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Americans for Prosperity Foundation

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Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP) is a section 501(c)(3) organization which operates as the counterpart of Americans for Prosperity, a section 501(c)(4) organization. On its website, Americans for Prosperity states that the two organisations are "committed to educating citizens about economic policy and a return of the federal government to its Constitutional limits."[1]


Purpose and mission

According to its literature, AFP aims to promote economic policy that supports business, and restrains regulation by government.

An August 2010 article in The New Yorker by Jane Mayer tied New York philanthropist and Koch Industries co-owner, David Koch, to the creation and funding of the AFP.[2] Ira Stoll of criticized the article, as implying that, "left-wing think tanks are nonpartisan watchdogs, but the free-market ones are part of some covert stealth nefarious plot", and referred to the open data already available about Koch-connected think tanks.[3][4] Matt Welch of Reason magazine labeled the New Yorker article a "hit-piece".[3]

Kate Zernike, in The New York Times, attributed the founding of the AFP to the Koch Brothers. [5]


Media Transparency found that Americans for Prosperity Foundation has received seven grants totaling $1,181,000 between 2004 to 2006 with $1 million coming from the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, one of the Koch Family Foundations.[6]

In its 2007 annual tax return, the AFP Foundation reported revenue of $5.7 million with expenditures of nearly $6.8 million. While the AFP Foundation ran at a loss that year, it had reserves. Of its expenditure, $2.1 million went to national office operations with just over $2.9 million allocated to the state-based chapters.[7]

Leadership and structure

Americans for Prosperity is led on the national level by its president, Tim Phillips, a former partner in the public affairs and public relations firm, Century Strategies with Ralph Reed (of the Christian Coalition).[8][9][10]

AFP's web site lists 23 staffed state chapters. [11]

Board members

The members of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation board, as of November 2008, are:[12]

According to Americans for Prosperity's 2007 IRS report, the following employees are common to AFP and AFPF, with AFPF paying the following amounts for their share of salaries and benefits:[13]

  • Michelle Korsmo - AFPF paid $96,883 in salary and $12,651 in benefits in 2007
  • Tim Phillips - AFPF paid $185,843 in salary and $17,236 in benefits in 2007
  • Ed Frank - AFPF paid $62,059 in salary and $5,401 in benefits in 2007

Former Board members:

Activities and programs

Below are some of the activities carried out by the Foundations's 501(c)(4) organization, Americans for Prosperity:

Hot Air Tour

AFP launched a campaign against carbon dioxide emission cuts called the Hot Air Tour, featuring webcasts from the United Nations meeting COP15 in Copenhagen 2009.[15]

No Climate Tax Pledge

Americans for Prosperity circulated a pledge to government officials asking them to oppose any climate change legislation.[16]

As of August 2010, more than 600 lawmakers and candidates, primarily Republicans, had signed the pledge. Prominent signers include Senators Pat Roberts and Roger Wicker; U.S. Representatives Michelle Bachmann, John Carter (Texas), Jeff Flake, Jim Jordan, Doug Lamborn, Lynn Westmoreland, Phil Gingrey, Tom Price, Fred Upton, Candice Miller, Bill Huizenga, Justin Amash, Tim Walberg, and Rocky Raczkowski; and candidates Jack Hoogendyk, Dan Benishek, Pete Olson, and Greg Davis.[17]

Defending the American Dream Summit

AFP hosted an event in Washington D.C. entitled "Defending the American Dream Summit" on October 5, 2007. The topic was government spending and taxation. Presidential candidates who attended included Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Sam Brownback, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson. Other speakers included John Stossel, Steve Lonegan, Dinesh D'Souza, Art Laffer, John Fund, Steve Moore, Herman Cain, Dr. Barry Poulson, and AFP founder David Koch.

A second Summit was held October 11, 2008.[18] The 2009 Summit was held October 3, in Washington, DC to address health care reform legislation, economic policy, and proposed energy legislation. Speakers included Newt Gingrich, Jim DeMint, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, and Michele Bachmann.[19]


In July 2008, Americans for Prosperity hosted RightOnline, a conference of conservative bloggers in Austin, Texas. The conference brought together conservative activists to develop strategies to counter left-wing bloggers and develop conservative New Media techniques.[20][21]

Government economic stimulus

AFP opposed the $787 billion stimulus package.[22]

Patients United Now

In May 2009, Americans for Prosperity launched Patients United Now, a website self-described as a project offering information for those opposed to what they describe as "a government takeover of the United States health care system."[23] A subsequent series of television ads opposing the Democratic health care reform proposals was launched by the Patients United Now organization. In one TV ad, a Canadian woman "Shona Holmes" is featured saying she got a runaround for brain tumor surgery and ultimately was treated in the U.S., although she actually had a benign Rathke's Cleft Cyst on her pituitary gland.[24] Columnist David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times wrote that a single-payer Canadian style insurance system is not part of any leading reform proposal as the ad suggests.[25] Media Matters for America called the ad "Strong on emotion and weak on facts."[26]

Political Ad Buys

During the summer of 2008, AFP funded a radio ad critical of a North Carolina U.S. Senatorial challenger, Democrat Kay Hagan, for her position on taxes and offshore oil drilling.[27]

Tea party activities

On February 27, 2009, in collaboration with others, the organization sponsored a Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and Washington, D.C. Tax Day Tea Party protest.[28]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Mission, Americans for Prosperity website, accessed August 21, 2007
  2. Mayer, Jane (2009-01-07). The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama. The New Yorker. Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Matt Welch (August 24, 2010). In Which "left-wing think tanks are nonpartisan watchdogs, but the free-market ones are part of some covert stealth nefarious plot". Reason: Hit and Run. Retrieved on August 25, 2010.
  4. Stoll, Ira (August 23, 2010). The New Yorker on David and Charles Koch. Retrieved on August 25, 2010.
  5. Zernike, Kate (October 19, 2010). "Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead". New York Times. 
  6. Media Transparency
  7. Charity Navigator, rating of AFP Foundation, accessed Aug 2009. Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  8. Century Strategies. SourceWatch. Retrieved on 2010-08-29.
  9. Kiel, Paul (2006-02-13). TPMCafe | Talking Points Memo | The Daily Muck. Retrieved on 2010-08-29.
  10. Utilizing Public Airwaves, Media Mogul Murdoch Is Big Muscle Behind Fraudulent Astro Turfers. (2009-08-20). Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  11. Americans for Prosperity - State Staff. (2010-09-08). Retrieved on 2010-10-26.
  12. "Americans for Prosperity Foundation", Guidestar, accessed February 2009.
  13. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, 2007 IRS Return, Guidestar, August 2008, page 1.
  14. About AFP, Americans for Prosperity website, February 13, 2008. (Now available only in the Internet Archive).
  15. Hot Air Tour. Hot Air Tour. Retrieved on 2010-08-29.
  16. Group against taxes seeks pledges from candidates, Lawrence Journal, July 22nd, 2008
  17. Pledge Takers. No Climate Tax. Retrieved on 2010-08-29.
  18. Americans for Prosperity Conference. (2008-10-11). Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  19. Defending the America Dream Summit. (2009-10-03). Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  20. "In Texas, the Right Boots Up to Gain Strength Online", The Washington Post (July 18, 2008). 
  21. Schatz, Amy (July 18, 2008). "In Online Politicking, Republicans Play Catch-Up", The Wall Street Journal. 
  22. No Stimulus!. No Stimulus!. Retrieved on 2010-08-29.
  23. About Patients United Now. Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  24. "Reality Check on Shona Holmes: Holmes' "Brain Tumour" was Actually a Rathke's Cleft Cyst on Her Pituitary Gland" Crooks and Liars, July 27, 2009.
  25. Healthcare debate framed by fear-mongering ads. Los Angeles Times (2009-08-09). Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  26. Media Matters, Factcheck, Patients United Now ad, May 27, 2009. (2009-05-27). Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  27. Americans for Prosperity to run pro-Dole ad | projects. Retrieved on 2010-08-29.
  28. "Tax-Day Tea Parties" AFP website, accessed November 2010.

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