Marco Rubio is the Koch network’s golden boy – the lackadaisical Florida Senator and failed presidential candidate was a top choice in the crowded Republican presidential primary, and some even resorted to public begging to convince him to run for reelection in Florida.
And now, just weeks before voters head to the polls, the Koch network is pouring huge amounts of money into Florida to save Rubio. This week alone, two Koch groups – the LIBRE Initiative and Americans For Prosperity – have launched ads for Rubio. In their first buy of the cycle, LIBRE is spending $700,000 on behalf of Rubio. Americans For Prosperity also launched a digital ad attacking Rubio’s opponent.
All in all, the Koch network has pledged to spend a whopping seven figures on behalf of Rubio to boost his reelection bid. After all, Rubio has bragged about his 100% lifetime rating for serving Koch interests, but he consistently fails to work for the people of Florida.
One problem for Rubio? No amount of Koch money can fix his shoddy attendance record, and Florida voters have made one thing clear – they want their Senator to show up for the job he’s been elected to do.
The LIBRE Initiative Launched A $700,000 Ad Buy Urging Voters To Reelect Sen. Marco Rubio
The LIBRE Initiative Launched A $700,000 Ad Buy Urging Voters To Reelect Sen. Marco Rubio. According to CNN, “A conservative nonprofit group funded by associates of Charles and David Koch will launch TV ads in English and Spanish to boost Marco Rubio’s Senate campaign in Florida. The $700,000 ad buy is the first of its kind of the Libre Initiative, a group that seeks to convince Hispanics to back conservative candidates.” [CNN, 9/7/16]
- The Ad Criticized Rep. Patrick Murphy For Voting To “Send Our Tax Dollars To Special Interests” And Backing “Laws Favoring His Family Business And Political Friends.” According to a LIBRE Initiative advertisement, “Floridians deserve a senator who puts us first. But in Congress, Patrick Murphy voted to send our tax dollars to special interests, and backed laws favoring his family business and political friends.” [LIBRE Initiative, 9/2/16]
- The Ad Praised Rubio For Voting For “Reform, Lower Taxes, Smarter Spending,” And For Voting “Against Taxpayer Giveaways To Big Insurance Companies.” According to a LIBRE Initiative advertisement, “Marco Rubio understands our needs, voting for reform, lower taxes, smarter spending, fighting against taxpayer giveaways to big insurance companies.” [LIBRE Initiative,9/2/16]
LIBRE’s $700,000 Ad Campaign In Support Of Rubio Included Digital Efforts” Along With A Broadcast Buy. According to The Washington Post, “The LIBRE Initiative, the part of the Koch political network that focuses on Latino outreach, is engaging in express advocacy for the first time, with a $700,000 broadcast buy in Florida to help Marco Rubio. This includes Spanish and English ads, as well as a digital effort and paid field staff in Miami, Central Florida and elsewhere.” [Washington Post, 9/7/16]
- According To Politico, The LIBRE Initiative’s Television Ads In Support Of Rubio Would Be Broadcast In English, While Digital Ads Would Run In Both English And Spanish. According to Politico, “The Koch Brothers-backed Hispanic conservative nonprofit is endorsing GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida’s Senate race and spending $700,000 on broadcast television and digital ads praising Rubio and attacking GOP Rep. Patrick Murphy. The television spots will be in English, while the digital spots will run in both English and Spanish.” [Politico, 9/7/16]
LIBRE’s $700,000 Ad Campaign For Rubio Was The Group’s First TV Ad For The 2016 Cycle
LIBRE’s $700,000 Ad Campaign For Rubio Was The Group’s First TV Ad For The 2016 Cycle. According to CNN, “A conservative nonprofit group funded by associates of Charles and David Koch will launch TV ads in English and Spanish to boost Marco Rubio’s Senate campaign in Florida. The $700,000 ad buy is the first of its kind of the Libre Initiative, a group that seeks to convince Hispanics to back conservative candidates. […] The spots are also the group’s first television ads of the entire 2016 cycle.” [CNN, 9/7/16]
- According To CNN, LIBRE Had Only Run “Television Spots Asking For Voters To ‘Thank’ The Individuals Running,” Which Allowed LIBRE To Avoid Disclosing Its Donors. According to CNN, “Like other Koch nonprofits, the Libre Initiative has only run television spots asking for voters to ‘thank’ the individuals running, a technicality that allows groups to avoid disclosing the identities of their donors.” [CNN, 9/7/16]
- According To CNN, LIBRE Had Never Run An “Express Advocacy” Advertisement. According to CNN, “‘Marco Rubio: standing up for hardworking Floridians,’ goes the spot, which is also airing in Spanish. ‘This November vote Marco Rubio for Senate.’ It is the last line that makes the advertisement an ‘express advocacy’ spot, which the Libre Initiative has never aired before.” [CNN,9/7/16]
LIBRE Planned To Supplement Its Pro-Rubio Ad Campaign With A Latino-Focused Field Program
According To CNN, LIBRE Planned On Supplementing Its Pro-Rubio Ad Campaign With A “Latino-Focused Field Program In Florida’s Hispanic Communities.” According to CNN, “A conservative nonprofit group funded by associates of Charles and David Koch will launch TV ads in English and Spanish to boost Marco Rubio’s Senate campaign in Florida. The $700,000 ad buy is the first of its kind of the Libre Initiative, a group that seeks to convince Hispanics to back conservative candidates. […] The group will bolster the television and digital spots with a Latino-focused field program in Florida’s Hispanic communities.” [CNN, 9/7/16]
Americans for Prosperity
AFP Released A Digital Ad “Highlighting How Patrick Murphy’s Agenda Of Paying More To Special Interests And Foreign Corporations Forces Floridians To Pay More For Basic Goods And Services, Energy Prices, And Health Care.” According to a post on the Americans for Prosperity website, “Americans for Prosperity-Florida (AFP-FL), the leading grassroots advocacy organization opposing Patrick Murphy for the U.S. Senate, today has released a digital ad highlighting how Patrick Murphy’s agenda of paying more to special interests and foreign corporations forces Floridians to pay more for basic goods and services, energy prices, and health care.” [Americans for Prosperity, 9/7/16]
- AFP-FL Director Chris Hudson Attacked Murphy As Siding With “Well-Connected Specials Interests And The Political Elite” And Supporting Costly Energy Mandates Which Would Threaten 20,000 Florida Jobs, A Government “Health Care Takeover” And The Renewal Of The Export-Import Bank. According to a post on the Americans for Prosperity website, “AFP-Florida state director, Chris Hudson explains why Murphy is the wrong choice for the U.S. Senate: ‘It didn’t take long for Patrick Murphy to give us more politics as usual while leaving Florida taxpayers behind. In just three years in Congress, Murphy made it perfectly clear that he was going to side with well-connected specials interests and the political elite over advocating for Florida families. His support for costly energy mandates will force families to pay more for utilities and threatens the loss of another 20,000 Florida jobs. His continued support for President Obama’s failing signature health care takeover is deplorable when you consider that insurance companies have just been approved to increase rates by an average of 19 percent. And his support for corporate welfare policies like renewing the Export-Import bank – a government slush fund to dole out taxpayer dollars to foreign corporations – shows how out of touch he is with Florida families. We can’t afford to pay more with Patrick Murphy’s agenda in the U.S. Senate.’” [Americans for Prosperity, 9/7/16]
The Koch Network Committed To Spending 7 Figures For Marco Rubio’s 2016 Senate Race
Politico Reported That $30 Million In Koch Network Ad Buys From Groups Including Freedom Partners Were Expected To Target The Senate Races In Florida, Nevada, Ohio, And Pennsylvania. According to Politico, “Key groups in the Koch brothers’ political network on Monday began reserving $30 million in advertising buys in key Senate races in August and September, a network official tells POLITICO. The television and digital ad buys, from Freedom Partners Action Fund and other groups, are expected to target Democratic Senate candidates or boost Republican ones in Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the official said.” [Politico, 5/17/16]
The Koch Network’s Freedom Partners Reserved More Than $2 Million In Florida TV Time For Senate Ad Buys. According to Politico, “A prominent cog in the Koch brother’s powerful conservative political network has reserved more than $2 million in Florida TV time headed into November’s general election. The time is being reserved for Florida’s U.S. Senate race, which immediately drew closer national attention when Marco Rubio decided last month to seek re-election after his failed presidential bid. Rubio is in a Republican primary contest against Carlos Beruff, a wealthy Manatee County homebuilder, but national groups have lined up behind Rubio. […] This cycle, Freedom Partners Action Fund has received a $3 million check from both Charles Koch and the Charles G. Koch 1997 Trust, its two largest individual contributions. The group’s Florida ads will start running Aug. 30, the day of Florida’s primary, and run through Oct. 10. The biggest portion of the buy — nearly $1 million — will focus on the Tampa media market, with another more than $800,000 buy focused on the Orlando market and $380,000 in Jacksonville. The reservation includes both broadcast and cable ad buys.” [Politico, 7/8/16]
The Koch Network Canceled A $568,000 Rubio Ad Buy Reserved For Aug. 30 To Sept. 6
The Koch Network Canceled A $568,000 Ad Buy Reserved For Aug. 30 To Sept. 6. According to the Hill, “The powerful donor network helmed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch is canceling more than half a million dollars in Florida advertising designed to help Republican Marco Rubio in his Senate race, according to Koch network spokesman James Davis. The canceled reservation period is from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6 and was valued at $568,000, he said. ‘Rubio is running strong in Florida, so we are realigning our television spend to other areas for this week,’ said Davis, when asked to explain the reasoning behind the decision. ‘We will continue to monitor things and make adjustments as necessary.’” [The Hill, 8/17/16]