Outside Political Group Targets Senator Begich
Democratic lawmakers respond to Outside ads airing in Alaska with small protest
About a dozen people rallied for campaign finance reform outside of the federal building Tuesday and expressed concerns about ads paid for by Outside political organizations.
Two nearly identical ads, one that airs in Alaska and the other in Florida, criticizes Democratic Sen. Mark Begich's vote in favor of the Affordable Care act.
In each ad, a woman talks to the camera about how disappointed she is in President Barack Obama and their U.S. lawmaker. The woman in the Alaska ad is an out-of-state actress.
Sen. Hollis French and Rep. Les Gara, both Anchorage Democrats, said they want more transparency.
"We've seen the first volley," Gara said.
He and French gave quick speeches at the rally in front of the Federal building and discussed an Alaska law passed in 2010 intended to provide transparency around funding for state elections.
"We're seeing ads the ads that have run on our televisions right now beating up on Mark Begich," said French, a candidate for lieutenant governor.
The group behind the ad is Americans for Prosperity. The group's president, Tim Phillips, said in a phone interview from Michigan on Tuesday that AFP delivers an important message for Alaskans.
"It's so disappointing," Phillips said, "in a state that's pretty conservative, to have a senator that cast the deciding vote for Obama's health care law."
Throughout an 8-minute phone interview, Phillips said "decisive vote" five times. He accused the Democratic lawmakers of trying to redirect the conversation from the Affordable Healthcare Act to how AFP delivers its message.
Phillips said the response they received from Alaskans has been positive. The media representative from the group forwarded an e-mail from a woman AFP spokesperson Levi Russell said was an Alaskan, who thanked them for speaking out.
With Election Day still 11 months away, Alaskans will likely be hearing many more national advertising campaigns from groups across the political spectrum.
(Copyright © 2013, KTUU-TV)