Alexander Burns reports:

A deep-pocketed conservative outside group is poised to launch an ad campaign aimed at derailing Chuck Hagel’s bid to become secretary of defense.

The American Future Fund will go after the former Nebraska senator in state and national media outlets in the two weeks leading up to his confirmation hearings, AFF strategists told POLITICO. The Senate Armed Services Committee announced Wednesday that it will begin hearings on Hagel starting Jan. 31.

AFF plans a multi-stage messaging effort against Hagel, starting Thursday with ads online and in the Washington D.C. market, then extending to the states of senators voting on Hagel’s appointment to lead the Pentagon.

AFF spokesman Stuart Roy declined to put a price tag on the effort but said the organization will leave “no stone unturned in terms of mediums.” That will begin this week with a website,, and ads in Washington-based media, including POLITICO.

“It’s a very well-funded effort. We’ll start in D.C. and as we go into other phases, we’ll be talking to people in the states of individual senators,” Roy said. “When you have conservatives in full agreement with the Washington Post editorial board, you know you have a nominee with major flaws.”

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