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Democrats have made denouncing the Koch brothers and their money a fetish. Back in 2010, for instance, Barack Obama called them out by name when he chided campaign finance laws: “They don’t have to say who, exactly, Americans for Prosperity are.” It’s true that entities started and mostly funded by the Koch brothers are using just a small part of the pair’s astounding $80 billion fortune to finance a fusillade of TV and Internet ads aimed at “big government.”
Their network of think tanks, foundations and the like is all the more formidable since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowing more money into elections. (Is it a shock that the eponymous conservative group, Citizens United, co-hosted New Hampshire’s Freedom Summit?)
But in recent weeks, with the midterm elections little more than six months away, Democrats have gone from grumbling about the Kochs to gunning for them. Their worry is that Koch-funded entities, like the AFP, have begun to spend eye-popping sums. In North Carolina, for instance, where freshman senator Kay Hagan is fighting to retain her seat, the AFP has already spent over $6 million in ads against her.
With the Democrats possibly losing control of the Senate, Harry Reid, their leader in that chamber, has gone after the Kochs with what seems like unprecedented language against private citizens. The Nevadan has called the Kochs “un-American” for “trying to buy America” and mentioned them over 100 times on the Senate floor.
Reid has said that his wife came up with a tagline: that the Senate Republicans are “addicted to Koch.” (That’s some pillow talk.) Using the Senate floor to denounce the Kochs “is a desperation move of somebody who’s about to potentially lose their job,” says Steve Lombardo, the new chief communications and marketing officer at Koch Industries, recently recruited from PR giant Burson-Marsteller.
Michelle Goldberg writes that the influence women exercised on this year’s results goes beyond electing female representation.
Also, there’s this. David Frum’s GOP memo (he a former Bush speechwriter and now blogger) to the GOP will be up on the site tomorrow.
"Mitt Romney is playing an old Republican game: if you don’t like the reality that exists, try to create a new one", writes special correspondent Michael Tomasky in this week’s issue - can the president close the deal on November 6th? PLUS, Simon Schama on 50 iconic years of Bond and on tablet watch a very rare interview with Korean pop sensation Psy on the inspiration behind his "Gangnam Style" http://bit.ly/TjJF2y
Pack it in, TV producers. MSNBC just won the ‘Best Graphic of the GOP Campaign’ award for “Keystone Plight.”
Conservative trust in science just keeps going down, and down, and down, and down.
Herman Cain, he the one-time frontrunner of the GOP primary campaign, tells us about the role he thinks sexual behavior ought to play in evaluating candidates for public office.
ICYMI: Here’s Mitt Romney victory speech from New Hampshire (Ron Paul came in second). Check out Election Beast for our full coverage.
It’s been a tough few days for the GOP front-runner, who fumbled a debate and this morning is on record with a killer quote, saying, “I like being able to fire people who provide services.” Now, sounds like the polls are catching up. Could Mitt Romney really lose New Hampshire? Like Nate Silver tweets: It’s not likely…but the unthinkable is actually in consideration.
If you’re into politics, we’re live-chatting over here while watching the GOP debate on CNN. Howard Kurtz & Michelle Goldberg are hosts. Your nwk tumblr is moderating comments.