"Better Know A Right-Wing Attack Group: American Action Network"
American Action Network is a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization.
Founded in 2010, AAN is chaired by former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN). Its president is Brian O. Walsh, a former political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. AAN says it is an “action tank” that aims to “create, encourage and promote center-right policies based on the principles of freedom, limited government, American exceptionalism, and strong national security.”
According to the group’s website, it was founded by Fred Malek — the controversial Republican activist best known for co-chairing Nixon’s notorious Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP). Malek has since become a private equity millionaire.
Others on the board are former Sen. Mel Martinez (a Florida Republican and former RNC chairman who abruptly resigned midway through his sole Senate term to pursue a private sector career), former Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), former Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA), and former Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN), and former Bush Ambassdor C. Boyden Gray (the man enlisted by Karl Rove to create an organization to push for confirmation of George W. Bush’s judicial nominees).
Sample AAN ad:
- American Action Forum, a 501(c)(3) public policy institute
- Hispanic Leadership Network, an “initiative” of the American Action Network dedicated to “a sustained effort to engage the Hispanic Community on center-right issues”
Graphics by Adam Peck. Christina Lewis and Ellie Sandmeyer contributed to this report