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No senator has been quite as friendly to the energy extraction sector than Mary Landrieu, understandable as she represents a state where drilling is second only to drinking as a lifestyle choice and revenue source.

Her re-election campaign touts that record in a new ad, showing clips of press appearances in which she excoriates the Obama administration for the post-BP-blowout offshore drilling embargo. Also included in the ad is her statement at an Energy Committee hearing demanding a fair division of royalties from drilling for the state.

Since federal law prohibits use of video taken in committee hearings or floor debates in political advertising, her campaign decided to re-enact the choice moment from the hearing.

Now a group calling itself "Keep Louisiana Working"  is running an ad mocking her for obeying the law and not using the actual committee hearing footage.

My first thought when I saw the KLW ad was that Landrieu's spot must have been effective for them to counter it so quickly. My second thought was, "There's something familiar about this attack."

The ad denounces her campaign's use of paid actors in the committee meeting mockup. The ad itself is entitled "Actress Mary" and repeats the word several times. "Mary's an actress, too." "On TV, actress Mary pretends to be Louisiana's voice."


Hmm... Seems like I remember something about actors and political ads 'round here lately. Oh, that's right...

Koch Brothers Hire Paid Actors To Star In Attack Ad Claiming Obamacare Hurts Louisiana Residents

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), who is up against three Republican challengers for her seat in Louisiana, is facing renewed attacks this week over her support for the Affordable Care Act. The Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity is out with a new ad featuring several people — who appear to be Louisiana residents — receiving notices in the mail that their insurance plans have been cancelled thanks to Obamacare. “Send Senator Landrieu a message: Obamacare is hurting Louisiana families,” the ad concludes.
But the people featured in the hard-hitting ad aren’t actually Louisiana residents at all. In reality, they’re paid actors hired by the right-wing group.

The story of the fake Louisianians got a lot of national play. Hell, I even used it myself:



Eventually, Americans for Prosperity (Kochs) decided that their ploy had backfired and they pulled the "actor" ads and put up new ones using Republican Party activists instead.

Seeing an ad suddenly appear deriding Landrieu's use of paid actors in a spot, repeating the word "actress" and attempting to turn the negative connotations around on her, makes me suspect that the people behind "Keep Louisiana Working" may be a little familiar.

The Kochs are notoriously touchy when called out on their astroturfing. A tornado siren would be hard pressed to whine louder than did Sir Charles K in his Wall Street Journal "Kos Brothers" snifflefest. And the "I'm rubber, you're glue" project-and-deflect has become stock in trade for 'Pubs behaving badly.


But, in the end, it's impossible to prove my hypothesis. As the Times-Picayune reported Thursday:

Keep Louisiana Working has its own disclosure issues. It won't say who provides the group's funding. And in its own ad, it doesn't disclose that the director of the group, Emily Cornell, is a former RNC regional political director.
Personally, I don't care who the "group's" director is. I'm much more interested in where they got the $180K to run that ad on state TV this week.

As a connoisseur of political ads, I pride myself on my ability to recognize varietals and vintages, and this one smells a lot like Koch.




An inquiring PS: In a (fruitless) attempt to learn more about "Keep Louisiana Working," I looked over their rather scant web site and saw, featured on the front page, a video of the anti-ACA testimony from local businessman Larry Katz, who owns the Dot's Diner chain.

I'm quite curious to learn more of Mr. Katz's relationship with the group. Do they simply admire his brave stand against Obamacare or does he serve some role in the group's table of organization?

Again, until and unless KLW is a bit more forthcoming in its disclosure, it's impossible to know. But it's a question worth asking as, so far as I can tell, Mr. Katz is still a member of the Board of Directors of the state-run lottery, which may (or may not) be something of a conflict of interest if he is actively involved in partisan politics.

To be extremely clear here, I don't know whether or not Mr. Katz is actively involved with KLW or is simply a small business hero of theirs. I don't know if his role on the Lottery Board of Directors would even preclude such a role in a political advocacy group.

However, due to his position on a state-run corporation, I believe the questions are valid. In asking them, I mean no disrespect to Mr. Katz. In the interest of full disclosure, I like his diners.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "Koch bros. on pace to spend over $10 Million... (14+ / 0-)

    ...Against Mary Landrieu To Enact Their Anti-Louisiana Agenda"

    This Sunlight Foundation report noted that the Koch brothers were set to spend lots of $$$$'s to attack MI Democrat Gary Peters who is running for Senator Carl Levin's Senate seat.  The attack ads have been running continually, featuring a Grand Rapids woman complaining about Obamacare.

    ...A new set of ad disclosures shows that Freedom Partners, a Koch brothers affiliate, is about to go on the air against a Democrat running for an open Senate seat in Michigan...

    The organization paid $26,700 for the air time at that (Grand Rapids) station, where their ads will appear during the nightly news, the Price is Right and NCIS....

    Freedom Partners had begun airing ads in the Senate battlegrounds of Colorado and Iowa...

    ...two earlier buys targeting Democratic senate candidates in Colorado and Denver. Those purchases cost the dark money group $1.1 million--but that price apparently doesn't include the Michigan buy...

    The "Christian" Kochs show their real beliefs by spending so much money desperately trying to prevent people from getting health care, food, a clean environment, etc.  
    •  Yeah but, the Supreme Court says money doesn't (5+ / 0-)

      corrupt the political process so it's all legal and shit.

      Doesn't corrupt or threaten plutocratic rule that is.

      The Koch elites know what's best for Louisiana and the supreme Supremes think we should leave it at that.


      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

      by Pescadero Bill on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:40:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  kurious - the Koch's aren't religious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      that's not their thing. They are not at all part of the religious right. In fact a few of the brothers have stated in public that they support same sex marriage, and other liberal social views.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:49:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mary Landrieu is sufficiently well-known that (8+ / 0-)

    ads for or against her are not going to change people's mind, I think.  The vast majority of people here know she is running for re-election, know she's a Democrat who voted for the ACA, know she has been pro-oil and gas industry.  

    Even in this red state, a lot of people generally like Mary.  

    I think that for a lot of conservative voters here, it's a matter of whether the fact that she is a Democrat will be enough for them to vote against her.  If she were an independent, I think she'd win easily.  I think that the fact that Washington has become so very very partisan, and the fact that she has become central to whether Democrats or Republicans will control the Senate, will hurt her.  Some conservatives here, although they like her and were willing to vote for her in the past, are simply going to vote against her this time because they do not want Democrats to control the Senate.  

    The worst case scenario for her is if there's a runoff after the November election, and it becomes clear that she is pivotal to control of the Senate.  If that happens, you can expect adds that simply say, a vote for Mary Landrieu is a vote for Harry Reid.  My guess is that she'd lose that one -- in this very very red state, that kind of thing would (for many people) trump the fact that they like her and she's been a good Senator for Louisiana.  On the other hand, if there's a runoff and that runoff will not decide control of the Senate, I think she wins.  

    Mary's best case scenario is that control of the Senate is decided one way or the other BEFORE her runoff election.  That way the election is about her, not about Democrats v. Republicans.  If the election is about her, she can win.  If the election is about Democratic v. Republican control of the Senate, I think she may lose.  

    •  This year, as with all her runs, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, cotterperson, Gary Norton

      her chances are tied to her ability to GOTV in NO, BR and Shreveport.

      Don't know, but guess it will be harder in a runoff.

      I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

      by Crashing Vor on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:36:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do think it matters greatly as to how (5+ / 0-)

        her race plays nationally.

        I know a LOT of sane "conservatives" -- chronic voter types -- who voted for her against Woody Jenkins and Suzanne Haik Terrell because those candidates were simply too extreme, and she was perceived as a "reasonable" Democrat.  

        If her runoff is not pivotal to control of the Senate, turnout on both sides -- for and against her -- will be much lower, and those chronic voter types will be voting for her once again.  If her runoff is pivotal to control of the Senate, a campaign against Sen. Reid will ramp up the turnout against her, and given the Republican tilt of the state overall (President Obama got about 40% of the vote here in 2008, when the Democratic turnout of the base was about the best ever), she'll lose.  If BOTH bases turnout in high numbers, she loses.  She can only win if (1) turnout is low overall and those more moderate conservatives are willing to vote for her (which can happen if her runoff is meaningless as to Senate control) or (2) there's some scenario where in the runoff turnout of the Democratic base is extremely high while turnout of the Republican base is extremely low.  And I cannot see how scenario 2 possibly happens.  If her runoff is pivotal to Senate control, you can bet that there will be a big Republican turnout to vote against Sen. Reid.  

  •  They're Kochroaches, pure and simple. (8+ / 0-)

    We keep the spotlights on them and don't dim 'em. More and more folks know who they are. T and R, CV!

    Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the truth we know. -- L. Spencer

    by orlbucfan on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:30:27 AM PDT

  •  Stinking bums. (6+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 06:31:54 AM PDT

  •  Since the Koch brothers, overlords of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, a2nite, Crashing Vor

    vast right wing conspiracy, got burned using actors to spread their lies, it takes a lot of nerve to attack someone who is trying to both spread her message and obey the laws of the land. Of course laws mean nothing to the Koch brothers, they are just things that get in the way of their profits and must be eliminated. These serial liars need to be demonized every step of the way. Harry Reid has shown us the way. But we need more of the same from all Democrats.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 09:04:56 AM PDT

  •  The Koch reek is growing so rapidly that it is now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor

    unmistakeable, wherever you are. So glad that this form of "transparency" is coming to the fore - it may be the most of same that we'll ever get from this group of blackguards.

  •  Public records available? (0+ / 0-)

    My understanding is that groups like this may not have to reveal their donors -- but do have to file paperwork with the state, and possibly the Feds, that list their official address, and their officers and directors, and their expenditures.

    For 501c3 non-profits, there should be a Federal tax form 990, and Guidestar has those online for viewing. I'm not sure how one gets access to reports for 501c4s and the other types of entities but they should be available.

    Maybe contact the Nation's Center for Investigative Reporting and ask them how to do the sleuthing.

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