The Kochs are making big plays in senate races despite once claiming they were getting out of politics altogether. In Nevada, the Koch-funded Freedom Partners PAC announced a $1.2 million ad buy against Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. This is the second million-dollar ad buy the Kochs have cut against Cortez Masto in just a few months. The Kochs hope to replace one of their best known critics Senator Harry Reid with puppet Congressman Joe Heck.
Heck has received many a helping hand from the Kochs: Between 2011 and 2014, Koch Industries gave $30,000 to the Republican. During his re-election campaign in 2014, Americans for Prosperity made a $200,000 ad buy for Heck, “praising” his opposition to the ACA. Since announcing his run for Senate, Heck has received $2,500 from the Kochs.
The latest Freedom Partners ad on Cortez Masto falsely accuses her of driving ride-sharing app Uber “out of town,” claiming that Cortez Masto “led the fight against Uber.” In reality, the attorney general was just doing her job (something the GOP is still trying to grasp the concept of). Reno-Gazette Journal reporter Jon Ralston tweeted that the ad was “BS” as Uber was “operating illegally at the time” and until new legislation was passed, AG Cortez Masto enforced the law as it was written.
This particular line of attack is unsurprising for such free-market extremists like the Koch Network. The Kochs and their front groups have been pushing Uber and similar business models for quite some time. Koch-backed Generation Opportunity wrong in July 2015 that “Uber empowers the driver as much as it empowers the consumer.” GennOpp has gone as far as claiming that Uber was the major key to bringing back the American Dream.
The Kochs are desperate to win more political power in swing-state Nevada, and Freedom Partners’ latest ad makes it clear they’ll go all-in on a bluff if they think it’ll help their cause (read: bottom line).