American Freedom Alliance

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

"The American Freedom Alliance (AFA) claims to be a non-political, non partisan, movement of concerned Americans which identifies threats to western civilization.[1]

The AFA is anti-climate science, anti-evolution and Islamophobic in its outlook.[2]

One boardmember is a former California GOP head, and the group's legal status has unusual aspects.



June "Green hell" literary cafe with Monckton and Milloy

"What the Greens really seek, with increasing success, is to dictate the very parameters of your daily life--where you can live, what transportation you can use, what you can eat, and even how many children you can have." [1]

June climate denial, anti-sustainability conference

In June 2011 AFA was the host of the climate skeptic conference "Big Footprint: Is Green the New Tyranny" at the UCLA Faculty Center. Speakers on the programme were (see ref. page for more detail):[3]

2009 Creationist film lawsuit against California Science Center

"The American Freedom Alliance is, perhaps, best known for its on-going legal action with the California Science Center over the cancellation of an AFA event to be held at the centre in 2009 at which it intended to screen a "teach the controversy" film called Darwin's Dilemma, which explores the "Mystery of the Cambrian Explosion in Fossil Records." At the time, Avi Davis, executive director and senior fellow of the American Freedom Alliance, said: "New scientific evidence makes it vital that we take a close look at the numerous inherent scientific problems of the Darwinian theory of evolution." The AFA has subsequently fought the case on the grounds of freedom of expression."[2]


As of June 2011, personnel were:[3]

Board of Directors

  • Barak Lurie, attorney with Lurie & Park
  • Heidi N. Nietert, finance
  • Shawn Steel, Republican National Committee member[4] and former California GOP chair who was instrumental in the effort to recall California governor Gray Davis[5]
  • Dr. Robert Hamilton, Santa Monica pediatrician
  • David Horwatt, IT


Avi Davis is Executive Director and Senior Fellow, and Rueben Gordon is Assistant Director.


As of June 2011:[4]

The "About Us" "Mission" page has a different "Fellows" list, showing three: Davis, Spencer, and Stephen Coughlin.[7]

Nonprofit status is odd

AFA assertion: incorporated in California, 501(c)(3), tax deductible

"American Freedom Alliance is incorporated in the State of California as a nonprofit public benefit corporation. It is a non profit organization under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to AFA are tax deductible under Section 170 of the Code. EID 68-0643445."[6]

Registered in California ("Active", in Sec. of State "Corporations" database)

The Secretary of State's "Business entities" search shows the AFA as active, with entity #C3085842 and a filing date of 2008-02-07.

...but not as a charity? ("Not registered", on AG Charitable Trusts database)

AFA is located in California, but the Calif. Attorney General Registry of Charitable Trusts website shows the AFA as "not registered"[8]

Federally: though extant by 2007, still no Form 990s 4 1/2 yrs later

Although the AFA has been sponsoring events since at least 2007[9], [10], Guidestar (which shows AFA's ruling date as April 2009) shows no income and no Form 990 filings for the group.[7]

July 2011 claim: AFA Form 990 filing "under review"; but still no 990 in December

In a July 2011 email, AFA head Avi Davis said the AFA had filed its Form 990, but he did not provide a copy, saying it was "under review".[11].

Davis did not respond to subsequent requests for clarification and additional information,[12] and by early December, Guidestar still showed no Form 990 for the organization.


One funder is the Fairbrook Foundation

"The AFA's funding is unclear, but tax returns (pdf) for the Fairbrook Foundation - a charitable foundation set up by computing multi-millionaires Aubrey and Joyce Chernick, which supports a wide range of Jewish and pro-Israeli groups - show that the foundation has donated more than $100,000 to the AFA since it was founded in 2007."[2]

(Actually, it's more than $200,000, according to Fairbrook's 2008 and 2009 Form 990s on Guidestar: $170,000 in 2008([8] or [9]) and $39,500 in 2009.[10].)



11500 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone: (310) 444 3085
Fax: (310) 444 3086

Articles and resources


  1. American Freedom Alliance Home page
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Leo Hickman (2011-06-10). Climate sceptics flirt with intelligent design and Islamophobic group - Leo Hickman - Environment. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
  3. Speakers - Big Footprint: Is Green the New Tyranny? Conference. American Freedom Alliance. Retrieved on 2011-06-12.
  4. John Gizzi (2011-01-22). New Slate At RNC. HUMAN EVENTS. Retrieved on 2011-07-29. “At least three prominent California conservative GOPers sent maximum donations to Lieberman based on his support for U.S. action in Iraq: GOP National Committeeman Shawn Steel, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and 1992 GOP U.S. Senate nominee Bruce Herschensohn.”
  5. Joe Garofoli (2003-11-09). 'Nutballs' no more, talk radio jocks bask in their recall role. SF Chronicle. Retrieved on 2011-07-29. “...Shawn Steel, a former California GOP chairman who was one of the recall's early leaders. "Historians will look back on this election as the time that the combination of the Internet and talk radio overtook the power of daily newspapers."”
  6. Tashbih Sayyed. Wikipedia. Retrieved on 2011-07-29. “(1941–2007)”
  7. About us - fellows. American Freedom Alliance. Retrieved on 2011-07-29. “Fellows: Avi Davis, Robert Spencer, Stephen Coughlin”
  8. (Registrant information, American Freedom Alliance). Attorney General, California Department of Justice. Retrieved on 2011-07-29. “Registration Status: Not Registered”
  9. Tom Tugend (2007-01-25). Briefs: Journalist: West Is losing ‘War of Ideas;’ Daniel Pipes comes to Pepperdine -. Jewish Journal. Retrieved on 2011-06-12. “[Melanie] Phillips also spoke in the evening at the Wilshire Theater, at a public event sponsored by the American Freedom Alliance and the Temple of the Air, part of her national tour with stops in New York, Detroit and Atlanta.”
  10. Tom Tugend (2007-06-21). Malibu conference on Europe sees threats in ‘multiculturalism’. Jewish Journal. Retrieved on 2011-06-12. “The American Freedom Alliance and its associated Council for Democracy and Tolerance plan a follow-up conference in November in Washington, D.C., focusing on the political and legal aspects of the European situation.”
  11. Email to ahaynes dated 2011-07-20
  12. email and phone from ahaynes to Davis, July 26 and 27, 2011

External resources

External articles