AFP Stumbles in Attempt to Defend Itself from Ridicule

The Koch front-group Americans for Prosperity has been the subject of  some well-deserved mockery. This week, an attempt by the group to defend itself from the latest ridicule over their “legislative scorecard” has gone laughably awry again. Here’s what happened.

State Representative Moffie Funk, a popular Helena Democrat with a track record of fighting for her district, sent out an email last week to her list of supporters actually bragging that Koch’s group had given her a 0% “score” for her work during the last legislative session.

(You can see Rep. Funk’s email below.)

The AFP had intended the scorecard as a tool to help enforce TEA Party ideological orthodoxy among lawmakers, who are supposed to fear the low ratings (and the dark money attack mailers and town hall meetings it tried to hold against Republicans during the last election and session.)  AFP wasn’t expecting lawmakers to use the “rating” to tout their independence from the dark money group.  But that’s what happened.

Moffie Funk’s supporter list is a long one, and the email circulated far and wide. So the new AFP director, another former Daines staffer,  went on the defense again and attempted to defend the scorecard in a letter in yesterday’s Helena IR.  The staffer insisted that he personally had mostly lived in Montana, though he doesn’t mention those pulling the strings, and claims the voting record is about “economic freedom” –though he also doesn’t say for whom.

It certainly wasn’t economic freedom for Montanans. Americans for Prosperity actually opposed major bills to improve both our economy and our pocketbooks – such as Medicaid expansion. Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen has frequently pointed out that medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy.

AFP’s apology mentions only two actual bills they say would have boosted “economic freedom” in Montana.  One was HB 348, an unconstitutional ALEC boilerplate bill which was supposed to make Montana “free” from Obamacare.

We also supported bills like Rep. Nancy Ballance’s (R-HD87) that would have authorized interstate health care agreements. This would give our state more power over its own health care systems, rather than having Washington run it from 2,000 miles away. Keeping such important decisions here in Montana ensures that our policies are tailored to the unique needs of Montanans.

Unfortunately for AFP, no interstate compact, no matter how unconstitutional, is going to “free” Montana from the health care reform protections and savings.

But what is  hilarious is that proponents of the interstate compacts–basically contracts between two or more states –are  unwittingly helping defend Obamacare in court against a flurry of tea party lawsuits which claim that health care was outside of Congress’s authority.

Recall that Ballance and her AFP backers repeatedly iterated during the last session that even if the Montana legislature passed this boilerplate, Congress would still need to give its consent to the health care compact–basically conceding that the health care law was within Congress’s authority.


The Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity gave Moffie a ZERO
Moffie Funk

After each Legislative Session, it’s common place for special interest groups to release “scorecards.” I’m proud of the high scores I’ve received from conservation and labor groups, but you know what I’m just as proud of? The ZERO I received from the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity.

That’s right. The Koch brothers and their cronies gave me a ZERO for the 2015 Legislative Session. I’m not surprised.

  • The Koch brothers opposed Medicaid Expansion in Montana. I supported it.

  • The Koch brothers opposed shining a light on dark money in our politics. I supported it.

  • The Koch brothers supported gutting public schools and sending your tax dollars to private schools. I opposed it.

I’m proud of my voting record and I’m proud to oppose extreme policies being pushed by out-of-state billionaires. – Moffie

Moffie Funk Koch email


14 Comments on "AFP Stumbles in Attempt to Defend Itself from Ridicule"

  1. Drunks for Denny | August 4, 2015 8:56 AM at 8:56 AM |

    “So the new AFP director, another former Daines staffer”……so is Joe Balyeat out?

    If he is, I don’t know if that is good or bad. He is one of the worst things that ever happened to Montana, but I’d rather have him running the AFP than holding elective office.

  2. NO Joe is still in the Kochs corporate arms. The problem is the Koch brothers have opened three district offices for AFP. Two Daines staffers work for them now and Joe. I am sure Daines will be sending more staffers to the Kochs as he finds and trains them.

    But their might be more Koch offices we have to worry about opening, they have a new couple of Org groups, thats only jobs its to change city and County governments within our state. Like the “State Policy Network” who has an office in Montana as well. Energy & Environment Legal Institute a Koch enterprise still has members here in state.

    “American Majority” another Koch group still funds Media Trackers reporters in Montana….. and it goes on and on. Koch have already infested our colleges with Koch paid Professors, our legislature with payed off legislators.

    They will be spending a lot of money in this state. And the people they hired from Daines are like Daines just their tools!!!!

  3. The new guy who they replaced Zach Lahn with is Dave Herbst.

    “AFP praised Herbst for developing sophisticated field campaigns for U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep Ryan Zinke, both Montana Republicans. Contacted by the Billings Gazette Tuesday, Herbst declined to comment on his hiring unless questions were submitted by email.”

    Balyeat still works for AFP sort of but also is (was) working to try to get Alaska to reject Medicaid expansion. That failed.

  4. I also need to add relative to this sentence “This would give our state more power over its own health care systems, rather than having Washington run it from 2,000 miles away.” AFP was the group that lead the charge to block Montana from running its own exchange!! This new guy is even more clueless than the last…

  5. We can assume then she’s all for the harvesting of baby parts.

  6. oh, good grief, swede: get a grip.

  7. So Funk doesn’t support Education and parents by giving them choices. Ohio governor Kasich had promoted the Medicaid expansion in Montana, but a check from Ohio, indicates that, Ohio is already in the hole by a billion dollars with their medicaid expansion. Can Montana tax payers afford such an increase?

  8. Jeff I cannot seem to locate any credible sites that confirm your claim and Mr Kasich is running on his record, including the decision to expand Medicaid.

    Can you provide something to back that up? Thank you.

  9. That’s what I mean, Watchdog is the only site that makes these claims. Got anything else? Anything?

  10. I’m proud of you, Moffie.

  11. Heartland also makes those claims, but according to Ohio state’s Legislative Service Commission, Medicaid expansion is overbudget. Eighteen months into the program, costs are 63 percent over original projections. The problem for Ohio is that the 100 percent federal reimbursement will not continue. Starting in 2017, Ohio will need to start contributing to the costs. By 2020, 10 percent of the costs will be borne by Ohio taxpayers.

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