At Americans for Prosperity Conference, Pushback Against New Yorker Article
At Friday’s Defending the American Dream summit hosted by Americans for Prosperity (AFP) in Washington, D.C., not only is David Koch not the proverbial elephant in the room, but organizers are hitting back against Jane Mayer’s recent New Yorker profile of the Koch family.
At a lunch session for the Texas delegation, State Director Peggy Venable criticized Mayer’s approach to the piece. She accused Mayer of misrepresenting the intention of the article when interviewing subjects:
She [Mayer] didn’t register with the media … And yet she was interviewing folks, and she told me she was doing a piece on tea parties. She called our board chairman and his giving covert. Now what is more covert than media coming in to a hit piece on our board chairman. She was not doing an article on Tea Parties, she was doing a hit piece on Charles and David Koch.
We get a very small, small, small single digit of our funding from our board.
She went on to say that Koch has never directed any of the activities for that state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, and that Mayer’s piece was “full of holes.”
In Mayer’s article, Venable is quoted as saying:
I was part of the Tea Party before it was cool!
They’re [the Kochs] certainly our people. David’s the chairman of our board. I’ve certainly met with them, and I’m very appreciative of what they do.
Organizers for the event have also pushed back against President Obama’s remarks about the group during his Austin fundraising trip earlier this month. At the fundraiser, Obama said:
Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country. And they don’t have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation. You don’t know if it’s a big oil company, or a big bank. You don’t know if it’s a insurance company that wants to see some of the provisions in health reform repealed because it’s good for their bottom line, even if it’s not good for the American people.
Obama’s remarks have been brought up at three of the four events I have attended so far today. At a breakout session this morning covering leadership training for “November is Coming” — AFP’s organizational efforts during the midterm elections — the panel played an ad rebuking Obama’s comments on a projection screen. AFP President Tim Phillips also raised the president’s criticism during his opening session remarks, saying, “Were going to have some fun with that” at the Reagan dinner later tonight.