Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charles Koch speaks at the network's 2018 winter seminar. Photo: Seminar Network.

The Koch network, the most well-funded and powerful network on the right, is launching a $4 million ad campaign to hit vulnerable Democrats ahead of the midterm elections for their votes against the new tax law. The campaign is part of the network's plan to spend $20 million to advance the GOP tax cuts.

Why it matters: The Koch network has a history of running ads early in the midterm election cycle to try and shape races, and this is an example of them coming out in full force for 2018.

The details:

  • Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-funded political advocacy group, is launching the TV and digital ad campaign Thursday in Missouri and Indiana.
  • Koch network spokesman James Davis told Axios that the ads will focus on informing citizens about Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Claire McCaskill's (D-Mo.) "broken promises on tax reform" and holding them accountable for their opposition to the tax plan.
"Throughout their careers, both senators have paid lip service to tax reform, but ultimately put partisan politics ahead of growth and prosperity for their constituents by voting against the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act."
— From AFP's press release.
  • Note: Koch has deemed Indiana and Missouri as two of the most competitive Senate races in 2018, and they recognize that this year Republicans will be on the defensive.

Donnelly's Communications Director, Will Baskin-Gerwitz, in an emailed statement to Axios:

"... Special interest ads from the out-of-state billionaires who wanted this legislation won't change the fact that the McConnell tax plan will ultimately raise taxes on middle class families to fund new tax breaks for people like the Kochs and the rest of the one percent who'll make millions more in profits."

McCaskill's Communications Director, Meira Bernstein:

“Claire’s record of working across the aisle to get results for Missourians speaks for itself — and no amount of money from the Koch Brothers is going to change Claire’s commitment to putting the people of Missouri before dark money billionaires and special interests like them.”

Go deeper: Koch network — 2018 is going to be tough

Go deeper

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

2 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.