Under the Dome

Dome: AFP busy with campaigns challenging Hagan, Obama

From Staff ReportsSeptember 22, 2013 

Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group, is planning a billboard campaign in the Research Triangle and the Piedmont Triad questioning Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan’s stance on a carbon emissions tax.

Hagan has said she opposes such a tax, and the carbon emissions tax has no political traction in Congress now.

But AFP is basing its campaign on Hagan’s vote in March on two amendments – one against returning revenues for any fee on carbon pollution to the American public through deficit reduction and another against blocking a carbon tax.

“Why didn’t Sen Kay Hagan vote against the Carbon Tax? Ask her” say the billboards that will go up along Interstate Highways 40, 8, and 95 close to the cities of Burlington, Dunn, Durham, Greensboro, Lexington and Newton Grove.

This follows up on an Internet advertising campaign that Americans for Prosperity ran against Hagan on the same issue in June. The billboards come on the heels of a radio advertising campaign announced earlier this month by the American Energy Alliance criticizing Hagan on the carbon emissions tax.

Americans for Prosperity is a group started by the by the Koch brothers, whose investments include oil refining facilities. The American Energy Alliance also has ties to Koch Industries.

Ad buy targets Obamacare

AFP has also released its latest TV ad, which will air in North Carolina and five other states, opposing President Barack Obama’s new health-care law.

The new ad, called “Tricia’s story,” features an activist who is also a two-time cancer survivor questioning whether she would receive the same kind of treatment under Obamacare.

“Obamacare is not a patient-centered health care system,” said Chris Farr, the group’s state director. “The bureaucracy and red tape are too much and will be particularly devastating to patients and families who have to deal with traumatic disease like cancer.”

The group said it is spending $3 million on the ad buy that begins Oct. 1, which will run in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio and Virginia as well as North Carolina. It is the fourth in a series of TV ads being run by the group with ties to billionaire energy executives Charles and David Koch.

The ad buy in North Carolina is $366,195. It is the third ad the group has bought in this state. In four of the states – Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina – Democrats face difficult re-election battles, while in Virginia there is a hot governor’s race.

Lawmakers to hear about DHHS

Legislators may get their questions about state Department of Health and Human Services salaries, buggy computer systems and Medicaid spending answered at a meeting scheduled for Oct. 8.

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services has scheduled an all-day meeting to talk about department goings-on. The agenda’s not out yet, but there’s no shortage of topics to cover. The morning session will be a joint meeting with the Information Technology Oversight Committee. Health oversight members will have DHHS administrators to themselves in the afternoon.

Democratic legislators are keen to talk about salaries, raises, personal services contracts, and the problems with computer systems that pay Medicaid claims and provide food assistance. Republicans have shied away from complaints about salaries, but they want to know what’s going on with computer systems that have frustrated doctors and local services workers, and have left poor people searching for food.

Staff writers Rob Christensen and Lynn Bonner

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