Outside groups pound Landrieu with new ads

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu Show caption
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu

Republican-aligned groups continued Wednesday pounding Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in a new round of television and web-based commercials, for her support of Obamacare.

Americans for Prosperity started a new television advertisement that claims Louisiana residents have been hurt by the federal healthcare revamp. The commercials cost $750,000 to air statewide for three weeks.

“That brings our total on Obamacare accountability ads to $2.6 million since October,” said Phillip Joffrion, AFP-Louisiana state director.

Americans for Prosperity has spent more than $27 million, so far, across the country to defeat Democratic incumbents, Joffrion said.

“We are targeting those who continue to support Obamacare,” he said. “Our main point is to try to hold Sen. Landrieu accountable for her continued support of Obamacare.”

Americans for Prosperity is an advocacy group based in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. The group is running commercials criticizing Democrats seeking re-election, particularly in states that supported Republican Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama in the last presidential election.

AFP was founded with the financial backing of the billionaire Koch brothers. Charles and David Koch, whose family owns Koch Industries Inc. in Wichita, Kan., have emerged as political players in recent elections, spending millions of dollars in support of conservative causes and candidates around the country. AFP sponsored a debate in the Republican presidential primary and spent millions challenging Obama.

The Landrieu re-election campaign attacked the ad as “blatantly misleading” and said its sponsors — “the out-of-state billionaire Koch Brothers” — were trying to kill bipartisan legislation that would protect many Louisiana property owners from major flood insurance premium increases.

The Republican National Committee also joined in the Affordable Care Act attack Wednesday with a web-based commercial series critical of Landrieu and six other U.S. senators for supporting a law that “is resulting in fewer workers and smaller paychecks.” The committee relies on a Congressional Budget Office report.

The latest ad features people opening their mailboxes and finding out their insurers are changing their plans, increasing their premiums and deductibles and losing access to their doctors. It urges people to call Landrieu and tell her “how much this law is hurting Louisiana families.”

The Louisiana commercial uses the same actress seen in ads attacking Democrat congressmen in Arkansas, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Florida and Arizona.

The New York Times has reported that AFP has hired a Maryland actress in another of its commercials.

“Hiring professional actors to impersonate Louisiana families is low even for the billionaire Koch brothers,” Friends of Mary Landrieu Campaign Manager Adam Sullivan said in a prepared statement.

Joffrion countered: “There’s no effort on the ad to say these were real people.”

Landrieu’s campaign issued a news release and a point-by-point response to the AFP ad.

“The Koch brothers want to take us back to the days when you’d open up your mailbox and learn you’d been denied coverage because you had a pre-existing condition like asthma, cancer or diabetes. They would bring back lifetime caps on coverage, kick young people off their parents’ insurance and tell women they ought to be charged more for the same coverage as men,” Landrieu’s campaign responded.

“...Senator Landrieu has always said the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect and supported numerous legislative measures to fix or improve it.”

Sullivan urged Louisiana residents “who are weary of fear mongering to call David and Charles Koch....:”