Koch Brothers-connected group launches ads targeting Braley

Race to replace Harkin currently rated 'leans D'

James Q. Lynch
Published: April 8 2014 | 11:00 am - Updated: 8 April 2014 | 10:12 pm in Front Rotator,

Conservative political financiers Charles and David Koch have purchased more than a quarter million dollars of advertising in the Cedar Rapids television market to criticize Rep. Bruce Braley’s support for Obamacare.

Freedom Partners, a fundraising network of the billionaire energy executives, has filed papers showing it has bought $270,000 of cable and broadcast television ads in the Cedar Rapids market covering most of Eastern Iowa.

A pro-business group, Freedom Partners, pans Braley, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the seat now held by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, for his support of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

“Congressman Bruce Braley voted for Obamacare,” a female narrator says in the 30-second spot. “The government spent millions of taxpayer dollars to promote it.”

It then concludes: “For Iowans, it’s canceled policies and higher costs. That’s not right.”

Braley campaign spokesman Jeff Giertz chalked the ads up to the “Koch brothers and their oil billionaire allies … once again attacking Bruce Braley with misleading ads because just like Bruce’s GOP opponents they support policies that would hurt Iowa’s economy.”

“Bruce Braley fights for Iowa’s working families because that’s where he comes from,” he said.

Although these are not the first ads critical of Braley, a four-term House member, it may signal that Republicans and their allies see a new opening to make Iowa part of their efforts to win back control of the U.S. Senate.

A gaffe by Braley – his reference to Iowa’s senior senator, Chuck Grassley, as a “farmer from Iowa who never went to law school” – has made Republican-leaning groups more bullish on the Iowa race. It has fueled speculation Braley may face a tougher battle against the winner of a five-way GOP primary than previously thought.

The Cook Political Report currently rates the race as “Leans D.”

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