Under the Dome

Conservative group debuts new $1.5 million ad campaign targeting Kay Hagan

UPDATED: A woman talking directly to the camera saying “Obamacare doesn’t work – it just doesn’t work” is the focus of the latest political TV advertisement hitting U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina.

Americans for Prosperity debuted the new ad Wednesday, saying it is spending $1.5 million to air it statewide for three weeks. (See it below.) It’s part of a $4 million national campaign against vulnerable Democrats.

Less than a month ago, the conservative group – aligned with tea partiers and funded by the Koch brothers – spent $1.7 million on a TV ad criticizing Hagan’s support for the federal health care law.

But unlike the previous shot, which featured ominous announcers and bold graphics, the new 30-second ad offers a direct, personal touch. It paints the problems with the health care law in personal terms instead of political. “ObamaCare is a policy failure, not a political problem,” said Chris Marie Farr, AFP’s acting state director. “In recent days, Senator Hagan has asked that Congress launch a probe into the failures of the Healthcare.gov site launch. What she should have done was launch an investigation into whether or not people would have their insurance plans canceled before she ever voted for this disastrous law.”

The woman talking to the camera starts by saying she doesn’t like political ads and then lists some broad stroke reasons why the health care law is hurting some people. The kicker: “Tell Sen. Hagan to stop thinking about politics and start thinking about people.”

What the ad lacks is context. It doesn’t put in perspective the problems saying “millions” are losing their insurance and paying less. Those numbers are far too large to describe North Carolina’s situation, where roughly 475,000 were told they couldn’t keep their current insurance plan.

Hagan’s camp called it a baseless attack. The Democrat incumbent has condemned the outside spending in the race. "The outside, secretly funded special interest groups like Karl Rove and the Koch brothers of the world are trying to take me down," Hagan said Friday, specifically mentioning Americans for Prosperity.

*The total cost for the ad campaign has been updated. A previous figure provided by Americans for Prosperity was incorrect.