The ultimate goal of the Koch-funded political organization “Americans For Prosperity” is to “take the unions out at the knees.” And with their aggressive involvement in the major fight in Wisconsin to strip employees of collective bargaining rights, they are making moves top do just that.
Americans For Prosperity is a group started by billionaire conservative financiers Charles and David Koch and greatly aided by the new reality of anonymous campaign contributions and unlimited political spending. AFP was born out of the post-Citizens United period when dozens of conservative independent organizations were popping up to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s destruction of basic limits on corporate political contributions and laws requiring donors to be made public.
Fueled by unlimited cash from the Kochs and the ability to spend as much as they wanted, AFP has become a major player in the circle of heavyweight independent conservative political groups.
Now, with the Kochs having successfully helped Tea Party-’allied lawmakers like Wisconsin gov. Scott Walker into power, they expect dividends. And “public enemy number one” for AFP and the base of the Republican Party is organized labor.
So it comes as little surprise that the director of Michigan’s chapter of Americans For Prosperity publicly stted the goal of his group is to ”take the unions out.”
In a speech earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s annual conference, Americans For Prosperity-Michigan Executive Director Scott Hagerstrom revealed the true goal of his group and its allies like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) efforts. Speaking at CPAC’s “Panel for Labor Policy,” Hagerstrom said that AFP really wants to do is to “take the unions out at the knees”:
***HAGERSTROM: It’s easy to go out there and fight taxes and increased regulation, you know we send out an action alert on taxes to AFP and we get thousands of people to respond. You send out one on a more complicated issue and it just doesn’t quite resonate…We fight these battles on taxes and regulation but really what we would like to see is to take the unions out at the knees so they don’t have the resources to fight these battles.***
AFP is doing their part in Wisconsin well, cementing their support for Gov. Walker’s plan to end collective bargaining for state employees by launching a $350,000 TV ad campaign this week.
Americans for Prosperity will launch a television ad in Wisconsin on Wednesday that says public employees “walked off their jobs, abandoning our children” and that Democratic state senators “don’t even have the guts to show up for their jobs.”
The Tea Party affiliated group’s $342,200 ad buy is part of its “Stand With Walker” initiative to support Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The ad will run on network and cable channels across the state beginning on Wednesday and continuing through March 1, AFP said in a news release. AFP says it has already collected 60,000 signatures in support of Walker.
“Incredibly, President Obama backs the union bosses and floods Wisconsin with out-of-state political protesters,” the ad’s narrator says.
The ad asks whether “voters” or “government unions” decide Wisconsin’s future and says Gov. Walker “has the courage to do what’s right for Wisconsin.