Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by major Republican donors Charles and David Koch, is including Minnesota in a massive $27 million ad buy set to launch tomorrow.
The initial spot , which targets President Barack Obama’s record on the deficit, will run for about a week in 10 battleground states including North Carolina, Iowa, Florida and Colorado, as well as Minnesota.
That buy will cost roughly $7 million, said Levi Russell, Americans for Prosperity’s spokesman. The idea is the continue a rotation of ads over an additional three-to-four weeks for a spending total of $27 million. Roughly $500,000 will be allocated to the Minnesota market in the first week, Russell said.
Defeating Obama is a priority for AFP this year, said AFP’s President Tim Phillips in a press release.
“These are unprecedented times, and AFP has made an unprecedented decision. Simply put, the stakes are too high, and this election is too important,” Phillips said of the buy. “President Obama’s economic policies have been a detriment to our nation’s economy, and the American people can’t afford another four years.”
AFP is a conservative organization that supports small government and low taxes among other policy issues. It was founded by David Koch, who, with his brother Charles, is co-owner of Koch Industries, a conglomerate that operates oil refineries and owns several household goods brands.
While the new round of ads will spill into western Wisconsin, a state that is competitive in its own right, AFP has been increasingly active in Minnesota. Earlier this year AFP’s local arm funded mailers targeting two state Republicans and one state Democrat for their votes on the Vikings stadium.
And in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the legality of Obama’s health care law, AFP ran ads in Minnesota saying the new mandate was “one of the largest tax increases in history.”
By most accounts, Minnesota is not considered competitive for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney right now; the Rothenberg Political Report says that the state “leans Obama.” But Russell said that AFP views Minnesota as increasingly important.
Update: Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner issued the following statement regarding the AFP ads.
“President Obama has already signed $2 trillion of deficit reduction into law and has proposed a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade. But Mitt Romney and his billionaire friends funding this ad refuse to ask the wealthiest Americans to contribute even one dollar to help reduce the deficit, even if every dollar in revenue would be matched with $10 in spending cuts. What’s worse is that Romney has proposed $5 trillion in new tax cuts geared toward multi-millionaires like himself that would either add to the deficit or raise taxes on middle class families with children by an average of more than $2,000. It’s no wonder independent economists have said Romney’s economic plans would do nothing to create jobs or reduce the deficit, and could push us back into recession.”