A woman with the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity loads gas, paid for in part by her group, for a vehicle in Flint, Michigan. AFP’s anti-Obama bus is in the background. Image via Flickr.
As the election approaches, advocacy groups that have saturated the airwaves in advertising are now turning to gifts to persuade voters.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the nonprofit financed by David Koch and other wealthy Republican businessmen, has spent some $31 million on anti-Obama ads since April. The group recently opened 98 Get-Out-the-Vote offices, hired some 200 field staffers and has been distributing its state-of-the-art voter-targeting technology on Samsung tablet computers to its volunteers. Now AFP is hoping to win hearts and minds with gifts of free gas.
AFP is hosting events at gas stations across the country to provide gasoline to motorists for the price of $1.84 per gallon. The group is paying for up to fifteen gallons for 100–150 drivers at each station, telling them that the $1.84 price symbolizes the price per a gallon before Obama took office in 2009.
A CBS news affiliate in Iowa reports that at least one driver, Louis Lumpkin, said that the free gas would make a difference on his vote for president. Watch below:
AFP is spending about $4,000 giving away gas at every stop, and has been to stations throughout Nevada, Iowa and Michigan. Along the way, they’re earning free, largely uncritical airtime for their message and maybe some votes in swing states.