Americans for Prosperity Touts Grassroots Defeat of Tax-Hiking Katie McGinty 

Nov 9, 2016 by AFP

“Pennsylvanians voted against middle class tax hikes, Obamacare and special interest handouts today”


HARRISBURG – Americans for Prosperity is touting the grassroots effort leading to the defeat of Katie McGinty. Over the past five months AFP volunteers and staff contacted millions of Pennsylvanians at their door and over the phone to defeat McGinty. AFP’s grassroots contacts, digital ads, mailers, and statewide “Can’t Afford Katie” tour made McGinty’s middle class tax hikes, support for Obamacare, and costly taxpayer handouts an issue in the election.

AFP-Pennsylvania state director Beth Anne Mumford provided the following statement:

“Americans for Prosperity built a strong grassroots operation in Pennsylvania to empower citizens and advance economic freedom for the long run. Tonight, we saw once again that concerned citizens can make their voice heard and win.”

“Thanks to our relentless grassroots effort, Katie McGinty was not able to hide her costly policies from voters. Pennsylvanians learned that McGinty’s working class rhetoric didn’t match her special interest record. Katie has a long history of supporting corporate welfare, Obamacare, middle class tax hikes, and Washington mandates. Pennsylvania voters heard the facts and decided they couldn’t afford Katie McGinty in the U.S. Senate.”

AFP is already gearing up for the next big policy battle in the state legislature. Last year AFP led the charge against the Wolf-McGinty tax hike through the same grassroots strategy that it used to oppose McGinty. AFP will continue advocating for fiscally responsible budgets, pension reform, and opposing tax hikes in the next legislative session.

“Politicians, be on watch: AFP has reached record levels of voter contact to defeat McGinty, and we won’t be going away after the election. We are engaged in a long-term, issue-driven effort to increase prosperity and opportunity for all Pennsylvanians. That work begins again tomorrow morning.”


Americans for Prosperity – Pennsylvania Key Takeaways:

Doors knocked: 135,000+

Phone calls placed: 2.4 million

Digital Ads on Katie McGinty: 5 ads totalling seven figures in spending

Two Tales of Katie McGinty (released November 5, 2016)

McGinty’s Flood of Obamacare Lies (released October 18, 2016)

McGinty’s Real Tax Hike Record (released September 28, 2016)

Katie McGinty Rigs the Game (released September 13, 2016)

Katie McGinty’s Costly Record (released August 22, 2016)


Background: AFP is the grassroots leader for economic freedom in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania was once merely important in Presidential elections. Now, it’s Hillary Clinton’s firewall,” Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2016.

“Trump’s campaign has belatedly tried to build a state organization…

Democrats instead fear the power of Americans for Prosperity, the effort funded by the Koch brothers and other conservative donors…The group has focused on 660,000 voters who it believes are inclined to vote against Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty, a Clinton ally.

Americans for Prosperity has made 1.2 million phone calls and knocked on 92,000 doors since June, said Beth Anne Mumford, AFP’s state director.”


In Senate race, advocates deploy to persuade voters on their doorsteps,” Laura Olson, Morning Call,October 31, 2016

“When AFP began knocking on doors in June, many voters had heard little about the Senate race, which has largely been overshadowed by the dramatic presidential battle. The organization’s approach has been unique — it has ignored the top of the ticket, focusing instead on the U.S. Senate and McGinty’s positions.

It’s the first election that AFP’s Pennsylvania operation has engaged in express advocacy regarding a political candidate. But the group refined the data strategies used to contact voters in 2014 to oppose Gov. Tom Wolf‘s budget. The organization used phone banks as well as town hall meetings to organize against the tax increases proposed by Wolf and McGinty, who was Wolf’s chief of staff.

In a race as close as Pennsylvania’s Senate battle, getting a few more supporters to show up may make all the difference.”


Campaigner uses a mix of shoe leather and technology,” Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,September 11, 2016

“AFP staff members and volunteers have spent the last four years in Pennsylvania contributing to a database of information about every interaction with voters. They’ve done the same in 35 other states — all but the reddest of the red and the bluest of the blue…

Now they’re using that data to target efforts of staff members and volunteers who are relentlessly making phone calls and home visits. With each contact, they add to the database so every canvasser’s iPad shows information in real time, and volunteers are steered toward voters they have the best chance of persuading.

“We use the technology year in and year out — not just during election season — to push people on economic issues, to see where people stand, and to find people who are persuadable on the issues we care about,” said AFP spokesman Adam Nicholson. “People are more likely to change their minds by having actual conversations” than by watching TV ads.”


Activists hit the pavement to get out the PA vote,” Jonathan Tamari, Philadelphia Inquirer, October 13, 2016

“Americans for Prosperity has targeted 660,000 Pennsylvania voters: those they believe can be persuaded to oppose McGinty and those inclined to support conservative causes but who aren’t showing much enthusiasm about the Senate race.

Their teams fan out to spread the message, starting every day at 9 a.m. and working until dark.

The goal, Baker said, is to wake up after Election Day and feel as if he did all he could.”


Computer campaigning: How technology helps groups target voters,” Dennis Owens, ABC27, August 22, 2016

“Dennis Owens: throughout the year, AFP reaches out to residents and asks them questions about issues like taxes, jobs, or the economy. It then stores the data and plugs it into a computer which spits out which residents, regardless of party affiliation, might be sympathetic to the message. Call it targeting through technology.

The key here is, you know, a lot of people only get information from those 30-second commercials, which are often less than completely honest. They want to have conversations with people and feel that those conversations — knocking on doors, having the conversations about issues, not Republican or Democrat, but just the issues — might sway some voters.

ANCHOR: It’s a very sophisticated way they go about it, very cool.”


AFP Drives Economic Freedom Issues in the Senate Race

GOP frets over Donald Trump’s down-ballot impact,” Tracy Jan, Boston Globe, October 24, 2016

“We’re sticking to the issues,” said Jeremy Baker, a field director for [Americans for Prosperity] and a former Toomey staffer.

That means highlighting what AFP considers to be McGinty’s weaknesses, outlined on a door hanger. When undecided voters answer their door, Baker and his team raise questions about McGinty’s energy policies and ethics from the time she served as Pennsylvania’s secretary of environmental protection.”


Discourse in the Pennsylvania Senate race has suffered under the weight of the presidential election,” Ryan Deto, Pittsburgh City Paper, October 26, 2016

“Meanwhile, outside groups, both conservative and progressive, are trying to focus on issues beyond the presidential contest, spending tens of millions of dollars to do so.

Americans for Prosperity, a political-advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers, has identified 650,000 undecided Pennsylvania voters and has been going door-to-door, trying to persuade voters that McGinty’s economic policies are against their interests.

Beth Ann Mumford, Pennsylvania director for AFP, says the campaign is informing voters about McGinty’s record on tax regulations and green-energy mandates, and claiming McGinty will increase taxes on middle-class families and destroy jobs.”


Mailers target Katie McGinty over renewable energy policies,” Laura Olson, Morning Call, August 29, 2016

“The latest mailers, set to start arriving today from Americans for Prosperity’s Pennsylvania chapter, attack Democrat Katie McGinty over energy policies, including the landmark alternative energy law she worked on as Department of Environmental Protection secretary.

The conservative group’s critique portrays that policy and federal clean-energy proposals as needlessly expensive, hitting McGinty on the economic issues where she’s focused much of her campaign. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also focused on the cost of energy policies in an unusual ad earlier this summer.

“Katie McGinty talks a big game about her working family roots, but her support for sweeping energy regulations do not help Pennsylvania’s working families keep their hard-earned money,” said AFP-Pennsyvlania state director Beth Anne Mumford in a statement.”


Embattled GOP not pouncing on Obamacare’s woes,” Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Examiner,September 12, 2016

“In Pennsylvania, where consumer choices are dwindling and insurance prices are rising by double digits, Toomey could lose his seat to challenger Katie McGinty.”

“And the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity is spending what the group says is a substantial amount of its seven-figure election effort targeting Democrats for supporting the law and blaming them for rising health insurance premiums.

“AFP says all these candidates need to be asked the question, ‘What are you going to do about this broken law,’ and not be let off easy,” Nicholson said. “That’s something they need to answer for.”

Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity releases attack ad on Katie McGinty,” Julian Routh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 29, 2016.

“Americans for Prosperity, backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, on Wednesday unveiled a new digital attack ad against Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty, disputing her claim that she will cut taxes for middle class families.

The ad, titled “Katie McGinty’s Real Record,” argues that Ms. McGinty has supported several tax hikes in her career, including the Affordable Care Act and an energy tax “that would raise your energy bill 40 percent.” It also claims she has tried to raise taxes on diapers, daycare, textbooks and food.

“The truth: hard to find a tax hike McGinty hasn’t supported,” the ad states.”

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 2.8 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 35 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit