Americans For Prosperity launches anti-Cooper Ad campaign, citing economic policies

The North State Journal—The North State Journal
Donald Bryson

RALEIGH — The state chapter for national grassroots organization, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), announced Monday that it will be launching a statewide ad campaign urging voters to vote against Roy Cooper and his economic policies in November.”This morning we are announcing that we are launching an effort to expressly advocate for the defeat of Roy Cooper as a candidate for Governor of North Carolina,” said state director for AFP in North Carolina, Donald Bryson. “We disagree with his policy positions and where he would like to take North Carolina in a variety of ways.”Bryson highlighted Democrat nominee for governor, Attorney General Roy Cooper’s policies on energy, healthcare, and corporate welfare as the core reasons why they oppose his election.AFP vice president of state operations, Teresa Oelke, joined Bryson to introduce the new ad campaign.”This will be a six-figure buy across the state, and an investment in our efforts asking people to vote against Roy Cooper,” said Oelke. “It’s really focused on policy. If you look at our efforts across the country, at the state legislative level and the federal level, we are focused on pushing both parties to have a better environment for the citizens and create more opportunity and prosperity.”Bryson specifically pointed to Cooper’s support of the Clean Power Plan, and new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as supporting renewable energy mandates as bad for North Carolina families.”Energy Ventures Analysis, a Washington D.C. energy consulting group, says the Clean Power Plan will cost NC household $434 a year by 2020,” explained Bryson.AFP had $433.68 worth of groceries on display at the press conference as a tangible representation of the regulations’ cost.”This is what this means to the average NC family if we implement these new power regulations within NC,” said Bryson.Further, Bryson explained, North Carolina is the only one of 27 states currently suing the EPA over such regulations that is not represented by their Attorney General, The case, West Virginia v. EPA, challenges the EPA’s authority to issue sweeping regulations as part of the Clean Air Act.Similarly, on the issue of healthcare policy, Bryson decried Cooper’s refusal to join other states in challenging the individual mandate associated with the Affordable Care Act, as well as his desire to expand of Medicaid. According to Bryson, these policies do or would have a negative impact on the pocketbooks of North Carolina families as the state sees its fourth consecutive year of double-digit health insurance premium increases.Finally, AFP opposes what they call corporate welfare in Cooper’s tax policy proposals.”In order to create jobs he wants to use, and these are his words, targeted tax credits,” said Bryson. “If anybody else said it in any other context we would call those tax loop holes.”One example Bryson cited is Cooper’s support for tax incentives for the film industry.”He wants to implement the state’s film incentives, where people send their tax dollars to Raleigh every year and think they’re paying for roads, they’re paying for teachers and text books – they don’t think they’re paying for Iron Man 3,” joked Bryson. “In the end what we have is while some businesses, or some industries may have lower overall tax burdens and may create jobs for those industries, the tax burden for the average North Carolina citizen, the average North Carolina business will in fact go up.”AFP representatives were careful to note that the organization’s focus is on policy, but the policy implications of some elections call for this kind of express advocacy.While Americans For Prosperity is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the anti-Cooper ad campaign is being housed in AFP’s 501(c)(4), from which they can legally advocate for, or against, political candidates, according to AFP’s N.C. communications director, Joseph Kyzer.”This is not an endorsement of Pat McCrory,” stated Bryson. “We’re not in the business of endorsing candidates; we are in the business of trying to do what’s right and push the policy that is right and we think a Roy Cooper North Carolina is a worse North Carolina.”Bryson also pointed to the group’s opposition of McCrory’s corporate incentive policies as proof that they oppose such policies no matter which side of the aisle they come from.Concluding the press announcement, Bryson said their work remains focused on what contrasts in economic policies mean for the average North Carolina family, and in their judgement a Cooper administration would be anathema to the leaps in economic freedom and growth experienced the state has experienced in recent years.”What we want is for those families to have more economic freedom, and when the government tries to intrude in people’s lives by these overreaching, very broad policies, they have a very bad track record of actually positively influencing our lives,” said Bryson.