by Max Brantley
AFP also thinks that, at least in Arkansas, they've got the left beat at the Internet game. Cline says, "If you look at what the left has been able to accomplish with social media, in Arkansas, we are significantly ahead of the folks on the other end of the political spectrum from ourselves, and it's noted by everyone." Tim Phillips, the organization's president, notes that their "data folks" have been instrumental in choosing where to canvass. And they've now focused all this might on fighting the Affordable Care Act and the Democrats in Arkansas who supported it, Mark Pryor getting special attention. And after failing to stop the "private option" Medicaid expansion from getting passed in the conservative state legislature in April 2013, they're itching for another victory. Turning out those voters who already are sympathetic to their messaging is key.
The Arkansas Democrats seem set on borrowing some of the tactics the DSCC has used on the national level with their "Addicted to Koch" campaign. "It's not a stretch to say that Cotton owes his political career to these outside groups," Burgwinkle says, "and it's clear he's rewarding them with his votes." In their "Too Reckless for Arkansas" campaign, they mention that he was the only Arkansan to vote against both forms of the Violence Against Women Act and the farm bill. The party ran an ad in Arkansas last week that focused on the trips — paid for by groups like Club for Growth, the American Enterprise Institute and Conservative Action — that Cotton went on over the course of his term. The envelope filled with $300,000 worth of checks that Cotton received in 2010 from Club for Growth is another favorite factoid of the Arkansas Dems. The DSCC is also likely to mention the Cotton-Koch connection once they get to Arkansas. DSCC spokesman Barasky used a line similar to Burgwinkle's when talking about the race, "The best way to combat the Koch brothers is to show that Tom Cotton serves the Koch brothers' interests. Not Arkansans."