Tag Archives: koch brothers alaska

New group forms to counter Koch brothers

American Bridge 21st Century– the group that has hired that guy to come up and follow GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan around with a camera – announced a new national digital/research/rapid-response project aimed at the Koch brothers and those who the brothers are supporting.

Here’s the YouTube ad that went out with the announcement of the group’s formation:

According to a memo leaked to Politico, the Koch brothers funded political arm, Americans for Prosperity, intends to spend $125 million on the upcoming midterm elections. Americans for Prosperity has already spent $2.5 million attacking U.S. Sen. Mark Begich. It gets confusing, however, because Begich himself is the only Senate candidate, including among the three Republican challengers, to whom the Koch brothers have donated. In 2010, they gave his leadership PAC $5,000.

David Brock, the founder of American Bridge, called the group’s new effort a “research-and-communications, first-of-its-kind war room that’s targeting the Koch brothers and also the GOP candidates who are benefiting from their … spending.”

In related Koch brothers news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday called for amending the U.S. Constitution to bar big money donors, like the Koch brothers, from unlimited donations to super-PACs.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com

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Pro-Begich super-PAC ad ties Koch brothers to GOP challenger Sullivan

Put Alaska First, a super-PAC which supports U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, released another TV ad over the weekend focused on the Koch brothers and GOP challenger Dan Sullivan. This one is narrated by Alaska resident Todd Hoener, who lives in Ester, a small community outside of Fairbanks. The ad talks about how the Koch brothers, who own Flint Hills Refinery in Fairbanks, are shutting the refinery down and costing about 80 jobs. It claims that the Koch brothers are supporting Sullivan.

The claim is a stretch. Although the Kochs do support a group that has been attacking Begich on healthcare and a carbon tax, Continue reading

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Another Koch brothers’ ad making false claim about Begich’s support of carbon tax

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has said repeatedly that he doesn’t support a carbon tax. Reputable fact-checking groups have said that those who continue to claim otherwise are wrong. Yet the Koch brothers and their various political arms continue to insist that he does. Below is the most recent ad making that claim, among other claims. This one is funded by the American Energy Alliance, a political action group funded by the Koch brothers. Along with ads targeting Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall from West Virginia, the total spend on the two campaigns is reported to be $630,000.

The other ads about Begich’s supposed carbon-tax support were funded by Americans for Prosperity, another Koch-funded group. The brothers’ insistence that Begich support something he doesn’t support is beginning to borderline on odd. It would be like insisting that he was born in Denmark, say, or maybe Kenya. Perhaps they’re counting on the fact that some people will believe anything if they hear it often enough.

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GOP Senate candidate Treadwell responds to GOP ‘addicted to Koch’ campaign

UPDATED: As promised, below is a comment from GOP Senate candidate Mead Treadwell’s campaign on the new Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee campaign, “GOP addicted to Koch.” The campaign is drawing attention to the fact that the Koch brothers recently closed an Alaska refinery because of costs while spending $600,000 so far on ads attacking Sen. Mark Begich. The refinery was a mainstay in Interior Alaska’s economy, and took with it at least 80 jobs.

The DSCC is pressing the Senate GOP challengers for a response. Dan Sullivan’s campaign has declined comment. No word yet from Joe Miller. Treadwell’s campaign pointed out that Begich seemed cavalier about the closure when it was announced. Further, Begich’s Great Land PAC took $5000 from the Koch brothers in 2010.  Here’s what his spokesperson had to say:

“Yet again Mark Begich is showing Alaskans they cannot trust what he says. In 2010, his Great Land PAC took a $5,000 donation from Koch Industries. Not only does Begich take Koch money, Begich simply dismissed the news of the Flint Hills Refinery closing as ‘ the private sector making a decision.’ From Obamacare to hypocritical attacks to failed campaign promises, it is clear that Alaskans cannot trust Mark Begich.” Fred Brown, campaign spokesman.

Ouch.
Continue reading

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National Democratic campaign starring Alaska: ‘Republicans addicted to Koch’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn’t known for his quick quips. But a line that he used on the Senate floor as he was railing against Senate Republicans will provide the theme around a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee campaign, a campaign in which Alaska plays a starring roll.

The line: “The GOP is addicted to Koch,” is sure to be something Alaskans will hear over and over again as the DSCC uses Internet ads and videos, as well as social media to tie Republicans to politically active billionaire brothers.

The DSCC says that so far, the Koch brothers have spent $30 million in trying to influence the upcoming races, and more than $600,000 attacking Alaska U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

The brothers also recently shut down a refinery in North Pole Alaska that it owned and laid off 80 workers because the refinery was too expensive to run, Koch Industries announced last month.

The Koch brothers bought Flint Hills from Williams in 2004 for $290 million. According to an SEC filing, it said that it planned to spend $100 million on it to offer “cleaner-burning fuels to Alaska communities and consumers.” Because it’s a private company, it hasn’t had to report how much of that it ended up spending.

What is known is that since its purchase, a plume of the industrial chemical sulfolane has spread and continues to do so. It’s now 3 miles long and 2.5 miles wide and has left 300 households and businesses with tainted water and depleted property values. In addition to the layoffs, the closure effects other entities. The Alaska Railroad also relied heavily on the refinery and is now considering layoffs.

Flint Hills knew that sulfolane pollution existed in the groundwater beneath site of the refinery, and as early as 2004, the state warned the company about the spread. It repeatedly ignored the warnings.

The DSCC is planning on using all of this information in its national campaign.

Closer to home, it’s pushing the GOP candidates — Joe Miller, Mead Treadwell, and Dan Sullivan – to address the issue.

“Dan Sullivan and Mead Treadwell’s refusal to criticize the Koch Brothers’ actions prove that they could care less about the Alaskans the Kochs fired or the families they hurt, and the fact that Sullivan and Treadwell’s silence comes while willfully accepting the Koch’s limitless campaign cash is a slap in the face to all Alaskans,” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the DSCC.

I’ve got an email out to the campaigns asking for a response. I’ll post as I get them.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com

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North Pole refining Koch brothers likely to be involved in upcoming Alaska Senate race

The New York Times reports that the thumping conservatives — particularly tea party conservatives — have taken in the past few years isn’t scaring off the mega donating Koch brothers. The pair, along with their long list of advocacy groups, foundations and tangled knots of libertarian whatnots plan to be out in full force come the next election cycle.

According to the NYTs:

“(T)he brothers want their network to play a bigger role in cultivating and promoting Republican candidates who hew to their vision of conservatism, emphasizing smaller government and deregulation more than immigration and social issues. They are also seeking closer control over groups within their network, purging or downgrading those that did not deliver last year and expanding financing for those that performed well.”

The NYTs said that the pair hasn’t decided whether or not it will be involved in primaries. But it’s hard to see them resisting, considering that the primaries are where the battles for the Republican soul are fought, battles that are the raison d’être for the brothers.

What does this mean for Alaska? For one, the upcoming race against U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is expected to be one of the hottest in the country. And the Republican primary will be especially smoking. Rabid conservative Joe Miller and newly invented conservative stalwart Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell have both said that they’re all but in. And then there’s DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan, who is looking increasingly like the dark horse candidate.

All of this is perfect Koch brother fodder, and all of this will happen on the heels of a contract for royalty oil that the state approved with Koch brother owned Flint Hill Resources, which has a refinery in North Pole, Alaska.

Under the terms of the contract, the state will deliver a maximum of 30,000 barrels a day of its royalty oil to Flint HIlls for five years, beginning next year. The contract is worth an estimated $3.5 billion to $5.9 in revenue for the state and billions for the Koch brothers.

In addition to being one of the state’s largest refineries, Flint Hills is one of the Alaska Railroad Corporation’s largest customers. They also own a tank farm in the Port of Anchorage area by Ship Creek. And they hope to own a majority of the U.S. Senate, including a new Republican senator from Alaska.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com

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