DIRTY TRICKS?: Koch-Backed Group Americans for Prosperity Mailed Out Incorrect Voter Information to Residents of North Carolina

North_Carolina_svgBy Elaine Magliaro

Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing advocacy group founded by the infamous Koch brothers, is up to its old voter suppression tactics again. This time the group sent out voter registration AFProsperityforms to people in the state of North Carolina where there is a close Senate race between Democrat Kay Hagan, the incumbent, and Thom Tillis. Tillis, a Republican, is the current House Speaker of the Tar Heel State. ABC reported that many people have predicted that this Senate race could become the most expensive in history.

The Raleigh News & Observer reported last Wednesday that hundreds of residents of North Carolina had received “incorrect voter registration information, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections.”

One resident said that she even received a voter registration form that had been addressed to her cat!

Raleigh News and Observer:

The information – an “official application form” – was sent by Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative group with a state chapter based in Raleigh.

Since then, hundreds of people who received the forms have called and complained to the State Board of Elections, said Joshua Lawson, a public information officer for the board.

“It’s unclear where (Americans for Prosperity) got their list, but it’s caused a lot of confusion for people in the state,” Lawson said.

According to reports, the registration forms mailed out by Americans for Prosperity “contained conflicting information about the deadline to submit voter registration forms, incorrect contact information for the Secretary of State and State Board of Elections offices and an incorrect explanation about how voters are notified that their information has been received.”

Alison Beal, a resident of Wake Forest, said she had received one of the forms at her home. She said the form had been addressed to her brother-in-law, who lives in Caldwell County. Beal added that “she quickly noticed the inaccuracies because she has been involved in past voter registration drives. She knew there was no elections division within the Secretary of State’s office…” Beal said that “with changing voter registration laws in North Carolina, it’s important for information to be accurate.”

The Raleigh News & Observer reported that Adam C. Nicholson, a spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, had “declined to say how many people were sent the forms, how the group obtained the voter lists or how the mistakes occurred.”

Levi Russell, another spokesman for Americans for Prosperity, told the Huffington Post in a statement on Friday “that the forms had to be viewed within the context of what he called an otherwise ‘highly successful’ voter registration drive. Americans for Prosperity Foundation has registered thousands of North Carolinians to vote through this registration drive, which is a great thing for the democratic process and getting more people involved. While there were a few minor administrative errors in our mailers and some old information in the data, the program has been highly successful so far. Any large mailing even with 99.9% accuracy is always going to have a few inaccurate recipients, but we’ll always be striving to make it better. Ultimately our forms are working as intended – when a resident fills out our form and sends it in consistent with our directions, they will be registered to vote, period.”

Lawson told the Raleigh News & Observer that the “State Board of Elections works with political groups to prevent misinformation about voting but that Americans for Prosperity did not contact the board.” He added, “Misinformation about voter registration can be a felony if it is intentionally misleading and is proven to suppress voters.”

Huffington Post reported that Bob Hall, the executive director of Democracy NC, a nonpartisan nonprofit that is dedicated to increasing voter participation, said that he believed an investigation should be conducted. In a statement last Friday, Hall said, “The State Board needs to thoroughly investigate these complaints to determine if the felony statute about purposeful misinformation was violated. Unfortunately, we’ve already had to stop the Republican leader of the NC Senate from broadcasting a false ad about a photo ID being required to vote now. There’s a sad tradition of misleading voters, going back to the days of Jesse Helms. At a minimum, the State Board needs to get the mailing list to see who was targeted by these mailings, interview the people involved in putting this project together, and see how the mailing fits within a multi-state campaign by Americans for Prosperity. All that will help the Board determine whether this was stupid and dangerous or also a criminal violation.”

Huffington Post noted that, in his statement, Hall had “referenced a television spot state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R) was forced to change after the state’s NAACP chapter complained that it gave misleading information to voters after a new identification requirement that doesn’t go into effect until 2016.”


NC residents mailed incorrect voter registration information (Raleigh News & Observer)

Group With Ties To Kochs Mails Out Incorrect Voter Registration Info To… A Cat? (Huffington Post)

Koch brothers’ group targets voters – and cats – in North Carolina (MSNBC)

North Carolina US Senate race tight, but not equal (ABC)

Americans for Prosperity (Sourcewatch)

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22 Responses to DIRTY TRICKS?: Koch-Backed Group Americans for Prosperity Mailed Out Incorrect Voter Information to Residents of North Carolina

  1. bigfatmike says:

    If most Americans prefer their program why do they have to resort to dirty tricks? Why don’t they just present their view of the issues and their solutions and let the voters decide?

  2. Bob Kauten says:

    Please cut these guys some slack. They have to cheat. They’re not smart, but they make up for it with the Apple Pie virtue of insatiable greed.
    They’re just doing what they do best. Do what you do do, well.
    Maybe not so well, in this case. Getting caught is discouraging.

  3. Mike Spindell says:

    “If most Americans prefer their program why do they have to resort to dirty tricks?”


    We both know that they know that their programs are against the interests of most Americans.

    • bigfatmike says:

      “We both know that they know that their programs are against the interests of most Americans.”

      OK, you caught me being coy. I asked questions but I do have a view. In my opinion those who present their program in a misleading way or try to manipulate the vote are admitting that their program has little appeal for most Americans.

      If there program were so compelling then why the need to manipulate?

      And I do believe that some on the right have convinced workers to support programs that are directly against their economic interests.

      One of the myths used to manipulate ordinary people is the claim that limiting government and regulation enhances the ability of ordinary people to rise to the top. Just the other day Neil Irwin had an article that again confirmed that since the recession most of the economic gains have gone to the very top with essential not trickle down to the rest of us.

      Since the end of the recession 90% of us are worse off than before with only the top 10% showing improvement. And further, 95% of the economic gains since the end of the recession have gone to the top 1%.

      I have no doubt that those at the very top work hard for their money. But an economy that sends 95% of all economic gains ought to raise questions in anyone’s mind. Does anyone really want to argue that 95% of all innovation and improvement in economic efficiency is due to the efforts of the top 1%? Really? It seems to me a much more likely explanation is that the top 1% have managed to put together a system of connections, cronies, and favorable laws that funnel economic gains to their accounts.

      If you believe in free markets, or if you simply believe that we all come out ahead when competition rewards merit then you ought to be deeply offended. by today’s economic results.

  4. bron98 says:

    Bigfatmike has it right.

    I don’t understand being deliberately
    Duplisitous. If your ideas are right then put them out there.

    Free minds and free markets is much better than control, control, control.

  5. bron98 says:

    From what I know about the Kochs, they want more freedom for everyone.

  6. “From what I know about the Kochs, they want more freedom than everyone.”

    There. That’s more accurate, B.

  7. Elaine M. says:


    “From what I know about the Kochs, they want more freedom for everyone.”

    Except….maybe for women?

    The Koch Brothers Have Given Millions to Anti-Choice Organizations

    It is highly likely that most Americans would oppose politicians who promised to concentrate on promoting the interests of big business and the wealthy over the needs of the people, but since 2010 a large number of Americans have voted against their own self-interests and supported Republicans who openly promote policies that serve the rich over the rest of the population. With the American economy making an ever-so-slow recovery with tens-of-millions of Americans suffering from a lack of good jobs, healthcare, and even adequate food, one would think Republicans and Democrats would make helping the people their top priority at the state and national level, but Republicans have taken another path.

    Over the past three years Republicans have shown an inordinate interest in restricting women’s reproductive rights as if withholding contraception, eliminating Planned Parenthood, and closing women’s health clinics will feed the hungry, create jobs, or provide Americans with adequate healthcare. However, next to advancing the interests of corporations and the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, escalating the war against women has been at the forefront of Republicans’ agenda since they rose to power in the House and state legislatures after the 2010 midterm elections.

    Yesterday in the Senate, Republicans made another assault on women’s reproductive rights when Lindsey Graham introduced a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, but it is likely not because he cares about the unborn as much as it is serving the interests of Republicans’ corporate masters. In 2010 when the conservative Supreme Court gave personhood rights to corporations at the behest of the Koch brothers and their millionaire cohort, most Americans knew the Kochs would spend hundreds-of-millions on Republican candidates to further their corporate agenda and to a point they certainly followed through. But part of the Koch’s corporate agenda includes heavily funding the Republican war against women in state legislatures that have passed more than 200 restrictions on abortion since 2011; the year those elected in 2010 took power according to the Guttmacher Institute.

  8. Bob Kauten says:

    The Kochs merely want to free us of the encumbrances of money and power. They are generously offering to relieve us of both, so that we may be free spirits.
    What is the problem with you libruls?

  9. buckaroo says:

    Hagan is reportedly also beating Tillis in outside money. The Center for Responsive Politics put the total amount of outside money already spent in North Carolina at $22 million, with much of the money going to the Senate race; $13 million going to pro-Democratic candidates, $8 million going to pro-Republican candidates.

  10. Mike Spindell says:

    The sickness is in the “Myth of the American Dream” which a lie, but it appeals to average Americans, who somehow think lightning will strike in their own lives. Mitt Romney, relly though he had achieved wealth on his own merit, but it was really the $10 million his dad gave him to go into business. Romney even suggested to future “entrepreneur” that they borrow $20,000 from their fathers to launch their enterprise. For almost all but a miniscule group of people the American Dream is a sad fantasy, yet people have been inculcated into believing it. The underpinning of the myth is the canard “that if you work and you try hard enough, success will be yours”. Life teaches that for the most part: “It ain’t necessarily so”.

  11. pete says:

    If their program were so compelling then why the need to manipulate?

    if you look in on what they say it’s because either they have to because the liberals are doing it too, liberals are using illegals to vote, or (no shit I actually saw this one), liberals are buying votes with cocaine.
    I would link to it but everybody knows where I’m referring to cause I was over there earlier today but now i just showered and i feel a lot better.

    denial ain’t just a river in egypt, or isil may have it now because obama is too busy saluting lattes and playing golf.

  12. bron98 says:


    part of the problem is that people are not educated financially. They also arent willing to take risks. We need to start preparing kids in grade school to become business owners and teaching them about finance and economics so they can learn how to increase their net worth and take advantage of what our system offers.

    Having a job is not a good way to get ahead unless you live way below your means.

    The young people today, I think, see this and are taking steps to start companies. The more the better.

    • bigfatmike says:

      @bron98 “part of the problem is that people are not educated financially.”

      I agree that lack of understanding and education is part of the problem.

      But I also think that to a degree little realized by most that the system is rigged. Dean Baker has a pretty good article that mentions some of the ways the economic system works against workers, the middle class and even upper middle class:
      Specifically he mentions 1) trade policy which put manufacturing workers in direct competition with low paid foreign workers, 2) protection from foreign competitor for highly skilled workers such as doctors, 3) strengthened and lengthened patent and copyright laws leading to outrages like the $84,000 Hep C drug, 4) bail out of Wall Street and ‘too big to fail regulation’ which saved the fortunes of the top 1% and top .1% while leaving ordinary home owners to fend for them selves, 5) exemption of the financial sector from the same sort of taxes imposed on other industries, 6) monetary policy that that undercuts workers and enhances to position of owners and the wealthy. The result is a government that for decades has acted to redistribute wealth from the lower 90% to those at the very top, actually most to the top .1%.

      There is much more including rules that make it more difficult for unions, reclassifying employees as independent contractors, and casting a blind eye to anti competitive practices of big business. Some of these practices are rationalized on the basis of economic efficiency. But that is a thin argument in many cases. Putting production workers in competition with the third world makes no sense unless you think their standard of living or working conditions should approximate that of workers in the third world. In some cases the policies have done far more to shift income from labor to capital than to increase economic efficiency, which raises the question why prefer policy over market forces when it come to the distribution of income.

      But It does not have to be this way. And we have some indications that allowing it to be this way creates problems for all of us. We have pretty good data to tell use the economy is operating well below it production possibility curve. And that implies lower growth and a lower standard of living for all of us for years, maybe decades, to come.

  13. bigfatmike says:

    I noticed that the link included in my post of September 29, 2014 at 1:49 pm does not lead directly to the article of interest. The link below should take you directly to Baker’s article that describes a number of ways that government policy hurts the middle class to the advantage of the top few percent:

    My apologies for the confusion and any inconvenience.

  14. bron98 says:


    Koch Industries employs roughly 60,000 people in the U.S. and 100,000 worldwide. Koch operations generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of Koch’s U.S.-based workers are unionized. And Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for excellence since 2009, many of them from the EPA. That is not treason.

    But none of that stops Kennedy. He targets anyone in the fossil-fuel business, including members of the clean fracking revolution. In fact, Kennedy and his allies have effectively stopped Governor Andrew Cuomo from approving fracking in New York State, despite numerous studies proving it can be done in an environmentally sound manner.

    No matter that right across the street, on the southwest New York border, Pennsylvania is enjoying unrivaled prosperity from the clean fracking operations approved years ago. It’s like contrasting the success of West Berlin with the grim austerity of East Berlin back in the Cold War.

    Mr. Kennedy might also not notice that the “settled science” rug is being pulled right out from under him — and by no less than a former Team Obama member.

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Steven Koonin, undersecretary for science at the Energy Department during Obama’s first term, said, yes, the climate is changing. And yes, humans are impacting the climate system, though only 1 to 2 percent of it.

    But he stated that most climate-change models not only missed the temperature flattening of the past 16 years, they do not capture a huge factor, like oceans, or water vapor, cloud formation, and rainfall.

    Koonin asked, “How will the climate change over the next century under both natural and human influences?” He admitted: Unsettled science. We just don’t know.

    Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.Newsmax.com/Finance/RFK-Jr-Koch-Treason-Attack/2014/10/01/id/597945/#ixzz3Ew1vfmsl
    Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!

  15. pete says:

    including members of the clean fracking revolution

    how do we, as their neighbors, know it’s clean when they won’t disclose what’s in the fracking fluid?

  16. Bob Kauten says:

    Dr. Koonin “…was hired by BP in 2004 as its chief scientist, responsible for long-range planning for the company’s energy portfolio, as the company likes to say, beyond petroleum. In his financial disclosure form submitted for his government post, he said that he had tens of thousands of unvested BP shares and options and that he was working out a fair value for them with the company.”

    Yeah, I’d believe that Dr. Koonin is an unbiased expert on climate change.

  17. Elaine M. says:

    Fracking USA: A Post about the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Governor Tom Corbett, C. Alan Walker, the Marcellus Shale, Polluted Drinking Water, and the Movie Gasland
    April 10, 2011

  18. bron98 says:


    as far as I know, fracking fluid is sand and water and maybe some other aditives. I think the problem is the return fluid which has oil in it.


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