Conservative Group Targets Liberal Billionaire Donor

The attacks mirror the Democrats’ strategy of taking on the Koch brothers.

Mark Udall during a Q&A session on April 20, 2010.
National Journal
Alex Roarty
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Alex Roarty
April 23, 2014, 8:11 a.m.

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. 

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