The American Future Fund (AFF), the secretive Iowa-based group backed primarily by oil and energy interests and directly linked to billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch, began a $4 million campaign today in support of Proposition 32, the Special Exemptions Act.
AFF is known around the nation for spending millions of dollars on false and misleading TV ads. The Washington Post Fact Checker called an American Future Fund ad “over the top” and “erroneous,” adding, “there is no excuse for these kinds of ads, which take facts out of context or simply invent them. These groups should be especially ashamed, given that these claims have been previously debunked, or, in the case of the erroneous ABC report, withdrawn.” Factcheck.org stated that other AFF ads “strain the facts,” are “either flat wrong or greatly exaggerated,” or that they “strain credibility.” [FactCheck.org, 2/29/12, 4/26/12] And the Center for Responsive Politics accused AFF of using its data “to make a misleading point.”
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that AFF’s Yes on 32 ad is riddled is deceptive rhetoric about Prop 32 and its true intentions. A fact check is below:
The Super PAC Script
The Truth about Prop 32
Narrator: If you had a telephoto lens……maybe you’d see it, deals cut in shadows and back rooms...with contributions, big corporations and government unions control politicians.
If you had a telephoto lens, you’d still never be able to see who really paid for this ad. What exactly is the American Future Fund (AFF), and who are its funders? We don’t know, and likely we’ll never know. That’s because AFF is a 501(c)(4) organization that does not disclose its donors and can receive unlimited contributions, according to Factcheck.org. In other words, AFF is exactly the type of secretive front group that stands to benefit most from Proposition 32’s passage. It’s no wonder that AFF is spending millions to run misleading ads supporting Yes on Prop 32.
It’s killing California.
Billions in waste. $50 billion a year on education, but among the worst performing schools.
Prop 32 doesn’t solve Sacramento’s problems, because it was intentionally written to exempt many companies like Wall Street investment firms, hedge funds, real estate developers, insurance companies and corporations that can still create front groups and make unlimited campaign expenditures. Restricting unions and their workers while not stopping corporate special interests will result in a political system that favors corporate special interests over everyone else. So those special interests will have free rein to give themselves more tax breaks, while the middle class pays the price.
Everyone agrees that Sacramento has too much partisan bickering and gridlock. The money spent on political campaigns has caused all of us to mistrust the political campaign system. But the sponsors of Proposition 32 are trying to use our anger and mistrust to change the rules for their own benefit.
Cut the money tie between special interest lobbyists and career politicians.
Proposition 32 does nothing of the sort. Prop 32 will not take money out of politics. Prop 32 exempts secretive Super PACs, which can raise unlimited amounts of money from corporate special interests and billionaire businessmen to support their candidates or defeat their enemies. And it does nothing to stop anonymous donors like the American Future Fund from influencing elections.
Prop 32 was placed on the ballot by the Lincoln Club of Orange County, the ultraconservative group that was the driving force behind the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that led to the recent explosion of secretive Super PACs onto the national political scene, according to California Watch.
Prop 32 does absolutely nothing to stop Super PACs, which are organizations that elect or defeat candidates but without many of the spending restrictions or transparency requirements that limit the campaigns themselves. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision said these groups can spend unlimited amounts of money, and Prop 32 would do nothing to change that. And Prop 32 does nothing to stop anonymous donors from influencing elections.
Put people back in charge. Yes on Prop 32.
According to an analysis by San Francisco State Professor John Logan published in The Hill: between 2001-2011, business interests spent over $700 million on initiatives, candidates, and parties, while labor unions contributed well under half that amount -- just over $284 million. Wealthy individuals bankrolled a further $231 million. Under Prop. 32 neither the spending by business interests nor wealthy individuals would face meaningful limitations – indeed, it would likely explode – while that of unions would be all-but eliminated.
If Prop 32 passes, Super PACs and committees backed only by corporate special interests will become the major way campaigns will be funded. These groups have already spent more than $95,000,000 in California elections since 2004. Prop 32 does nothing to change that. Our televisions will be flooded with even more negative advertisements. Secretive Super PACs and front groups just like the American Future Fund will become the law of the land in California, with no accountability, checks or balances.
Learn more at www.VoteNoOn32.com
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