WASHINGTON -- The Koch brothers are making a big push for long-shot Republican Senate hopeful Monica Wehby, increasing their advertising spending on behalf of the Oregon candidate to $3.6 million.
Webhy's policy platform, meanwhile, is lining up squarely with that of the Kochs. The Oregonian, a Portland newspaper, recently posted a series of articles detailing the positions of Wehby and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) on 14 Senate votes from the past six years. Wehby took a hard conservative line. On every vote where the Koch-backed tea party group Americans for Prosperity took a position -- eight of the 14 -- Webhy sided with the Kochs.
Wehby said she would have voted to make the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy permanent and to approve the tea party "cut, cap and balance" budget bill, which includes severe across-the-board spending cuts more draconian than those in the budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that would have slashed Medicare and converted it to a voucher program. Wehby also said she would have voted against both Obamacare and the 2010 Wall Street reform bill. She said she would have voted to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions and to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. She also said she'd have voted against the farm bill. All of those positions match the Americans for Prosperity congressional scorecard.
Wehby took conservative positions on votes that AFP didn't monitor for its scorecard, including the Paycheck Fairness Act, an equal pay bill that Wehby said she would have opposed.
Word of the most recent Koch ad buy was forwarded to HuffPost by the Merkley campaign and confirmed by Wehby's campaign.
"Dr. Wehby's positions are driven by nothing more than her own belief on how best to address the issues that matter most to Oregonians," Wehby spokesman Dean Petrone told HuffPost. "The outside ad buys confirm that Merkley's abysmal record on job creation, and health care has left him vulnerable, and put Oregon back on the map for Republicans."
The Kochs initially pledged $1.9 million to the race through their Freedom Partners 501(c)(4) organization (sometimes called a "social welfare" group) that promotes free-market ideology. They have now increased that figure twice, first to $3.1 million and now to $3.6 million.
Wehby trails Merkley 37.1 percent to 50.9 percent, according to HuffPost Pollster, which combines all publicly available polling data: