by Max Brantley
The AFP distributed a news relese about their "non-partisan" triumph yesterday. The news release doesn't mention the subsidized gasoline the AFP purchased for all comers in what appeared to be in-kind campaign donations to Republican candidates who made appearances at the gas giveaways.
They'll be calling a lot of shots in the Republican legislature. But not as many as they had planned. And it might be time to reconsider the influence of AFP and boss Teresa Oelke.
UPDATE: Michael Cook, a Democratic political analyst and writer for Talk Business, makes the case that the Koch crowing is a coverup for their pitiful showing in the Arkansas election.
By Cook's analysis, the Koch/AFP effort lost 20 (TWENTY!) Arkansas races it targeted with expenditures such as mass mailing, bus tour stops and the like. I think he's onto something important here. All that spending. All that effort. All that talk. And they wind up with a ONE-SEAT edge in the House? Cook, who notes that the partisan divide remains narrower here than in any Southern state, names names that AFP tried but failed to elect.
The AFP release follows:
Little Rock, Arkansas — Over the past two years, AFP Arkansas has focused the importance of policy and how policy impacts families' budgets, the cost of everyday life, job creation, and opportunities here in Arkansas.
"I know today lots of people will talk about party, but we believe the people of Arkansas spoke out for economic freedom," stated Teresa Oelke, Arkansas State Director.
Oelke continued, "Arkansans don't want to exchange one party’s special interest for another party’s special interest. We want a fair playing field where everyone plays by the same set of rules. A government that doesn’t demand more taxes; but does better with the taxes that we send them now. These are the principles that will help the real economy thrive and create more opportunities for all Arkansans."
Over the last two years, the Arkansas Chapter's efforts to advance the cause of economic freedom:
64,000 AFP Members
18,450 FB Fans
1,762 twitter followers
300 Grassroots Events Held or Attended
38 Town Halls on Health Care
516 Radio Interviews
500 Leaders Trained in New Media
100+ Phone Banks
60,000 Phones Calls
15,000 Doors Knocked
1.3 million Issue-focused mail pieces
5 television ads