This post has been updated.
It’s not too surprising that Americans for Prosperity, a group founded with support from the billionaire Koch brothers, has cut a TV ad against U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine.
After all, the power conservative group has ties to Kaine’s opponent, Republican George Allen.
The Koch brothers as well as their political action committees and employees have given more than $120,000 to Allen over his career, including $25,000 in this campaign, according to campaign finance records.
There are other connections as well: They co-hosted a fundraiser for him and, when Allen was a senator, the Koch brothers PAC paid for Allen and a staffer to fly to Palm Springs to address an event.
Americans for Prosperity advocates lower taxes and smaller government and has long involved itself in tax issues in Virginia and across the nation. The organization, which has its national headquarters in Arlington County and a state chapter in Richmond, played a significant role in the Republican takeover of the U.S. House in 2010 and has aired anti-Obama TV ads costing $7 million during this election cycle.
“Virginia taxpayers are calling Tim Kaine out: your tax and spending policies were bad for Virginia, and they are bad for America,” said Audrey Jackson, the group’s state director. “It’s time Kaine learned that you can’t spend your way to prosperity or tax your way to economic freedom.”
The group is embarking on a tour across the state Tuesday to tell Virginians that Tim Kaine hurt families by “saddling the state with debt and proposing higher taxes.” The ad will air statewide for two weeks starts Friday.
“It's not surprising that special interest groups run by Washington lobbyists are rushing to bail out George Allen’s reelection effort with false attacks,’’ said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine. “In Washington, George Allen reliably did the bidding of a few wealthy special interests, while Virginia families and businesses paid the price. As he runs for reelection, Allen pledges to solve our fiscal challenges by asking seniors, students, businesses, and families to pay more out of their own pockets so that he can keep his promise to Washington lobbyists like Grover Norquist and his allies in the oil industry, like the Koch brothers, who are funding this ad.’’
“It’s clear that Tim Kaine, who supported every major failed policy coming out of Washington, would rather employ Washington-style tactics he learned as the National Democrat Party Chairman than talk about his failed economic record,”' Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis said. “Labor Unions, radical environmental groups and liberal allies like Senator Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are pouring millions of dollars into Virginia because they know Tim Kaine will be a senator for their big-government agenda, not Virginia.”