Americans for Prosperity Moves on from Solyndra

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 26 2012 3:56 PM

Americans for Prosperity Moves on from Solyndra

Americans for Prosperity, the grassroots group chaired by David Koch, is ramping up its third national ad campaign of 2012. Behold: Stop Tanking America.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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The ad actually starts a new argument about stimulus spending -- a change from the campaign AFP ran from last fall through early winter. Here, the three-year-old stimulus failed in part because of money wasted overseas. "Washington promised to create American jobs if we passed their stimulus," we're told. "But that's not what happened. Fact: Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on green energy went to jobs in foreign countries.

Rated mostly true! But using the math in the ad, the stimulus cost $831 billion. The money squandered for foreigners: $2.3 billion. We're talking about 0.27 percent of the tax cut/spending plan.

Why are we talking about it? Look back to the last AFP ads. This one went on the air in swing states for $6 million.

 

This one: $2.4 million.

 

You can see the problem: These ads were about Solyndra. And after months of investigations by Congress and the press, the drawer marked "Solyndra smoking gun" turned out to be empty. ("Is there criminal activity?" Darrell Issa told Politico last month. "Perhaps not.) Solyndra now appears in a cameo role -- the rest of the ad is country-fried your-money-wasted-overseas stuff.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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