A group backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch said Thursday it will spend $4.5 million on ads to urge three Senate Democrats who face challenging 2018 re-election bids to back Republican efforts to dramatically reshape the federal tax system.
Americans for Prosperity, a Koch network group that focuses on grassroots organization, plans to run ads in Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri, targeting senators Tammy Baldwin, Joe Donnelly and Claire McCaskill. The spots will air on cable and local networks over the next three weeks.
“These are senators who have consistently made comments publicly that they are in support of tax reform,” AFP President Tim Phillips told reporters on a conference call. “We want to help hold them accountable.”
The Koch network has said it plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on policy and political campaigns in 2017 and 2018 — up from the roughly $250 million invested in the 2016 campaign season — but Phillips said his group isn’t “issuing threats or drawing red lines” in terms of withholding support for Republicans if a tax bill isn’t passed this year.
“After the failure on health care, which was an epic failure, if they follow that up with a dramatic flame-out or failure on tax reform, it would dramatically and adversely affect Republican chances in 2018,” he said. “The stakes are high for them, there’s no question about that.”