Tuesday, March 1, 2016 | 12:54 p.m.
A new ad paid for by a Koch brothers-backed group hits Nevada’s airwaves today, lauding Republican Rep. Joe Heck in his Senate run.
The $700,000 television and digital ad buy focuses on Heck’s record on veterans issues as a congressman. It comes as the battle heats up between Heck and the Democratic candidate, former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who is retiring.
The ad features a handful of veterans crediting Heck for leading the charge to fix the VA, expanding access to health care for veterans and, generally, going after “the culture of Washington.”
Veterans issues are key in Nevada, a state that is home to more than 224,000 veterans, according to 2015 U.S. Census Bureau figures.
The ad is paid for by Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative-leaning organization that advocates for reforms for veterans across the country and is part of the network of organizations affiliated with conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch.
This is the first major broadcast buy of 2016 for the group.
“CVA has long championed the reforms supported by Rep. Heck — they are critical to fixing the VA and ensuring that our veterans get the care and benefits they earned in the timely manner they deserve,” Dan Caldwell, the organization’s vice president for legislative and political action, said in a statement. “The VA is a glaring example of what happens when government bureaucrats create unnecessary obstacles to accessing quality health care.”
In response, a spokeswoman from the state Democratic party fired back, criticizing the Koch brothers’ support for Heck.
“After all, whether it’s supporting the privatization of Social Security, voting to turn Medicare over to private insurance companies, or opposing an increase in the minimum wage, Congressman Heck has spent his half a decade in Washington voting with the Koch brothers and special interests at every turn,” Sarah Zukowski, the party’s press secretary, said in a statement.