Americans for Job Security

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Americans for Job Security (AJS) is a Virginia-based 501(c)(6) group that OpenSecrets.org describes as "a pro-Republican, pro-business organization" headed by David Carney.[1] The American Insurance Association launched the group with $1 million in seed funding in 1997. AJS runs "issue ads" that attack liberal and moderate candidates nationwide, but is not required to disclose its political contributions or expenditures.[2]

In 2002, for example, AJS ran over $1 million in ads attacking Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, who was running for the US Senate from NH in opposition to Republican John Sununu. In the 2008 rematch between Shaheen and Sununu, AJS again funded ads attacking Shaheen.[3] In 2012, it bought $8 million worth of ads opposing Obama's reelection.[4]

Complaints have been filed with the FEC stating that AJS should lose its 501(c)(6) status, which is reserved for "business leagues and trade associations" rather than groups that seek to influence elections.[5][6]

According to the organization's own website, "For more than ten years Americans for Job Security (AJS) has been at the forefront of an explosion of the marketplace of ideas. During this time AJS has put forth a pro-growth, pro-jobs message to the American people. From the beginning our message has been a simple one: free markets and pro-paycheck public policy are fundamental to building a strong economy and creating more and better paying jobs."[7]

Americans for Job Security avoids disclosure by reporting all its revenue as membership dues, although DeMaura claims there is no set membership fee and that members are not required to pay annually, which is why no dues were collected in 2007.

History and related organizations[edit]

Michael Dubke, David Carney, and several business groups helped start Americans for Job Security in 1997. Carney was political director for President George H. W. Bush, and Dubke was the first executive director and then president of Americans for Job Security until April 2008, when Stephen DeMaura, recruited by Carney, took over. The group's public address is a drop box at a United Parcel Service store in Alexandria, Virginia, but DeMaura works out of space shared with Crossroads Media and at least three other political consulting firms, including the Black Rock Group. DeMaura, a 25-year-old former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party who earlier started an anti-Hillary Clinton Facebook page, is the sole employee of Americans for Job Security. Dubke remains a consultant and has authority to countersign its checks. Crossroads Media also places many of the group’s ads.

Crossroads Media is run by Dubke and Carney, and is a Republican consulting shop whose other clients include the National Republican Party, the Republican Governors Association and American Crossroads, a Karl Rove-backed group raising millions to support Republican candidates.

Black Rock Group is run by Dubke with Carl Forti, a longtime Republican operative who is political director for American Crossroads.[8]

Operation Trenchcoat[edit]

In Alaska, the Pebble Mine proposal was opposed for endangering commercial fishing, and supported for creating jobs. Alaskan financier Robert Gillam paid $2 million to join AJS, as encouraged to by Dubke, expecting the money to be used to oppose the mine. Instead, AJS passed almost all of it onto another nonprofit, Alaskans for Clean Water, set up to push a ballot initiative, Alaska Clean Water Initiative, 2008, aimed at imposing clean-water restrictions on the mine, by a group that included Art Hackney, a local Republican consultant and board member of AJS. The Alaska Public Offices Commission investigated, and AJS paid a $20,000 settlement without admitting guilt, agreeing not to help anyone make anonymous contributions in future which involved Alaska elections, but with the caveat the agreement did not apply to other states.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]