisely how the Koch Bros managed to defeat Evan Bayh, Jason Kander and Russ Feingold in 2016 — even though the polls showed them consistently well up on their opponents until the last two months of the race.
Here’s how they do it:
- They invent a PAC with an anodyne name (let’s drop the reference to Orwell for now), a name nobody could disagree with. Who’d object to Concerned Veterans for America?
- They put a lot of bucks into that PAC.
- The PAC pays an agency to shoot an ad about an opponent — always a Democrat — with false claims targeted at her strengths. A smear.
- The PAC buys a lot of TV time to broadcast the smear.
- Which forces the opponent and/or her supporters to put money themselves into a TV ad rejecting the attacks (but, as DailyKos points out, not repeating them, since repeated lies come to be believed. At least by, uh, “low-information voters,” a term that makes me scream.)
- And please notice — especially all you “progressives” who yell loudly about Wall Street money given to the Democratic party — that groups opposing the Koch Bros’s lies always have less money to spend on TV ads.
- Because Citizens United gave the Koch Bros the right to spend unlimited funds on their campaign to destroy American democracy.