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Americans for Prosperity
This piece was co-written by Ryan Koronowski, Alliance for Climate Protection Research Director and Josh Nelson, Alliance for Climate Protection New Media Director.
This week, CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” spoke with Tim Phillips, the head of the front group Americans for Prosperity that’s funded by the oil company Koch Industries. Mr. Phillips was up to his old tricks. While acknowledging that he is not a scientist, he said that to believe climate science isn’t “far from settled” would be “arrogance.”
The success of GOP and Tea Party-backed candidates in the 2010 U.S. midterm elections was enabled by a massive influx of secretive spending thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.
A new analysis by the Sunlight Foundation identified $126 million in unrestricted funds spent during this midterm without any disclosure of whose money it was. That figure represents more than a quarter of the total $450 million spent by outside groups on the midterms.
Sunlight Foundation notes that:
The two leading GOP shadow groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS - both founded and guided by GOP veterans Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie - are reportedly “gloating” over their influence on the elections. The two groups spent more than $38 million on attack ads and misinformation campaigns to defeat Democratic candidates.
NBC News reports that “a substantial portion of Crossroads GPS’ money came from a small circle of extremely wealthy Wall Street hedge fund and private equity moguls.”
The billionaire Koch brothers have long claimed that they have no direct connection to the Tea Party, denying that their vast oil wealth is directly funding corporate front groups like Americans For Prosperity, the key organizers of the fake grassroots Tea Party movement.
David Koch told New York magazine earlier this year, “I’ve never been to a tea-party event. No one representing the tea party has ever even approached me.”
But the Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg reports today that footage has emerged showing David Koch at the podium during an Americans For Prosperity gala receiving direct and detailed reports from his astroturf AFP army on their efforts to organize tea parties around the nation.
Watch the clip from the new documentary (Astro)Turf Wars: How Corporate America Faked a Grassroots Revolution:
I am not sure if we ever posted this on DeSmog, but here is the interview Rachel Maddow did with Tim Philips on MSNBC.
Here’s our backgrounders on Tim Philips, Americans for Prosperity and their major donor Koch Industries that just so happens to be the largest private oil company in the United States:
Once you’ve read all of that you can watch this video
If you’ve never heard of Charles or David Koch, I wouldn’t blame. While they do run the second largest private company in the US, they don’t spend much money advertising the fact.
These oil barons do however spend a lot of money every year on organizations like Americans for Prosperity who attack the science of climate change and deny that it is happening.
Here’s a backgrounder on Koch just released yesterday by Climate Science Watch.
And here’s Greenpeace’s “Climate Crime Unit” on the hunt for Charles and David Koch:
The American Tea Party phenomenon unfortunately has a long arm, reaching all the way to the international climate negotiations currently underway in Copenhagen, Denmark.
With their outrageous signs and over-the-top rhetoric, the Tea Party claims can be easily dismissed as fringe players, but they are nevertheless playing a role in blocking action in Washington on the issue of climate change.
This is something the fossil fuel industry and their think tank network are very aware of and are using to their full advantage. One need not look any further than the notorious Americans for Prosperity, one of the leading groups organizing Tea Party attacks on healthcare reform, and now climate solutions.
The AFP is an organization that has recieved millions of dollars in funding over the years from the Koch Family Foundations - Koch Industries Inc., is the largest private energy company in the United States and a major Big Oil force. When it comes to funding the right-wing think tanks and the climate denial industry, Koch makes ExxonMobil look like a minor player.
AFP is a non-profit organization that will not disclose its donors when asked. However, Media Transparency shows that Americans for Prosperity, and their previous incarnation “Citizens for a Sound Economy,” have received over $13 million from the Koch foundations.
I just got word that Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is planning on protesting a presentation Al Gore is making tomorrow night in Portland, Oregon.
Under the guise of the “teabagger movement” AFP will do what it does best, which is protesting clean energy and green jobs.
It’s hard to believe this is much of a grassroots “teabagger” movement when the organizers get so much money from the largest private energy company in the United States.
Below is everything you need to know about AFP and their president Tim Phillips that we’ve pulled from our research database.
All this will be passed on to the local Portland media to ensure that they include this important context in any reporting they do on this story. If you’re from Portland or know anyone from the area, please pass this around to local bloggers and media.
You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that Glenn Beck wasn’t the mastermind behind the campaign to remove Van Jones from his position as a special advisor to the White House Council on Environmental Quality… that would be giving Beck way too much credit.
Turns out that the attack was orchestrated by a fringe group of free-marketeers called the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) who describe themselves as “grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels.” You can read a complete backgrounder on AFP here. It suffices to say they get a lot of money from some of the biggest players in the right-wing attack machine.
It will also come as no surprise that AFP is also behind much of the healthcare reform townhall shenanigans
On Fox News forum AFP’s director of policy, Phil Kerpen brags about how his organization brought down Van Jones:
“I spent the next two weeks researching everything I could find about Jones and the Apollo Alliance (much of which is still to be published, including a forthcoming paper from the Capital Research Center next month), the national umbrella organization for coordinating between the environmentalists, the labor unions, and the social justice street organizers that Jones has served as a board member and a primary national spokesman for.”
This was all then fed to Glenn Beck who gleefully took it to town and hammered away on Van Jones. No kidding, Beck is bent on bringing this administration to its knees and rallying the right-wing fringe players to follow suit. And it won’t stop here, the likes of Kerpen and AFP have found their rallying cry: “Don’t argue clean energy, but instead paint Obama’s policies as a socialist/communist plot to control America.”