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Chuck Hagel's nomination criticized by conservative group during popular TV programs

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"Jeopardy!" viewers in Denver will get a dose of politics during this evening’s program, Federal Communications Commission records indicate.

A recently formed group called Americans for a Strong Defense has purchased advertising time during "Jeopardy!," "Wheel of Fortune," "Meet the Press" and several other programs in Colorado’s largest media market ahead of this week’s potentially contentious confirmation hearing of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next defense secretary.

The group has purchased more than 90 TV spots for roughly $73,000 in the Denver media market, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of FCC records posted online.

Last week, Americans for a Strong Defense announced a multi-state advertising spree urging viewers to call their senators to vote against Hagel’s nomination.

The group’s ads are targeting Colorado’s two Democratic senators — Mark Udall and Michael Bennet — as well as Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Mark Pryor, D-Ark.; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; and Kay Hagan, D-N.C. With the exception of Bennet, each senator is likely to face a competitive re-election in 2014.

The Washington Post previously reported that Americans for a Strong Defense has invested at least $271,000 in the anti-Hagel ad buy. And other groups have also leveled criticisms against Hagel, including the American Future Fund, a conservative nonprofit that spent $14,000 to air a single anti-Hagel ad in the Washington, D.C., media market on "Fox News Sunday."

On Sunday, the New York Times further reported that GOP super donor Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., has been directly reaching out to Republican senators "to urge them to hold the line" against Hagel's confirmation.