2014 Campaign Ads Already Airing
Outside petroleum industry group promoting Alaska Senator Mark Begich
ANCHORAGE - The 2012 election is barely over, but already political ads are popping up on Alaskans' televisions. It's an ad showing U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) as a champion of oil and gas jobs.
But Begich's offices and Anchorage and Washington D. C. say they've got nothing to do with it. Susanne Fleek, Begich's Anchorage spokesperson, says there was "no coordination. We had nothing to do with it." Begich is up for reelection in 2014, and his seat has been identified as vulnerable to a pick-up by the GOP.
The ads were paid for by American Petroleum Institute. It's a trade organization representing the oil and gas industry. And Begich isn't the only senator they've put their money behind. On its website, it has ads for six U.S. Democratic senators that it says promote legislation that promotes jobs. Each ad is almost identical to the next. Washington D. C. based A.P.I. didn't respond to a request for an interview, but it did send a statement. It read, "Targeted Taxes on Oil and Gas are the wrong approach for what's needed to rebuild our economy... more ennergy developkent produces more jobs, revenue and energy."
Outside groups contributed heavily last election in states that could have influenced the senate majority. States like Montana saw an influx of outside money crowding their airwaves for the senatorial race. Fleek said, "I don't think that Alaska will be any different. Alaskans should buckle in and and brace themselves because there will be a lot of outside advertising."
Advertising for what could be the start of yet another very long campaign season.