Modern political campaigns have been inundated with a large number of connected dark money groups, thanks to Citizens United. A result of this proliferation of laundered money propaganda machines is that they’ve become “compartmentalized”, flooding us with campaign ads for and against candidates, with each group having its own little specialty.
A couple of weeks ago, the Koch network’s Art Pope affiliate, the John Locke Foundation, held a brainstorming session to fight Gun Store Owner Ted “I Never Met a Trump Attempted Coup I Didn’t Like” Budd’s declining poll numbers. Their internal polling was showing the race tied, with Cheri Beasley leading with seniors and college-educated voters and Budd under-performing on a generic ballot.
Koch Network's Americans for Prosperity to the rescue!
Apparently, those brainstorming sessions came to the conclusion that Gun Store Owner Ted Budd just isn’t likable. So, Americans for Prosperity starting running ads on August 26th to inform everyone that they really like Gun Store Owner Ted Budd.
“Gun Store Owner Ted Budd is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.”
Earlier in August, Americans for Prosperity was telling us Gun Store Owner Ted Budd is a “champion” and “strong”, keywords that no doubt resonated with their conservative-leaning focus groups. Americans for Prosperity trying to endow Gun Store Owner Ted Budd with big dick energy is rather laughable.
Americans for Prosperity specializes in this kind of branding, trying to sell us the Edsel and New Coke of dreadful political candidates and connecting them with Lower Taxes at All Costs . They’re currently running similar emotive “repackaging” ads for Ron Johnson in Wisconsin (“He’s a fighter!”), Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania ("He’s an outsider!”), Herschel Walker in Georgia (“He’s an outsider, too!”), and other candidates. (You can see the other ads they’re running at Google’s political ad transparency tool.)
Americans for Prosperity’s ads are so cookie cutter that it often leads to hilarious results, like these two ads running in November 2020 for Thom Tillis in North Carolina and Roger Marshall in Kansas. It’s exactly the same ad, just substituting the candidate names and photos like interchangeable laundry detergents on sale this week.
Budd doesn’t have much of a positive record to run on here. During a time when public mass shootings are out of control, Budd is a gun store owner and outspoken proponent for letting any nutcase have a gun. He cuddled up to attempted coup organizer and classified document hoarder Trump. And he’s used his time in the House to cast votes against certifying the 2020 election, expanding voting rights, and anything that would benefit working and middle class voters in his district.
Do you like Gun Store Owner Ted Budd? Americans for Prosperity thinks he’s adorable as a permanent tax cut for the one percent, even if he’s interchangeable with Ron Johnson, Dr. Oz, Herschel Walker, an Edsel, or generic laundry detergent.