Americans for Prosperity Press Backgrounder


Americans for Prosperity is part of an array of industry backed, right-wing groups who have promoted turnout at health care town halls from

Rachel Maddow did an investigation into the groups behind the mob-style rallies and one of the more prominent groups is Americans for Prosperity (AFP).

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) was founded in 2003 by the tobacco industry, and has fought to destroy laws which promote clean indoor air & reduce smoking.12 Recent AFP campaigns include a “hot air tour” across the country, where AFP
has denied the scientific fact of global warming,3 and this past spring’s extremist right-wing fringe “Tea Parties.”4

The Americans for Prosperity Foundation is Chaired by David Koch, a billionaire co-owner of oil-and-gas giant
Koch Industries.5 Since 1990, Koch Industries has been fined over $400 million in both criminal fines resulting from oil spills and
damages levied after teenagers died when one of Koch’s oil pipelines exploded.6 7

In Michigan, Americans for Prosperity is headed by Scott Hagerstrom, a Legislative Director for former State
Representative Jack Hoogendyk.
8Hagerstrom was handed the position by his wife, Amy Hagerstrom, who led Ron Paul’s Michigan campaign after heading up the ballot effort to impose anti-worker “right-to-work” laws on Michigan’s working families.9

At AFP-organized protests throughout the country, extremists have hung Congressmen in effigy, gotten in fist-fights, screamed at Representatives, and compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler.10
11 12

1 “Americans for Prosperity.” SourceWatch: A project of the Center for Media and Democracy.

2“Debate on smoking ban renewed in House.” Kristen Mack. Houston Chronicle. 14 March 2007.

3“AFP Takes ITs Hot Air Balloon Tour Cross Country to Expose the Hidden Energy Tax Hike in Cap-and-Trade Legislation.” AFP Blog.

4“Spontaneous Uprising? Corporate Lobbyists Helping to Orchestrate Radical Anti-Obama Tea Party Protests.” Lee Fang. Think Progress. 9 April 2009.

5“David H. Koch.” SourceWatch: A project of the Center for Media and Democracy.

7David H. Koch.” SourceWatch: A project of the Center for Media and Democracy. [I am led to believe that the judgement of $376.69 million, stemming from the deaths of teenagers, was later overturned, but I am unable to verify this. It is, however, accurate to say that a $376 million verdict was made against them.]

8Americans for Prosperity Announces New Michigan State Director: Scott Hagerstrom.” AFP. 17 June 2008.

9 “AFP Michigan Director Amy Hagerstrom in Today’s MIRS.” 24 July 2007.

10“Van Hollen on protesters hanging Dem. congressman in effigy: It was a ‘shocking and despicable act of hate.’” Amanda Terkel. Think Progress. 29 July 2009.

11“Health Care Town Halls Turn Violent in Tampa and St. Louis.” FOX News. 7 August 2009.

12“Rep. Dingell Town Hall: A Teabagger Extravaganza.” Electablog. Michigan Liberal. 7 August 2009.

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