Americans for Prosperity Ad in Virginia
by Charles Lemos, Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 01:31:22 PM EST
Americans For Prosperity (AFP) has released this 30 second spot claiming that global warming and green energy is a hoax. The spot quotes John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel. Mr. Coleman, who is no longer associated with the Weather Channel, launched a crusade last year to expose "the fraud of global warming." AFP self-promotes as being "committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process." It purports to be an grassroots organization that "engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels."
According to SourceWatch, AFP was established "in late 2003 as a successor to Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation following an internal rift between Citizens for a Sound Economy and its affiliated foundation." AFP was also formally affiliated with the Independent Women's Forum which was founded by Rosalie Gaull (Ricky) Silberman in 1992 as a vehicle to attack Hillary Rodham Clinton and other "secular feminists."
The AFP is one of the main right wing groups attacking the science of climate change. In 2008, Americans for Prosperity sponsored a Hot Air Tour campaign, a hot air balloon cross-country tour with the slogan, "Global Warming Alarmism: Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes, Less Freedom." According the the Hot Air Tour website, "Climate alarmists have bombarded citizens with apocalyptic scenarios and pressured them into environmental political correctness. It's time to tell the other side of the story." That of the energy companies, apparently.
One of its primary backers is the Koch Family Foundations which is the charitable trust of the Koch family that owns Koch Industries, the nation's largest privately held energy company, with annual revenues of more than $25 billion. Koch Industries is currently the second largest family-owned business in the country. The foundations are financed via the oil and gas fortunes of Fred G. Koch, a founding member of the John Birch Society. The principal owners are now Fred Koch's sons, David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch who have a combined personal fortune estimated at more than $3 billion and who have emerged as major Republican contributors in recent years. Both David and Charles are part of the Forbes 50. The Koch Family Foundation is also a major contributor to the libertarian Cato Institute. Finally, David Koch is the chairman of the board of Americans for Prosperity.
The ad is part of a $140,000 campaign and running only in Virginia.