Better Know A Right-Wing Attack Group: American Action Network

American Action Network logoPart four 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, Part 2, and Part 3.

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:


YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericanActNet
Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/AAN

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