The largest labor federation in America is rolling out a new ad campaign highlighting the perceived political might of the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, featuring their own pair of Kochs.
The umbrella union organization AFL-CIO introduced Thursday Karen and Joyce Koch, two women who aren’t biologically related to each other or Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists and conservative donors painted by some Democrats and liberal groups as sinister moneymen dictating the Republican agenda. Karen and Joyce, says the ad, are “sisters in spirit” who “aren’t trying to buy up our democracy.”
In a phone call with reporters Thursday morning, Eric Hauser, the AFL-CIO communications director, said the Koch Sister campaign would “expose the destructiveness of unchecked money in politics generally, and the Koch brothers specifically, and elevate the values that Joyce and Karen and millions and tens of millions of working people feel very deeply for themselves, their families, their communities and the country.”
The AFL-CIO is asking supporters to sign up to become a Koch “sister” themselves. Signees will receive updates and briefings from the AFL-CIO and will possibly be able to sign up for unspecified contests. It’s “more of a value statement than anything else,” Hauser said. “I intend to become one right after this call.”
The 30-second “Meet the Koch Sisters!” spot will air on CNN and MSNBC in Lansing, Mich. and Lexington, Ky. through the end of the next week “at a minimum,” according Hauser. The ad will also run on broadcast news stations in Washington, DC.
Hauser said that the “driving factor” why the ads will run in Michigan is Karen, who works as a volunteer for Michigan Democratic Senate candidate Gary Peters and gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. The Kentucky airtime purchase could influence voters in the Senate race between Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, which is widely expected to be the most expensive this cycle.