What is Americans for Prosperity ?

AFP was established in late 2003 by David and Charles Koch as a successor to the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation. According to its website “Our mission is to mobilize citizens to advocate for policies that cut red tape and increase opportunity, put the brakes on government overspending, and get the economy working for hard workers– not special interests.” America’s largest “center”-right “grassroots” organization.

Like other Koch Brothers front groups their stated mission sounds pretty good, but what they actually do is quite different. As they say “actions speak louder than words”, and their intent is other than benefiting the country as a whole. Remember that David ran as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket, and both brothers have kept that ideology.

Let’s examine their mission statement: “advocate for policies that cut red tape” – AFP and the Koch brothers are the leading advocates in reducing the Environmental Protection Agency’s power, and their regulations. The Koch brothers are currently under investigation in Florida for dumping tons of toxic waste into the St. Johns River every day. In 2000, the EPA fined the Koch Brothers $30 million for its role in 300 oil spills, and was fined $20 million for benzene emissions in Texas. Not very hard to guess the Koch’s motivation here. And the push to lower taxes is focused on lowering taxes on corporations and the rich, NOT on everyone else.

In 2008 AFP ran its Hot Air Tour campaign, a hot air balloon cross-country tour with the slogan, “Global Warming Alarmism: Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes, Less Freedom”.

Increasing opportunity – not sure what that is supposed to mean unless it is referring to the Koch brothers having the opportunity to make more money and pollute more. AFP does absolutely nothing to create more opportunities for anyone else.

Putting the brakes on government spending – Besides advocating the elimination of the EPA and other governmental Regulatory agencies the AFP and the Koch brothers want to eliminate or privatize all “social” programs.

Get the economy working for hard workers – not special interests – Personally I doubt that the Koch brothers (and AFP) push to eliminate ALL Unions is any benefit to “hard workers. And the fact that AFP itself IS a ‘special interest” group contradicts that statement. Ask any teacher in Wisconsin how these policies have helped them and how it has helped Wisconsin’s economy.

As for “mobilizing citizens” AFP’s answer is the Tea Party. The Koch brothers (and big tobacco) created the Tea Party and AFP’s president is Tim Phillips, a Republican campaign strategist was an early tea party organizer.

AFP gets it’s data mostly from 2 other Koch funded “think tanks”. The Cato Institute and The Heritage Foundation. AFP frequently provides a platform for climate contrarian statements, such as “How much information refutes carbon dioxide-caused global warming? Let me count the ways.” AFP’s messages are in sync with those of other groups funded by the Koch’s and their other special interest groups that work against progressive initiatives and protections for workers and the environment.

While claiming to be a grassroots organization, AFP has bolstered it list of “activists” by hosting “$1.84 Gas” events, where consumers who receive discounts on gasoline are asked to provide their name and email address on a “petition” form. These events are billed as raising awareness about “failing energy policies” and high gasoline prices, but are never informed that the events were paid for by oil barons the Koch brothers.

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