A recent Washington Post article chronicles the AFP-funded journey of one prominent tea party activist to Cancun for the UN Climate Conference. Once there it didn’t take long for her to realize that Tim Phillips and AFP were using her as a backdrop to give AFP the veneer of honest populist activism. The Post writes:
“She was hoping the summit would present a chance to immerse herself in the climate change debate. Her hosts, however, had other plans for her that involved standing where she was told and smiling for the cameras. Her presence lent Americans for Prosperity grass-roots credibility. For Bell, the experience was aggravating.”
Gena Bell, the tea party activist, also rejected AFP’s myopic message of wanton energy consumption. The Post writes:
"Bell's pique grew when Phillips shot another video belittling an exhibit that showed what an energy-efficient home might look like in the future: a small refrigerator, a low-flow shower heads and a clothes-washing basin that directed used water into a garden."
Phillips made fun of the model home's five-gallon water heater. "Good luck with that - I've got three teenagers!" he said to the camera.
"I'm not on board with this," Bell said. "Ed [Bell’s husband] and I looked into that when we were looking at moving to Colorado."
It is no surprise that AFP, funded by oil billionaire David Koch, derides sustainable technologies that would cut energy consumption (and Koch Industries’ profit). Whose interests does AFP speak for again? The average American or the oil profiteer who funds AFP in an attempt manipulate the political system?
Gena Bell now knows why she is important to the Kochs and AFP, and whose prosperity they really care about.
“She felt like a prop for Americans for Prosperity.”