The main political arm of Wichita billionaires Charles and David Koch will spend nearly $2 million on ads attacking U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill for her vote against President Donald Trump’s tax cuts.
Americans for Prosperity, the flagship of Koch family’s political network, announced Tuesday that it was launching a $1.8 million television and online ad campaign targeting McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who faces a tough re-election bid in a state Trump won by double digits.
“Families are saving more for what matters. Missouri pride is back,” the ad’s narrator says over images of families camping and throwing cookouts in the summer.
The ad then launches into a series of black and white photographs of McCaskill and chastises her for “voting against tax cuts for you, standing with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi instead of us.”
“The experiment in Kansas has been termed a disaster just about everywhere, including Kansas,” McCaskill said during a visit to Independence in October. “I think Kansas should be a cautionary tale for the folks in Washington who are pushing this plan.”
Kansas lawmakers repealed former Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts last year after less than five years. Americans for Prosperity had been one of the main organizations advocating to keep the tax cuts at the state level.
The ads, which will run throughout Missouri from mid-February into March, are part of a $20 million campaign to promote the tax cuts passed by congressional Republicans last year.
AFP’s Missouri director Jeremy Cady said in an email that it is “important Missourians understand how tax reform is boosting our economy and how Sen. McCaskill voted against Missourians keeping more of their hard-earned paycheck.”
The ad does not tell voters who to support in the upcoming election, but it’s the most significant investment by an independent political group to date in a race that could prove to be the most expensive in the country.
And it comes at a time when some Republicans have expressed concern about Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s fundraising numbers. Hawley’s campaign has also focused on McCaskill’s vote against the tax bill.
McCaskill’s campaign noted in a news release that the Koch brothers stand to benefit from the new tax law, which several analyses say will disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Americans.
“Claire's record of working across the aisle to get results for Missourians speaks for itself -- and no amount of money from the Koch Brothers is going to change Claire's commitment to putting the people of Missouri before dark money billionaires and special interests like them,” said Meira Bernstein, McCaskill’s campaign spokeswoman.