Climate heating up for midterm election ads

climate change

(NextGen image)

Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Stayer is trending on television after announcing plans to fund his super PAC, NextGen climate, with $100 million.

The group plans to back Democrats and attack Republicans running for governor in Pennsylvania, Florida and Maine.  Senate races in New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado and Michigan are also included in the expected onslaught of TV ads ahead of the mid-term election.

The plans could sound an alarm to global-warming naysayers up for election. NextGen also refuses to back politicians, even Democrats supporting the Keystone Pipeline in Arkansas, Alaska, North Carolina, Louisiana and Kentucky.

The super PAC could soon find itself going head-to-head against Koch Brothers-funded campaigns. Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have spent hundreds of millions of dollars supporting Conservative, Libertarian and Tea Party candidates and groups like the Heritage Foundation,  Americans for Prosperity,  Cato Institute and  Manhattan Institute.

The list of NextGen and Stayer targets could grow, as according to several reports, the Koch Brothers have previously influenced more than 412 current office-holders and politicians to sign a pledge to vote against climate change legislation. That list can be found here.

Stayer does have some warming up to do with media outlets. Since his announcement, Stayer has been mentioned only 24 times on television. In the same time period, the Koch Brothers have been mentioned almost 200 times.

Just how often are the Koch Brothers and interests mentioned in Congress? The Koch family has been mentioned 200 times on C-SPAN in 30 days. In the same time period, the Heritage Foundation has been mentioned 129 times, the Cato Institute 11 times, Americans for Prosperity 9 times, and the Manhattan Institute just 8 times.

In the same time period, Tom Stayer has been mentioned only 8 times and NextGen Climate only 2 times on C-SPAN.

In a similar case of an up-and-coming political advocacy group, a previous Critical Mention study “Ready, aim, spend,” featured coverage of gun control and revealed a willingness by local and national TV news outlets to dedicate coverage to the anti-gun organization supported by Michael Bloomberg’s $50 million pledge. In the past 30 days, the Bloomberg-funded organization Everytown for Gun Safety has been mentioned 100 times and continues to earn coverage. In the same time period, the NRA has been mentioned 1,900 times.

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