Buying A Voice: Americans for Prosperity Responds - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Buying A Voice: Americans for Prosperity Responds

RICHMOND (WWBT) - It is a group that is just beginning its assault on President Barack Obama.  We have already told you about the group "Americans for Prosperity" (AFP). The fiscally conservative group has launched a series of ads attacking the president.

Their first ad had such an impact that Barack Obama's campaign was forced to return fire.

AFP is back on the airwaves in Virginia, driving home the same point about the president's role in the Solyndra scandal.

It is the kind of ad that looks as if it were produced by a high- priced deep pocketed, political organization. But despite what you've heard about American's for Prosperity. State director Audrey Jackson argues they are made up of normal people, committed to a common cause.

"Here in Virginia we have 70,000 activists. We stand for principles of limited government," said Jackson. "You know free market values."

Jackson, who once worked for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and for republicans in the General Assembly, is responsible for connecting volunteers with their leaders and helping to get their voices heard. A big job based on the group's claim of how many people are members.

"We have about 90,000 contributors nationwide," she said. "Many in Virginia."

But AFP's detractors argue that their state based infrastructure is nothing more than a front, and that the big money and influence is coming from a very small group of multi-billionaire donors.

Jackson claims those people have never met the AFP volunteers.

"Sure we have some large contributors and we have some small ones," she said. "It's folks that share in our values."

The group has spent millions on ads, but we will never know where that cash specifically comes from.

"Our donors have entrusted us with that and we feel like we need to respect their privacy," Jackson said.

That is something that won't change, unless the law changes.  

We have more on Americans for Prosperity on decisionvirginia.com.

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