A conservative outside group is taking a page from the Democratic Party's Koch brothers playbook, running a new online ad in Colorado accusing Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of kowtowing to wealthy liberal donor Tom Steyer at the expense of his constituents.
The group, American Commitment, accuses Udall of being bought off by the environmentalist Steyer, who has pledged to spend $100 million supporting Democratic candidates this fall. The ad says that the incumbent Democrat won't support building the Keystone XL pipeline because of his relationship with the wealthy liberal.
"Call Mark Udall and tell him to put Colorado ahead of his billionaire backer and support the Keystone pipeline," a narrator says.
The online ad buy is worth $40,000, according to a spokesman for American Commitment, and is part of a larger campaign from the group to link Democratic candidates with Steyer. In March it released a similar online ad featuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
In effect, American Commitment is trying to say that in politics, turnabout is fair play. Democrats have focused much of their messaging this year on Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists whose political group, Americans for Prosperity, has invested in tens of millions of dollars mostly bashing Democratic Senate candidates.
The strategy has elicited howls of protest from Republicans, who call it an unfair attack on two private citizens.
American Commitment has previously declined to say whether it receives any money from the Koch brothers.