WaPo: AFP campaigns to let the sequester take effect in March
The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is mobilizing to pressure lawmakers not to delay cuts in government spending that are set to take effect at the beginning of next month.
The campaign, dubbed the Spending Accountability Project, will build on technology and techniques that the group deployed to criticize President Obama’s policies ahead of his 2012 reelection. The group’s activists will use campaign tactics including phone banks and door-to-door canvassing with tablet computers to push conservatives to contact their congressional representatives in as many as 40 districts nationwide.
“This is a big vote,” said Tim Phillips, AFP’s president. “If you’re a House Republican and you were elected to rein in the size of government . . . and you turn around and vote against these sequester cuts, it’s a big deal. It’s inexplicable to do that.”
Americans for Prosperity, which focuses on minimizing government’s role in the economy, will also consider wading into Republican primaries next year, Phillips said, threatening GOP lawmakers who waffle on spending cuts or acquiesce to tax increases. The group spent more than $100 million on politics last year, partly with support from billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, owners of a Kansas-based energy and chemical conglomerate.
The two moves put one of the best-funded political groups head to head with rivals on the left and the right. The program is also part of a growing permanent campaign waged by large political advocacy groups even when elections are far in the future.
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