American Solutions for Winning the Future
American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF) is a 527 PAC group which describes itself as a "citizen action network" with the expressed goal "to create the next generation of solutions that will ensure that the United States remains the safest, freest, and most prosperous country in the world." The group claims to be "non-partisan" and is headed by former Republican speaker Newt Gingrich.
The group has launched a petition promoting expanding oil and gas exploration in the U.S.
On its website, it states that the petition is to "petition the U.S. Congress to act immediately to lower gasoline prices (and diesel and other fuel prices)* by authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries".
More recently, ASWF has been soliciting contributions for the purpose of derailing the Employee Free Choice Act which would allow company employees to form a union through a petition method in addition to the established method of an election through secret ballots. The solicitations falsely imply that the "card" method supplants the secret ballots when it is an additional method.
Peabody funding and support for coal
ASWF's “Platform Of The American People” includes support for increasing coal use in the United States:
- To combat the rising cost of energy and reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources, we support the United States using more of its own domestic energy resources, including the oil and coal it already has here in the U.S.
- We believe the United States should increase its use of coal because it is a domestically available energy source, is less expensive than imported foreign oil, and new technologies have dramatically reduced emissions from burning coal, as well as making it much less harmful to the environment.
- We believe that if research indicates we could build clean coal plants in the United States with no carbon emissions, it would be important to build such plants as rapidly as possible.
- We believe in using United States domestic energy sources such as clean coal and oil, even if it means drilling off our coasts and in Alaska, as well as offering tax credits for American businesses that develop new energy sources.
In August 2010, Salon.com released their findings on who is funding Newt Gingrich's American Solutions. Salon found a significant chunk of the group's funding comes from oil and gas and coal companies, according to the its IRS filings. American Solutions has run national TV ads opposing cap-and-trade bills.
According to Salon, American Solutions has taken in over $20 million as of the 2010 election cycle. Here are some of the group's biggest funders:
- American Electric Power: CEO Michael Morris of the Ohio-based power company gave $100,000 in 2009. Along with electricity, the company operates the nation's largest power transmission network, operating over much of the East Coast and Midwest.
- Arch Coal: Based in St. Louis, Arch boasts it provides 16 percent of America's coal supply from 11 mining complexes around the country, making it the second largest coal producer in the country. It gave Gingrich $100,000.
- Devon Energy: An Oklahoma-based oil and gas production company that gave American Solutions $250,000.
- Plains Exploration and Production: A Houston-based oil and gas company that operates in the Gulf gave $100,000.
- Workforce Fairness Institute: A Washington, D.C.-based anti-union pressure group that gave $150,000 to Gingrich's organization this cycle. Its website says it is "funded by and advocates on behalf of business owners who enjoy good working relationships with their employees, and would like to maintain those good relationships without the unfair interference of government bureaucrats, union organizers and special interests." Mark McKinnon, longtime GOP operative and Bush aide, has been a spokesman for the institute.
- Hubbard Broadcasting: Stanley Hubbard, a billionaire GOP donor from Minnesota, gave Gingrich's group $100,000. He owns radio and TV stations in several states.
- Sheldon Adelson: ranked #6 of the world's billionaires in 2007, gave $1 million back in 2006.
Total receipts reported for 2008 were $22,722,547. Top Contributors for 2008 based on IRS records ,
- 1. Las Vegas Sands $5,000,000
- 2 Real Estate Developer $1,100,800
- 3 Retired $872,596
- 4 American Financial Group $650,000
- 5 Peabody Energy $275,000
- 6 Crow Holdings $250,000
- 6 Marcus Foundation $250,000
- 6 Devon Energy $250,000
- 9 Station Casinos $249,999
- 10 Saunders, Karp & Megrue $200,000
- 11 Worldwide Assets $180,000
- 12 Real Estate Investor $176,000
- 13 Self-Employed $162,069
- 14 International Speedway $157,000
- 15 Windway Capital $130,000
- 16 Hubbard Broadcasting $101,000
- 16 Private Investor $101,000
- 18 Clarium Capital $100,000
- 18 Godley Management $100,000
- 18 Cintas Corp $100,000
- Dan Varroney, Chief Operating Officer
- Vince Haley, Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Communications
- Becky Burkett, Vice President & Chief Development Officer
- Paige Bray, Vice President and Comptroller
Additional staff listed on the staff information page  of the ASWF website.
1425 K Street, NW Suite 750
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 355-9470
Fax: (202) 355-9471
Email: info AT americansolutions.com
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- "AboutAmericanSolutions", American Solutions website, accessed August 2008.
- "Fuel the movement: Sign the petition", American Solutions website, accessed August 2008.
- American Solutions for Winning the Future, "Freedom Not Fear", American Solutions for Winning the Future website, accessed March 2009.
- Brad Johnson, "Newt's American solutions Is a Front Group for King Coal," The Wonk Room, July 30, 2008
- Brad Johnson,"Newt's American solutions Is a Front Group for King Coal," The Wonk Room, July 30, 2008
- Justin Elliott, "Who's funding Newt Gingrich?" Salon, August 10, 2010.
- "ASWF 2008 Top Contributors"OpenSecrets website, accessed March 2010.
- "Staff - AmericanSolutions", American Solutions website, accessed March 2010.
- Marianne Lavelle, "Gingrich’s 527 group is a major player in this year's elections", Center for Public Integrity/Grist, September 12, 2008.
- Kenneth P. Vogel, "Newt Gingrich's $4 million tops 2012 field", Politico, October 16, 2010.