Some powerful players are coming to the aid of ALEC board member Thom Tillis, the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives who seeks to challenge Democrat Kay Hagen for her U.S. Senate seat. The North Carolina race could determine control of the U.S. Senate. If Tillis, a member of ALEC’s board of directors and the 2011 ALEC “Legislator of the Year,” can make it through the May 6 GOP primary, which he is currently leading, he will face Kagen this November.
David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has released a series of television ads attacking Hagen for her support of the Affordable Care Act. AFP has long been a member of ALEC, and both David and Charles Koch have made personal loans to ALEC and funded the group through their foundations. Additionally, a Koch Industries lobbyist sits on the national board of ALEC — along with Tillis. The connections that Tillis has cultivated through ALEC appear to have paid off.
AFP has already spent a whopping $7 million in dark money “issue ads” on the North Carolina U.S. Senate race, largely targeting Hagen with ads like this one that claim huge numbers of people are losing their health insurance in the state. That’s roughly 44 percent of all the money AFP has spent on U.S. Senate races this cycle and these are early days.