Americans for Prosperity Action

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Americans for Prosperity Action (AFP Action), the super PAC of Charles Koch's political network, claims to elect “candidates who will drive policy change and facilitate the building of broad policy coalitions that remove barriers to opportunity and help people improve their lives.” [1] What sets AFP Action apart from its nonprofit Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is the fact that as a super PAC they "can spend and raise unlimited amounts of money from corporations and mega-donors from across the country. It is not permitted to contribute or coordinate directly with a campaign."[2]

AFP Action reportedly sets out to fight "for less regulation, lower taxes and 'economic prosperity for all.'"[2]

News and Controversies

Push to Sink Trump

In June 2023, it was reported in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election Charles Koch and his various action arms had already raised more than $70 million "for political races as it looks to help Republicans move past Donald J. Trump." AFP Action, on its part, has already received $25 million to help with Koch's push to leave Donald Trump in the past. The Koch Network's goal "in the 2024 presidential primaries, which has been described only indirectly in written internal communications, is to stop Mr. Trump from winning the Republican nomination. In February, a top political official in the network, Emily Seidel, wrote a memo to donors and activists saying it was time to 'have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter.'"[3]

Early Attacks on Trump

In May 2023, it was reported that Charles Koch's Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and its super PAC, AFP Action (AFPA), had spent $347,022 in attack ads on Donald Trump to discredit his 2024 presidential bid. AFP "joins Club for Growth as the first right-wing super PACs to openly oppose Trump’s candidacy."

As a part of their attack strategy, "the initial election spending was for digital attack ads in four states to test various political messages with GOP primary voters. One 15-second spot claims that the only way Biden can win is if Trump is the nominee, and points out that 60% of voters oppose the ex-president running again. A second AFPA ad uses the same 60% statistic and claims that Trump “has done a lot of good things” but that he can’t win in 2024 since swing voters won’t support him. The 15-second ads on YouTube are straightforward, making use of still photos and graphics." [4]

AFP Action Bets Big on GOP Primaries

In June 2022, after raising $19 Million in early 2022, the Koch Brothers-funded AFP Action super PAC had already spent $8.2 million on Republican congressional candidates. Most of the funding comes from a few key donors "$6.5 million from Koch Industries; $1.5 million from Ron Cameron, owner of the poultry processor Mountaire Farms; and $1 million each from South Dakota banker T. Sanford Denny and coal company owner Richard Baxter Gilliam." [5]

Koch Industries is the Top Corporate Donor for Election Deniers

In December 2020, after the loss of President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden by an electoral college count of 306-232, Donald Trump made numerous claims about the integrity of the election. Joining in with Trump's claim, numerous Representatives from the House seemed to back up his baseless claims. It was discovered that in all 11 Representatives that backed up Trump's claim that the single top company PAC donating to their campaign was the Koch AFP Action Super PAC [6]

AFP Action Supports GOP Senators and 'Junk' Insurance Plans

In September 2020, AFP Action released several ads "alleging that several vulnerable GOP senators are fighting for high-quality, low-cost health insurance options for their constituents. The evidence that the super PAC uses to support its claims is thin, and the ads obscure the fact that these Republicans, who represent states including Colorado, North Carolina, and Texas, repeatedly voted to repeal the ACA with no meaningful plan to replace it." The ads show that several Senators support extended "'junk' health insurance plans—plans not subject to the ACA's numerous patient protections, including a requirement to cover pre-existing conditions." [7]

Amid the Pandemic, Koch Group Sends Out Door-to-Door Canvassers

In September 2020, while a majority of canvassing groups suspended their operations because of the Pandemic, one group that was canvassing was AFP's super PAC. According to CMD, "AFP Action has spent $6.5 million so far this year for people to go door-to-door to talk to voters in key U.S. Senate races. AFP claims 3 million members but is still paying for canvassers rather than recruiting volunteers." [8]

AFP Action Supports Republican Senators in 2020 Races

In December 2019, AFP Action made their first election-related spending for the 2020 cycle by supporting Republican "senators. It was reported that the group spent "nearly $230,000 in independent expenditures last week to boost Republic" n senators who face reelection battles in 2020." Of the targeted" senators, the funding helped support ads that "praise on Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), each o" whom will be Democratic targets next November." [9]

AFP Action Loses Six of Nine Key Races

In November 2018, after the announcement of AFP's new super PAC to fund key Republican races across the country, it was discovered that of the nine key House races the PAC was supporting, only three resulted in a Republican victory. [10]

Americans for Prosperity Launch New Super PAC

In September 2018, as the 2018 midterms entered their final stages, Americans for Prosperity launched a new super PAC to help fund critical races. The PAC was described as "a new tool to build broad policy coalitions in Congress to help advance AFP's vision, which will advocate for candidates who share our commitment to breaking internal and external barriers that prevent people from realizing their full potential." Bill Riggs, a spokesperson for AFP Action, is also quoted as saying, “Americans for Prosperity has been a difference-maker supporting policy champions in tight races, and AFP Action is a new tool that will allow us to expand those efforts and make an even larger impact.”[11]

Ties to the Koch Network

Americans for Prosperity Action is Charles Koch's major super PAC and serves under the larger Americans for Prosperity umbrella group, which has received numerous donations from Koch Industries and other Koch donor conduits.

Koch Wiki

Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.

Top Contributors

For a complete list of individual contributions, the relevant FEC info can be found here.

Top 10 Contributors for 2021-2022

  • Stand Together Chamber of Commerce Inc., $26,500,000.00
  • Koch Industries Inc., $20,000,000.00
  • Rob Walton, $2,000,000.00
  • Richard Baxter Gilliam, $2,000,000.00
  • T. Denny Sanford, $1,000,000.00
  • Shirley W Ryan, $750,000.00
  • Patrick G. Ryan, $750,000.00
  • Ron Bergan, $750,000.00
  • Steve Scheel, $500,000.00
  • Craig J Duchossois, $500,000.00

Top 10 Contributors for 2019-2020

  • Freedom Partners Action Fund Inc., $6,481,744.54
  • Koch Industries Inc., $8,000,000.00
  • Ronald Cameron, $4,000,000.00
  • Clarence L Werner, $1,500,000.00
  • Patrick G Ryan, $1,500,000.00
  • Ronald Bergan, $1,000,000.00
  • Richard Baxter Gilliam, $1,000,000.00
  • Roger Stone, $1,000,000.00
  • Wayne Laufer, $1,250,000.00
  • Mary Alice Bergan, $600,000.00

Top 10 Contributors for 2017-2018

  • Freedom Partners Action Fund, $5,000,000.00
  • Koch Industries Inc, $2,000,000.00
  • Ronald Cameron, $3,000,000.00
  • Roger Stone,$500,000.00
  • Wayne Laufer, $500,000.00
  • Lawrence Garatoni, $250,000.00
  • Steve Scheel, $150,000.00
  • Todd R Slawson, $150,000.00
  • Patrick Ryan, $100,000.00
  • Craig J Duchossois, $100,000.00

Core Financials

2021-2022 [12]

  • Total Receipts: $78,515,132.71
  • Total Disbursements: $79,816,088.70
  • End of Year Cash on Hand: $1,039,861.28

2019-2020 [13]

  • Total Receipts: $60,382,094.68
  • Total Disbursements: $60,576,641.48
  • End of Year Cash on Hand: $2,340,817.27

2017-2018 [14]

  • Total Receipts: $12,609,993.32
  • Total Disbursements: $10,074,629.25
  • End of Year Cash on Hand: $2,535,364.07

Personnel

As of June 9th 2023:

  • Robert Jentgens, Treasure[15]
  • Brian Costin, Senior Advisor[16]
  • Mack Morris, Senior Advisor [16]

Contact Information

Americans for Prosperity Action
2200 Wilson Blvd., 102-177
Arlington, VA 22201
Website:AFPaction.com
Twitter: @AFPAction
Youtube: AFP Action
Facebook:AFP Action

Articles and Resources

Related Articles

References

  1. AFP Action About, [1], AFP Action, Accessed June 1, 2023
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brian Schwartz, Koch network unveils new super PAC as Republicans fight to hold majorities in Congress CNBC, September 10, 2018
  3. Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Swan and Shane Goldmacher, Koch Network Raises Over $70 Million for Push to Sink Trump, The New York Times, June 29th, 2023
  4. Don Wiener, Koch Network Unleashes Early Attacks Against Trump, Exposed by CMD, June 15th, 2023
  5. Don Wiener,Koch Political Operation Spends Big on GOP Primaries, CMD Exposed, June 23, 2022
  6. Alex Kotch, Koch Industries Is Top Corporate Donor to Reps Who Will Try to Overturn Democracy, CMD Exposed, December 29, 2020,
  7. Alex Kotch, Koch Super PAC Touts GOP Senators' Support for "Junk" Insurance Plans, CMD Exposed, September 24, 202,0
  8. Don Wiener, Koch Group Americans for Prosperity Action Spends $6.5 Million on Door-to-Door Canvassing, CMD Exposed, September 22, 2020,
  9. ExposedByCMD Editors,Koch network makes first jump into 2020 races, defending GOP senators, Exposed by CMD, December 3, 2019
  10. Don Wiener, se-incumbents-in-key-targeted-house-races/Koch's New Super PAC Loses Six of Nine Incumbents in Key Targeted House Races, CMD Exposed, November 8, 2018,
  11. David Wright, Koch brothers' network launches new super PAC, CNN Politics, September 10, 2018,
  12. Americans for Prosperity Action Financial Summary, [2], Federal Election Commission, Accessed June 1, 2023
  13. Americans for Prosperity Action Financial Summary, [hhttps://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00687103/?tab=summary&cycle=2020], Federal Election Commission, Accessed June 9, 2023
  14. Americans for Prosperity Action Financial Summary, [3], Federal Election Commission, Accessed June 9, 2023
  15. FEC AFPA Committee Info,[4], Federal Election Commission, Accessed June 8 2023
  16. 16.0 16.1 LinkedIn Search,[5], LinkedIn, Accessed June 8 2023