Responding to Attack Ads by Partisan Activist Group
July 10, 2014
The League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund (LCV) is running a false and deceptive television advertisement entitled “Billionaires” in markets in or near the state of New Hampshire.
The LCV is a partisan activist group that does not disclose its donors. It is part of the Democracy Alliance, a group of billionaires and millionaires who support liberal causes and candidates but also doesn’t disclose its members.
The ad attacks Charles Koch and David Koch, and falsely maligns their companies’ business interests. Contrary to the ad’s assertions, Charles Koch and David Koch are opposed to government subsidies of any kind and have been outspoken and consistent in their opposition to subsidies and other instances of the government picking winners and losers.
The ad leads with a pejorative characterization of the Kochs as “out-of-state oil billionaires,” and claims that United States Senate candidate Scott Brown “voted to keep giving billions in special tax-payer funded subsidies to oil companies,” leaving a reasonable viewer with only one (inaccurate) conclusion: that Charles Koch and David Koch are in favor of such alleged taxpayer-funded subsidies. LCV Senior Vice President Daniel J. Weiss repeated this inaccurate and false claim in the press release accompanying the new ad, asserting that “…[t]hey know Scott Brown will continue where he left off by protecting oil industry profits at the expense of taxpayers and public health.”
As Charles Koch explained in an April 2014 Wall Street Journal opinion piece:
“…Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.
Koch Industries was the only major producer in the ethanol industry to argue for the demise of the ethanol tax credit in 2011. That government handout (which cost taxpayers billions) needlessly drove up food and fuel prices as well as other costs for consumers—many of whom were poor or otherwise disadvantaged. Now the mandate needs to go, so that consumers and the marketplace are the ones who decide the future of ethanol.”
Citations: See Charles Koch, Op-Ed “I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society,” The Wall Street Journal (Apr. 2, 2014), available at http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/…0515021286; see also Statement from Koch Industries Regarding Accusations of Lobbying for Surtax on Renewable Energy (May 1, 2014), available at:
The LCV advertisement’s claim that Charles Koch and David Koch are in favor of receiving a subsidy at the expense of taxpayers is deceitful and completely false. We welcome an open and honest debate about the important issues facing the country. We are disappointed that the LCV has instead chosen to misrepresent the record and mislead the people of New Hampshire.
We ask the LCV to stop misrepresenting our positions and engage in a principled debate about the issues.