If You Like Prosperity, Support AFP

What drives me crazy about some groups associated with the Tea Party movement is that all they want to do is attack Republicans. This year, some conservatives are trying to defeat Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. This is deeply misguided: McConnell is a solid conservative who scored a perfect 100% American Conservative Union rating in the 2012 session, and has a 90% lifetime ACU rating. The problem with the Senate is not that Mitch McConnell is the Minority Leader; the problem is that Harry Reid is the Majority Leader. Conservatives’ efforts should be directed toward defeating Democrats, not Republicans.

Which is exactly what Americans For Prosperity does. AFP is one of the most effective organizations on the right, to the point where the Washington Post expresses something close to admiration:

The organization is set to announce on Thursday a three-week ad campaign against Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.), bringing to five the number of vulnerable Senate Democrats in its cross-hairs. It also is going after Democrats running for open Senate seats in Michigan and Iowa and running ads against House Democrats, including Rep. Nick Rahall (W.Va.). …

As of this week, Americans for Prosperity has spent more than $27 million on ads since August, putting it on pace to far outstrip its overall $38.5 million budget for the 2010 midterms.

AFP’s decision to launch front-line attacks against Democrats while avoiding the Republican intraparty fights represents a new role for the organization, a powerful tea party ally that often has been at odds with the GOP leadership.

Its strategy serves as a sharp contrast with that of other tea-party-aligned organizations, such as FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund, which are tangling with establishment GOP groups in Republican primaries.

AFP is steering clear of those battles, keeping its sights trained on Democrats such as Sens. Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), providing early firepower for Republicans in their effort retake the Senate. Many of AFP’s ads feature women speaking in personal terms about the damage they say has been wrought by President Obama’s health-care law, an approach that could help the GOP peel away critical female supporters.

More Senate and House targets are still to come, said AFP President Tim Phillips, adding, “We’re definitely not finished.” …

In Michigan, AFP is in the midst of a $1 million three-week blitz against Rep. Gary Peters, who is running to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin.


The Post portrays Democrats as stunned by AFP’s effectiveness. The Democrats’ invariable response to AFP is that it is supported by the Koch brothers. I believe that is correct; it is a fact that is much to AFP’s credit. But much as the Democrats might wish that AFP were a Koch alter ego, it isn’t. The Post cites one analysis that says $44 million of the more than $140 million that AFP raised in the 2012 election cycle came from “Koch-linked funds,” whatever that means. I have no idea whether those numbers are correct, but assuming that they are, “Koch-linked funds” account for less than one-third of AFP’s resources. Moreover, AFP is a genuine grass roots organization. Millions of Americans have contributed financially or participated in its events.

So if you are looking for an organization worth supporting, an organization that will direct its fire against Democrats, not against fellow conservatives, AFP is an excellent choice. You can join AFP, donate to it, or participate in various activist efforts by going here.


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