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Koch brothers-linked group buys nearly $2 million in political ads in Oregon: Readers react


The conversation blew up Friday after we posted a story looking at two national stories detailing major media ad buys in Oregon by a group affiliated with the conservative Koch brothers.

The stories, which ran in The Washington Post and Politico, said Freedom Partners, on behalf of Oregon Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Monica Wehby, has purchased upward of $2 million worth of ads in at least four Oregon markets -- Portland, Eugene, Bend and Medford.

We called a television station in Medford and talked to the general sales manager, who confirmed that Freedom Partners has bought 13 weeks worth of ads. They'll start running Aug. 8.

Within an hour of our post going up on OregonLive, readers had weighed in with more than 150 comments. As we're preparing this roundup, that number has now nearly doubled.

Heading toward the general election, where Wehby will face off against incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, it's clear there will be plenty more to say about campaign finance and which candidate is best suited to represent Oregon in Washington, D.C., for the next six years.

But before this discussion dies off, let's give readers the last word on how they think events should play out in this critical race.

Drunken Baucus laid much of the blame for too much money in politics on the media:

The complicit Obama/Liberal press is the ultimate political contributor. It make Citizen's United look like child's play. If it wasn't for the (priceless) political cover the complicit press provides the left,  I believe CU would not exist.

Rharris78 saw some shrewd strategy behind the media purchase:

Makes perfect business sense.

Oregon is a relatively small state with on large media market. For just $2 Million in focused ads you may be able to buy a Senate Seat.

You know what? A senator from Oregon or Wyoming, or North Dakota has the same vote as one from California or Texas. So, why buy an expensive Senate seat when you can buy three, four or five for the same cost?

This isn't brain surgery.

Empirical Rationalist said this race comes down to more than money:

I think I would rather she doesn't waste any time with debating Merkley.  Her credentials already speak for her.  I'll take a pediatric neurosurgeon over anyone else, any day.  Whether she's democrat or republican seems to matter littler considering her occupation and what she's achieved so far in life.

Samoht1 called the ad purchases foolish:

How dumb are the Koch boys?..Spending big bucks on a loser who is way way behind in the polls..Spending money on a habitual stalker...Come on people..This wasted money is not going to help the Doc ..Her campaign is finished..Plus money can't make for a better candidate..What are they going to do hire a look a like Doc to use in a debate if she ever agrees to have one?

gosports wondered if too many ads could end up harming the candidate who runs them:

There's a fine line with these kind of attacks. If they do this and jump the shark, they could create a sympathy backlash. In my opinion the Merkley campaign already pushed this to the limit.

The comments go on but the topic, obviously, remains of red-hot importance to readers. Something else you'd like to say on the subject of campaign finance? Leave them here and let's keep the conversation alive.

-- Dana Tims

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Koch brothers clearly have more money than they know what to do with. 

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