Astroturf In Action: Right-Wing Billionaire David Koch Pays For 40 Buses To Haul In Protesters
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the corporate front group founded in the 1980s by Koch Industries billionaire David Koch, worked closely with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to orchestrate the anti-health reform rally today. As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, AFP has been encouraging right-wing activists to board their buses — free of charge — to attend the rally. While AFP does not disclose all of its corporate donors, foundations controlled by David and Charles Koch provide millions in yearly funding, and David continues to chair the AFP foundation and preside over AFP’s annual convention.
ThinkProgress found at least a dozen AFP staffers standing at their designated bus drop off point near the Capitol, handing out signs, directions, talking points, petitions, and donuts to protesters. Many of the people who work at AFP are longtime Republican operatives, like Ben Marchi, the AFP Virginia director who previously worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee and for Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX). Victor Zapanta produced this video report of AFP staffers talking about their exploits at the rally today:
AFP STAFFERS: We have 25 buses just from Pennsylvania, New Jersey we probably have 5 or 6 from Maryland.
AFP STAFFERS: We have about 40 buses coming.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/7-Jat8qOaws&hl=en&fs=1& expand=1]