Wisconsin “offices” (recruitment centers) in Sheboygan, Wausau and other locations.
AFP serves as the Kochs’ “grassroots” operation, also known as astroturf. AFP spends millions on TV ads in election cycles. In the 2012 election cycle, it was a key component of the Kochs’ $400 million political network, receiving large portions of its money from Koch-linked dark money groups like Freedom Partners, American Encore, and Donors Trust. AFP’s budget, which comes from the Koch family foundations and other unknown sources, surged from $7 million in 2007 to $40 million in 2010 and then peaked $115 million in 2012. In 2018, the most recently available report, AFP’s budget was $96.5 million.According to the Center for Public Integrity, Americans for Prosperity “spent a staggering $122 million (in 2012) as it unsuccessfully attempted to defeat President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats,” including $83 million on “communications, ads, and media.”
AFP’s messages are in sync with those of other groups funded by the Kochs and the Kochs’ other special interest groups that work against progressive or Democratic initiatives and protections for workers and the environment. Accordingly, AFP opposes labor unions, health care reform, stimulus spending, and any effort to combat climate change including President Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan.
Charles and David Koch both used the “powerful political group” to espouse “their libertarian philosophy” from AFP’s founding until 2018 when, reportedly, Koch Industries announced David was “stepping away from his political and business interests because of declining health”
AFP lists 38 states on their website as places where they are active. According to AFP president, Tim Phillips, who says that they are only in states where AFP feels it can “move the needle.” Phillips says AFP employs “hundreds” of staffers and has “thousands of volunteers,” it’s website boasts that “there are over 3,200,000 of us, and we’re active in your neighborhood.”
Emily Seidel currently serves as the CEO of AFP.