Freedom Partners Action Fund, a super PAC formed in June as part of the political/advocacy network of conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, is about to begin airing a television ad framing 2nd District U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster as “not independent” and an ardent follower of President Barack Obama.
The group says the seven-figure ad campaign will begin later today and continue through the month of September. It continues the overall Republican theme of tying New Hampshire Democratic incumbents to the President, whose popularity is at an all-time low in the state. Although the group did not announce the cost of the ad buy, the Sunlight Foundation reported in July that the group had reserved $1.2 million in airtime on WMUR-TV alone.
Kuster, who defeated Republican former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass two years ago to win the 2nd District U.S. House seat, is running for a second term and faces GOP primary winner Marilinda Garcia in the general election.
Her campaign did not respond to a request for comment. But a prominent prominent Democrat, responding to the New Hampshire Journal’s report on the ad, said, “It certainly appears to confirm that Marilinda has completely sold her soul to the out of state billionaire oil Koch Brothers. The people of New Hampshire’s 2nd want a congresswoman who represents them, not out of state billionaires. Since Marilinda lost her own hometown and her sister was defeated yesterday, it seems those who know Marilinda best know she does not represent New Hampshire’s interests.”
Freedom Partners says its ad campaign “will remind voters how Rep. Ann Kuster has been anything but an independent voice in Congress. Her record in Washington indicates that she’s been a solid rubber stamp for the failed policies of President Obama, voting with him 94 percent of the time.”
View the ad below.
In the 30-second ad, a narrator says that while Granite Staters are independent, “Annie Kuster? She follows.”
It contends she “made a million dollars taking orders from special interests. Now, she follows Obama.”
One visual in the ad is of Kuster hugging and planting a kiss on Obama’s cheek after his State of the Union address in January of this year.
The ad also notes her comment earlier this year to New Hampshire Public Radio that she is “one of the strongest supporters of the President in the entire United States Congress.”
FPAF spokesman James Davis said, “Rather than lead, Ann Kuster has chosen to follow President Obama at nearly every turn. She’s voted with him for more spending and debt, and has been a big supporter of Obamacare. New Hampshire voters need a leader, not a follower, who will serve as an independent voice and stand up to President Obama.”
According to a Politico report in June, Freedom Partners Action Fund is the first super PAC founded by the Koch political organization and intends to spend $15 million nationally before the mid-term election.
Earlier this year, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group co-founded by the Koch brothers, aired three ads criticizing Kuster for her support for Obama and for the Affordable Care Act.
That group, as the New Hampshire Journal reported, had at that point spent $1.5 million in advertising against Kuster and more than $3 million overall on ads critical of Kuster, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
At this point, AFP-NH state director Greg Moore said today, AFP has spent about $5.5 million on broadcast and digital advertising on all three federal races combined, including about $3 million on Shaheen, $2.2 million on Kuster and $250,000 on Shea-Porter. That does not include expenditures by the Freedom Partners Action Fund.