Better Know A Right-Wing Attack Group: Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Prosperity logoPart three of ThinkProgress’ profiles of right-wing groups that are taking advantage of the Citizens United ruling to flood the airways with independent attack ads. See Part 1 and Part 2.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization.

Created in 2004 when Citizens for a Sound Economy (a conservative organization founded in 1984 by oil billionaires David and Charles Koch) split, AFP calls itself “an organization of grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets.” Its goals include “cutting taxes and government spending in order to halt the encroachment of government in the economic lives of citizens,” “removing unnecessary barriers to entrepreneurship,” and “restoring fairness to our judicial system.”

Though generally associated with the Koch Brothers, the organization is led by president Tim Phillips. Phillips, a former chief of staff for Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), co-founded Century Strategies with Ralph Reed — the former Christian Coalition executive director and Jack Abramoff-scandal figure. Phillips has made a career in corporate “astroturfing.”

The group’s directors include controversial millionaire and former North Carolina State Rep. Art Pope (R) and former Reagan administration budget director James C. Miller.

The group has funded efforts to “incubate” Tea Party organizations and was highly visible in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election running ads and sending staffers in the state to support Gov. Scott Walker (R).

Sample AFP ad:


YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AforP
Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/AFPhq

Graphics by Adam Peck. Christina Lewis and Ellie Sandmeyer contributed to this report