Koch-backed super PAC pumps another quarter of a million into ads for Cornyn

by | Jun 12, 2020 | 2020 Elections, Politics

Americans for Prosperity Action, the latest astroturf super PAC created by right-wing oil billionaire and dark money curator Charles Koch, is burning through cash to help Sen. John Cornyn.

On Tuesday, the group released a 60-second digital ad urging Texans to vote for Cornyn, bragging about his ability as a lawmaker to cut taxes and red tape.

This month alone, Americans for Prosperity Action has spent $271,000 on production/placement of digital ads for Cornyn.

In total, the Koch-backed super PAC has spent a little more than $1 million on Coryn this cycle (including expenditures on canvassing), according to Federal Election Commission filings. 

The digital ad spending comes two weeks after a Quinnipiac University Poll showed Cornyn with a split 37-36 percent job approval rating, a slight dip when compared to a previous poll in September. It also arrives a week after Democratic runoff U.S. Senate candidates state. Sen. Royce West and Air Force helicopter pilot MJ Hegar duked it out in a televised debate where they took turns taking potshots at Cornyn. 

Cornyn is by far the most popular beneficiary of AFP Action, followed by Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

AFP Action is the electoral arm of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch’s nonprofit “advocacy group” that does not have to disclose its network of dark money donors. 

Unlike AFP, AFP Action must disclose its donors because it is a super PAC. This cycle alone, AFP Action has received $7 million from its biggest contributor, Koch Industries, the energy and mineral multinational headed by Charles Koch.

Other major million-dollar donations include GOP mega-donors Mary Alice Bergan, Ronald Colman, and others who have networked with the Koch and their affiliated groups for years. 

Funding for the Koch-back super PAC also includes a hefty multi-million dollar leftover contribution from the Freedom Partners Action Fund, a now-defunct Koch-backed super PAC that dissolved in 2019 and raised money from many AFP Action’s current donors.

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

fernando@texassignal.com | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at fernando@texassignal.com

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