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Koch brothers investing in Oregon's Monica Wehby

It might be the dog days of summer, but Freedom Partners, the Kochs’ “secret bank,” appears to be staying busy by going on a multi-state airtime spending spree. Recently, we noted that Freedom Partners had bought up around $3 million of airtime in North Carolina in support of extreme Conservative Thom Tillis’ Senate campaign. This week, Oregon’s Monica Wehby becomes the latest of the Kochs’ handpicked extreme Senate candidates to benefit from the shadowy group’s spending.

According to The Oregonianon Wednesday, Freedom Partners will launch a $3.6 million television advertising campaign “aimed at unseating Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley and electing Republican challenger Monica Wehby.” The campaign, scheduled to continue through Election Day, will benefit Wehby, whose extreme stances have her lagging in the polls. But as the old saying goes and Wehby surely knows, “nothing good comes for free.” The Oregonian quotes Koch crony — and former Wehby beau — Andrew Miller, who notes that the Kochs and their allies are shrewd investors, “Bit by bit, the Koch organization…is starting to pin people down and say, ‘What are we getting for our money?'”

Indeed, “They won’t spend that kind of money on a lark,” says Miller, hinting at what we know to be true — that where there’s Koch money, there’s an extreme candidate willing to shill for the Kochs’ self-serving political agenda. The report notes that Freedom Partners spent over $230 million during the 2012 campaign cycle, and that experts expect the group to go on a similarly astronomic shopping spree during this year’s midterm election season.

Background:

Wehby Opposed Efforts To Raise The Federal Minimum Wage To $10.10 An Hour. According to the Oregonian, “Wehby went on to criticize the proposal by President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. Merkley supports that increase, which would be large enough to go beyond what minimum-wage workers now get in Oregon. Wehby said that some studies show a higher minimum wage could reduce the number of jobs nationally by about 300,000 and added: ‘At a time when every job counts, we must be careful to avoid the unintended consequences of making it even more difficult to find a job.’” [Oregonian, 12/12/13]

Wehby Supported Water Deregulation. According to Cal Watchdog, “So back on Feb. 14, 2014, Feinstein, joined by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., smartly broadened the base of possible support for S. 2016 by getting support from both Democratic U.S. Senators from Oregon, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.  Merkley is facing re-election in November against Republican challenger Monica Wehby, who is running on a platform of water deregulation.” [Cal Watchdog, 4/16/14]

Wehby Supported Logging Expansion In Federal Forests. According to the Oregonian, “Both complain at length about the low levels of logging in the national forests, another common talking point for Republican candidates. In Congress, the crucial Oregon forest issue centers on legislation dealing with some 2.8 million acres of federal forests in western Oregon known as the Oregon & California Railroad lands. Both Wehby and Conger prefer the House-passed bill sponsored by three Oregon congressman – Republican Greg Walden and Democrats Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader – that would put much of the land in a state-managed trust aimed at boosting timber harvests.” [Oregonian, 5/2/14]

Wehby Said She Would Have Voted To Block EPA Regulations On Greenhouse Gas Emissions Because “They Would Have Further Harmed Our Forests And Displaced Oregonian Workers.” According to the Oregonian, “Today’s vote was chosen by Merkley. Climate change: On June 10, 2010, the Senate defeated an effort to block the Obama administration from moving forward with new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency regulating carbon dioxide and other gases linked to climate change. The vote was 47-53 against the resolution. […] Wehby: Would have supported blocking the EPA regulations […] Oregon, in my opinion, is the most beautiful state in the country, and we all have a responsibility to maintain that. Since the federal government took over monitoring and restricting us from our natural resources, forests have become unhealthy, dry and infested with things like pine beetles. This downward trend in our natural resources and the opportunity to make our forests healthy again will only get worse if we continue to let Washington, D.C., and career politicians make decisions about Oregon from the other side of the country. Oregonians need to be able to work together to make their own future and not allow our rights and resources to be diminished through D.C. rhetoric and political gamesmanship. I would have voted against the EPA regulations because they would have further harmed our forests and displaced Oregonian workers.” [Oregonian, 7/22/14]

Freedom Partners, Part Of “The Koch Brothers’ Political Network,” Purchased $3.6 Million In Ad Time In Support Of Wehby. According to the Oregonian, “The Koch brothers’ political network – demonized by Democrats and praised by Republicans as one of the most powerful conservative forces in American politics – will make its debut in Oregon politics next week. The Koch-connected Freedom Partners on Wednesday is set to begin an estimated $3.6 million television advertising campaign in Oregon aimed at unseating Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley and electing Republican challenger Monica Wehby.” [Oregonian, 8/1/14]