Koch-related super PAC drops $3 million ad bomb on McGinty

    A national conservative super PAC associated with the billionaire Koch brothers has announced a $3 million ad blitz to attack Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty.

    We all knew Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race would be among the most competitive in the country and would thus attract spending by national interest groups.

    The group Freedom Partners Action Fund’s early investment in the race is remarkable. Its $3 million ad buy is being spent not over the course of the campaign, but in the next few weeks, five months before the election.

    The figure is more than three times all the cash in McGinty’s campaign fund, as of its last report.

    The ad (see above) levels tough, but familiar charges.

    “As a state official, Katie McGinty steered millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to companies that promised to hire us. Instead, factories were shut down, and hundreds were fired,” an announcer in the ad says.

    The ad refers to McGinty’s record as state environmental secretary of promoting wind energy projects, something she says she’s proud of. Her campaign says some layoffs in wind energy resulted from Congress’s elimination of the wind energy tax credit, a credit that conservatives — including McGinty’s opponent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey — regarded as wasteful.

    The ad also says that after McGinty left the government and so many energy jobs disappeared, “she walked away with a board position and a six-figure salary.”

    It’s true that McGinty accepted a board position at the Spanish company Iberdrola after leaving the government, and a 2015 financial disclosure form showed she earned $125,000 for that. McGinty has said she’s proud she’s been involved in the private sector in companies that do work consistent with her values.

    Sabrina Singh, Communications Director for the McGinty campaign said it was no surprise the group would back Toomey in the race since he’s “the best Senator Wall Street and the Koch Brothers ever had.”

    “The Koch Brothers are desperate to prop up Pat Toomey and distract from his record of fighting for Wall Street special interests,” Singh said in a statement.

    The Freedom Partners’ super PAC offered a fact sheet in support of its ad, and the McGinty campaign provided a detailed response. You can read them and look at their sources for additional insight.

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