API ad on Hagan

The American Petroleum Institute airs an ad asking U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan not to raise taxes on energy companies.

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Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Now that campaign season is over, television ads can go back to hawking beer, medicine and legal services. 

But if you watch WRAL and some other stations around the state, you might see something that looks an awful lot like a campaign ad targeting U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat.

The American Petroleum Institute, a trade group for energy producers and distributors, is airing what amount to issue ads mentioning "energy state Democrats," according to the National Journal. The spots feel very familiar to anyone who watched television during the campaign. 

"Sen. Kay Hagan can make energy a big part of improving our economy," says the voice over. "She can choose economic growth and American jobs, not slow them with job-killing energy taxes." 

The ads comes as Congress works to avoid combination of tax increases and spending cuts generally -- and inaccurately -- described as the "fiscal cliff."

North Carolina isn't exactly an energy state yet, but state lawmakers did embark on a process that will clear the way for shale gas exploration -- fracking -- last year. It is worth noting that Hagan is up for election in 2014 and that this may just be the first mass communication of that campaign.

In case you haven't seen the ad, it is linked below: 

Full disclosure notes: From our for what its worth department, it appears that API paid $21,600 to run the ad on a handful of WRAL news broadcasts this month. The group spent roughly another $7,300 on ads airing on Fox 50, which is also owned by Capitol Broadcasting.
Hagan herself owns stock in energy-related companies such as Duke Energy, Progress Energy and Exxon, according to her 2011 economic interest disclosure form. as well as a few smaller energy concerns. 



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