Dan Benishek's campaign slogan is "Enough is Enough." Well, I've had enough of his negative and deceptive ads filling my evening newscasts. The reason we are being overwhelmed with Benishek's negative ads is because the RNC and two third-party groups are spending $1.2 million on advertising in our Congressional district. According to Politico.com, the Benishek sponsors are outspending his Democratic opponent Gary McDowell 4-1, and yet the race is still too close to call.
When I see a candidate like Benishek awash in this sort of money, it makes me wonder who is paying for all of this. Remember, big donors foot the bills for campaigns because they want a foot in the door when it comes time to vote on bills. Let's take "Americans for Prosperity" for example. This group is responsible for many of the negative ads you are being inundated with. It is funded in large part by the Koch Brothers, who control the second largest privately held corporation in America. Their business is oil.
According to the EPA, Koch Industries has been responsible for over 300 oil spills in the U.S., and it was hit with a $35 million fine in 2000. At the time, it was the largest civil fine ever imposed on a company under federal environmental law. Given the lucrative link between Koch Industries and the Benishek campaign, it comes as no surprise that Mr. Benishek has stated he favors drilling for oil in our district and getting environmental regulations "out of the way" of companies like Koch Industries. Benishek also says he wants to reduce our national debt and let the free market decide energy prices, yet he supports giving $30 billion in federal subsidies to Big Oil.
When he got into this race, Dr. Benishek said he was going to run an honest campaign, but his legion of misleading ads about Gary McDowell betrays this pledge. He said he was going to run as a citizen candidate, but his campaign has been taken over by consultants and big money from outside our district.
So the next time you see one of the many ads attacking Gary McDowell, remember the fat cats who are bankrolling this flood of negativity. They are simply trying to buy a seat for their own special interests, interests that are far from the values held by the majority of people within this district.