Americans for Prosperity to launch ad campaign for Pence income tax cut
One of the most powerful conservative groups in politics is launching a campaign in Indiana that you will soon see on television.
The ads will focus on Governor Mike Pence's proposed ten-percent income tax cut.
Hoosiers have a lot on their minds these days, especially at lunch time.
Eyewitness News caught up with Karen Koeverlein on Monument Circle downtown.
"Ten percent tax cut. What do you think?" we asked.
"I'm for it."
"More money in my pocket," she replied.
Tim Phillips is national President of Americans for Prosperity. He outlined his group's Indiana activity at the Indiana Statehouse.
"We see a debate going on, on the state level that is really going to define a nation," said Phillips.
So Americans for Prosperity is going on the offensive with a 60-second television commercial making its case.
The group is bank-rolled by the Koch brothers, Charles and David, two billionaires who spent $140 million trying to defeat the president and flip the US Senate for the GOP in 2012 and failed. Now they've turned their attention to Indiana with a six-figure TV and radio ad campaign for Governor Mike Pence's proposed ten-percent income tax cut.
Governor Pence was asked last week if he would be using any campaign money to push for his income tax cut.
"I don't want to comment on how we are going to be communicating or whether we will be communicating," said Pence.
He was noncommittal to the idea of waging war with his own party on the issue, saying he would take lawmakers at their word that they would look at his idea again at the end of the session.
Chase Downham, the state president for the group, said they had not communicated with the Governor about their campaign.
"This is about the issue. It's not about the players involved. This is a ten-percent income tax cut for all Hoosiers. That is the focus of our message," he said.
Yet David Koch donated $200,000 to the Pence gubernatorial campaign.
We didn't need to tell Tom Maxwell about the group Americans for Prosperity when we asked him about it on his lunch break.
"They did this in the last election all over the country. They spent a lot of money trying to persuade people to their point of view that they had. I think that is just wrong," said Maxwell.
Out on the street, in the heart of Indianapolis, just blocks from the Statehouse people, did seem to be more than a little skeptical. Joan Laux was another one.
"What's in it for them? I want to know why they want to save me money, put money in my pocket," she said.
Speaking on the floor of the House Thursday, Minority Leader Scott Pelath gave majority Republicans an incomplete grade on the governor's income tax cut proposal.
"We've had some missed opportunities so far in this session," said Pelath.
Which might very well make this a political first. The Koch brothers and Democrats in Indiana seem to be on the same side.
Look for the ads to start in the next couple of days.