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Holds key chairmanships on two committees, has gained clout faster than any Senator since Lyndon Johnson.
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Outside Money Pours Into Alaska
The Koch Brothers have a $400 million network of organizations that are attempting to buy elections. Organizations including Americans for Prosperity, American Energy Action, Heritage Action, 60 Plus Association, Freedom Partners, the Center for Government Accountability and many more organizations receive funding from the Koch Brothers' "secret bank." The Koch's secret bank has written checks for as much as $63 million to organizations in its network. Investigative reporting has revealed that the Koch Brothers are intimately involved with American for Prosperity's political decisions, despite their claims to the contrary. The Koch Brothers have spent more money on attack ads in Alaska than any other group. Over and over, independent fact checkers like Politifact and FactCheck.org have found the Kochs' ads to be false and misleading.
In Alaska, the Koch Brothers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on television ads, an unknown amount of money on internet ads, and hired staff for the astroturf Alaska Chapter of Americans for Prosperity for the 2014 election cycle. The Koch Brothers are spending $400,000 on a a tax ad against Senator Begich that Politifact deemed "mostly false." Americans for Prosperity coordinated with another Koch-supported organization, Center for Government Accountability, to host an anti-health care town hall in Anchorage that masqueraded as a non-partisan forum. Press reports revealed that anonymously-funded websites discouraging Alaskans from seeking health care appear to be operated by Koch-backed organizations.
The Washington, D.C.-based organization Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the Koch Brothers, is attacking Senator Begich with multiple misleading television ads. Americans for Prosperity spent approximately $100,000 on a misleading ad in which a Maryland actress presents herself as an Alaska voter. Americans for Prosperity spent at least $421,000 on separate television ads in Alaska related to the Affordable Care Act, and at least $13,070 worth of radio ads. In the radio ad, an individual named "Julie" claims that she won't be able to "pick her own doctors." This claim is inaccurate, of course: the Affordable Care Act not only allows individuals to pick their own doctors, but also expands the number of insurance options and therefore doctors consumers can choose. Factcheck.org deemed this advertisement "false."
The Outside group "Judicial Crisis Network" is running attack ads against Senator Begich because he voted to confirm judges and fill judicial vacancies. This group, which claims not to have political motives, also is running ads against other Democrats who are up for reelection in 2014. The cost of the ads is $100,000.
Stop the Parnell lawsuit against Vic Fischer, Bella Hammond, Alaska Native tribes
Alaskans rallied in Anchorage and in Fairbanks, calling on Governor Parnell to stop the lawsuit against Vic Fischer, Bella Hammond, and six Alaska Native tribes from Bristol Bay. As the Anchorage Daily News reported, Parnell is seeking $1 million in legal fees from these Alaska icons.
What Did the Tea Party Shutdown Mean for Alaska?
Shutdown cost Alaska approximately $39 million [Amanda Coyne, 10/29/13]
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