Americans for Prosperity rallies its troops

Votes by U.S. Rep. John Salazar. D-Colo., on health care and the stimulus bill will get plenty of attention in the coming weeks from a squad of Grand Valley activists backed up by advertising critical of Salazar’s record.

Americans for Prosperity, a non-partisan, free-enterprise, free-market organization, organized the meeting of about 80 people in the Museum of Western Colorado’s Whitman Educational Center to show them how to conduct phone banks and walk precincts in the coming weeks.

The idea, Colorado Americans for Prosperity head Jeff Crank said, “is to simply educate people about John Salazar and show how he’s voted on these spending issues. John Salazar has voted to bankrupt America.”

Volunteers with Americans for Prosperity can’t mention either of the Republicans, Bob McConnell or Scott Tipton, who want to replace Salazar, at the risk of exposing those candidates to election complaints, Crank said.

They can, however, wear “November is Coming” T-shirts, advertising the national organization’s voter drive.

“We’re going to make sure about where these guys stand” on economic-freedom issues, Americans for Prosperity national President Tim Phillips said.

Americans For Prosperity is working to replicate the 2008 success of President Barack Obama in recruiting and rallying a corps of volunteers in his campaign for the presidency, Crank said.

“We want to replace the Obama model” with a free-market corps of volunteers that will remain active after the election is over.

Then-Sen. Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 at Cross Orchards Living History Farm, also a branch of the Museum of Western Colorado.

Americans for Prosperity volunteers can make calls from home or elsewhere to selected lists of voters, Crank said.

In doing so, they’ll be part of a national effort to educate voters about the votes of some members of Congress on issues such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or “the failed stimulus,” as Americans For Prosperity calls the measure; health care legislation and proposed cap-and-trade legislation.

The organization is targeting Salazar, U.S. Rep. Betsey Markey, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, and other federal officials around the country.

Salazar’s 3rd District, which covers most of the Western Slope and southern Colorado, “is an important district” to Americans for Prosperity, Crank said.

“This is an important place in America.”


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