Americans for Prosperity, the conservative think tank largely funded by the Kansas-based billionaire Koch brothers, announced yesterday, October 24, that the group would be making a three-week media buy blasting Congressman Scott Peters for his support of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The act was signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, and a Supreme Court challenge to its legitimacy failed in June 2012. Peters was elected to Congress in November 2012, but since assuming office in January has stood with his fellow Democrats in resisting Republican efforts to delay or dismantle Obama's signature legislation.
"We've helped our activists voice their frustrations with this law both on the ground and on the airwaves, and we'll continue to do so," says the organization's California director, David Spady, in an October 24 release. "The ad focused on Rep. Peters is just the latest part of an ongoing effort to hold lawmakers accountable for their roles in this ill-conceived, Big Government power grab."
While the Kochs have previously had little involvement in San Diego politics, a media outlet they've reportedly funded joined forces with local real estate and hotel mogul Doug Manchester's U-T San Diego earlier this year.
While Americans for Prosperity has spent millions across the country to detract support for healthcare reform, Peters is an obvious local target: in 2012 he narrowly edged out Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray, and California's 52nd Congressional district has been targeted as a crucial seat for Democrats to retain or Republicans to take back.
Former city councilman Carl DeMaio has been campaigning for the job since virtually the day after his defeat by Bob Filner in the 2012 mayoral contest. Expect out-of-town dollars to pour in from both parties' backers in coming months — the 2014 election is only 13 months away.