Koch brothers fund $1.8 million ad campaign for Wisconsin’s Scott Walker ahead of midterm elections

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the $10 billion Foxconn factory complex on June 28, 2018 in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin. 
Scott Olson | Getty Images

Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin (AFP), an arm of the network funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, is launching an ad campaign in support of Governor Scott Walker ahead of the midterm elections in November.

AFP will spend $1.8 million on TV, cable and digital advertising, it announced Tuesday, with a push for Republican Walker's education credentials. The ad blitz will quote positive comments from his Democrat opponent Tony Evers, who called Walkers' education budget "pro-kid," according to the Associated Press.

Evers has said that he praised the additional spending for public schools because Walker was proposing much of what Evers put forward as state superintendent, AP reported.

Wisconsin has been a Republican state since Walker was elected in 2010, and in November he will be up against state schools chief Evers, who won the Democratic nomination in last week's primary elections.

President Trump fires back at Koch brothers network on Twitter

Trump, who has previously criticized Walker, called him "a tremendous governor who has done incredible things for that great state," in a tweet last week. But a poll for NBC News previously suggested that Walker faced some weakness in the state, with 34 percent of Wisconsin's registered voters saying he should get re-elected, while 61 percent said a new person should lead the state.

The Koch brothers' Freedom Partners last month ran a TV ad campaign called "Trade not aid," protesting President Trump's import tariffs. The president responded in a tweet, saying, "I never sought their support because I don't need their money or bad ideas."

The Koch brothers' AFP also supported Heidi Heitkamp, the North Dakota Democratic senator, running a digital advertising campaign in June, thanking her for co-sponsoring the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protect Act, a bill that rolls back Dodd-Frank regulations, mainly on community banks.

Two months previously, the Koch network ran an ad campaign costing around $450,000 and attacking Heitkamp for voting against the Republican tax reform bill in December. But now AFP wants to push its policy initiatives through Congress regardless of party affiliation.

  • CNBC's Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.