David and Charles Koch, (pronounced “coke”) the politically conservative, billionaire brothers, yet again find themselves with targets on their backs.
The brothers have backed free-market group Americans For Prosperity (AFP) and spent upwards of a million dollars to oppose Democratic congressmen Gary Peters in the mid-term for Michigan’s senator seat via TV advertisements. The ads feature individuals like Julie Boonstra, a cancer patient who addresses the problems she encountered with her healthcare when she was required to change health plans by Obamacare.
The AFP has instituted similar efforts in other states, including those that hold a significant conservative base like in North Carolina, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Arkansas, and Alaska. Liberal critiques of the ads bemoan the TV spots as “brutal masterpieces…filmed out in bleached-out colors and backed by a mournful piano.”
But the lambasting is even greater towards the Koch brothers directly. In Michigan, for example, social media is aflutter with images of clouds of pet-coke (petrolium coke) blowing from a refinery in Detroit owned by the brothers. And Peters hasn’t wasted time in attacking the situation, receiving endorsements for eco-activism in the meantime.
While “Koch-bashing” may or may not work, Republicans will have to (1) fight for middle class voters who are already inclined to negatively view the economy as “tilted to the rich” and (2) back up the ads that many criticize rely too heavily on “stories, not arguments”.
This election will reveal whether or not stories trump facts, as wells as, which story-tellers the American people believe- the Koch brothers or those who bash them?