Talk:Americans for Prosperity

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Request for comment: $44M of $140M raised by Americans for Prosperity in 2012 election cycle from Koch-related funds[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No consensus, division on pretty much the same lines as the dispute that led to the request in the first place. Time to try different wording, perhaps? Guy (Help!) 18:36, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

09:47, 6 August 2015 (UTC)|rfcid=0D02D3C}}

Should the following content be added to the "Funding" section of Americans for Prosperity:

Of the $140M AFP raised in the 2012 election cycle, more than $44M came from a donor network organized by the Koch brothers.

15:02, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

References:

  1. Gold, Matea (January 5, 2014). "The players in the Koch-backed $400 million political donor network". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 9, 2015. Americans for Prosperity , the Virginia-based nonprofit that finances grass-roots activities across the country and ran an early and relentless television ad assault against President Obama during the 2012 campaign. More than $44 million of the $140 million the organization raised in the last cycle came from the Koch-linked feeder funds. 
  2. Gold, Matea (January 5, 2014). "Koch-backed political network, built to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012 elections". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2015. The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents...A key player is Americans for Prosperity, the Virginia-based advocacy organization that finances activities across the country and ran an early and relentless television ad assault against Obama during the 2012 campaign. More than $44 million of the $140 million the organization raised in that election cycle came from Koch-linked feeder funds. 
  3. "Americans for Prosperity". FactCheck.org. Annenberg Public Policy Center. October 10, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2015. In the 2012 election cycle, AFP reportedly raised $140 million — with more than $44 million of that coming from a donor network organized by the Koch brothers. identified by the Washington Post 
  4. Roarty, Alex (January 16, 2014). "Koch Brothers Are Outspending Everyone for a GOP Senate Takeover". National Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2015. Look no further than Americans for Prosperity, the conservative outside group funded in part by the wealthy industrialists Charles and David Koch...The nonprofit organization has been a major player among Republicans in the post-Citizens United campaign finance world. It spent $140 million, $44 million of which came from Koch-backed funds, the Washington Post reported. 

Background

Previous talk page discussion at Talk:Americans_for_Prosperity#The Washington Post: $44M of $140M raised in 2012 from Koch-related funds.

Previous reliable sources noticeboard discussion at Americans for Prosperity funding proposed addition from Washington Post.

Summary of previous arguments

Support Inclusion:

  1. Highly noteworthy, highly reliable sources.
  2. Highly significant content summarizing a key finding of investigative journalism.
  3. Funding and relationship with Kochs are covered extensively in reliable sources; coverage in article is light relative to reliable sources.

Oppose Inclusion:

  1. Coverage of funding and relationship with Kochs in article is/will become undue.
  2. Article talk page consensus opposes inclusion.
  3. Sources are biased or inadequate

Survey[edit]

Please use this subsection to indicate support or opposition to the above question and a brief statement. Please do not included threaded comments in this subsection. Please feel free to maintain your position here as the discussion progresses. Formal administrator close is respectfully requested as this article is under active discretionary sanctions. Thank you.

  • Support Inclusion because...rationale citing policy or guideline...signed
  • Oppose Inclusion since...rationale citing policy or guideline...signed

  • Support Inclusion The funding of Americans for Prosperity, the relationship between Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers, and the role of Americans for Prosperity in the 2012 elections are among the most notable aspects of Americans for Prosperity. The coverage of funding and the relationship with the Kochs is severely under-represented in this article, relative to coverage in reliable sources, so severely under-represented as to be grossly non-neutral and an embarrassment to our project. The Washington Post is among the most unimpeachable sources available to us, an international newspaper with a distinguished reputation in reporting on transparency including multiple Pulitzer Prizes for investigative journalism. The noteworthiness of the proposed content is manifest by the widespread coverage including FactCheck, the National Journal, and others. This pair of reports in The Washington Post on the results of a major investigative journalism project into the funding of political activism by the Kochs is among the most significant sources on this topic. The proposed content is neutral. Hugh (talk) 15:25, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion - The sources above are compelling. Additional sources like this National Journal article, this Kansas City Star article, and this NPR segment suggest that there is enough coverage to justify adding 23 words to this 4300+ word article. Per WP:DUE: "... in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors or the general public."- MrX 18:19, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose inclusion as written. Support replacement of the section with a sentence similar to the proposed, with "Koch-linked feeder funds". (A required option as noted in the discussion of the draft.) Not only is the discussion here on funding disproportionate to discussion in reliable sources (most sources have only one or two facts), but some funding may be reported in more than one sentence, without it being obvious. I'll analyze the sources given to show that the statement given is not supported by the sources. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:42, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Changed to oppose. Thanks to Hugh, we see that we have nearly equally credible sources which disagree. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:08, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Inclusion - Content is well sourced and clearly notable. Note as well this wholly unrelated reporting from NPR's election finance correspondent, Peter Overby, which notes that "For 2012, tax records show that AFP got nearly $44 million from two other tax-exempt organizations in the Koch's extensive political network." Claims that this info - or the article's treatment of the financial connections between AFP and the Koch brothers more generally - are UNDUE appear to be without foundation. See this massive list of sources and this tertiary academic source for conformation; virtually all major RS give great weight to these financial connections. Attempts to minimize them here have no basis in policy and are not NPOV. Fyddlestix (talk) 19:34, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Inclusion Numbers and figures speaking to the funding of AFP certainly belongs in the "Funding" section and the sources support the suggested inclusion. Any questions of "weight" concerns are easily dismissed by the fact that multiple sources regard Koch Industries/Koch Brothers as the primary funding behind AFP. Since they are considered the primary funding entity, they deserve coverage in relevant sections and that coverage should represent the dominant role they play as financiers. If the money they've donated only amounted to a small fraction of the group and an attempt was being made to present them as being bigger backers than they are, then I'd rightly oppose this inclusion. However, nothing suggests that's the case here and everything that is presented clearly speaks to the role the Koch brothers have in the organization.Scoobydunk (talk) 22:34, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Inclusion (see below) I'm commenting here because I commented on the previous, related WP:NPOVN notice board request made by Hugh and Hugh put a RfC note there. I don't think the citations rise to the level of rock solid. Two are from the same reporter, the third and fourth quotes cite the Washington Post and presumably said reporter. Thus all four are basically the view of one reporter. I can't see this rising to the point of being highly reliable vs something that has been reported. It appears to be reliable information but that doesn't mean Hugh has established how it should be used in the article and care should be taken to avoid WP:RSUW to the specific Washington Post claim vs the phrasing of the NPR article mentioned above. Since this RfC came from WP:NPOVN rather than from WP:RSN I will say I don't know that Hugh has convinced me that the addition or removal of the text is a WP:NPOVN issue. UPDATED: Per Hugh's request I have added a vote. I think he has established that one news organization has made this claim. What he has not shown to my satisfaction is that the sentence would or would not add undue weight to the specific claim. So I don't question the general reliability of the claim but how that information is to be used seems to be a point of contention. Hugh should give the inclusion more context before I would support inclusion in the method he has proposed.Springee (talk) 13:35, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose-ish I'm fine with well sourced funding info. The references above are all essentially one ref (WaPo). A second ref (NPR) from MrX and Fiddlestix says something similar but critically different "For 2012, tax records show that AFP got nearly $44 million from two other tax-exempt organizations in the Koch's extensive political network." So, is it almost $44 or is it more than $44 million? Is it from a network or is it from two tax exempt entities in a network? Both could be correct. Perhaps (and I'm speculating here), nearly $44 million came from only 2 entities and to get over $44 million the WaPo reporter found odds and ends to push beyond $44. Maybe the number was just rounded up. In any event the NPR ref is more specific: "tax records", "almost $44", "from two tax exempt entities". I'd go with the more specific data, hence my !vote. Capitalismojo (talk) 14:28, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
As an aside, if NPR is accurate about the tax records the $44 million will have gone to AFPF the charitable affiliate, FWIW. Capitalismojo (talk) 14:32, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Lacks multiple independent sources and lacks a clear connection to the organization. It's bait for Koch Brother COATRACK material. It's SYNTH and not notable. To give a similar example a "Koch based feeder funds" standard would be like saying that any downstream org that receives money from planned parenthood anywhere in the chain is funded by abortions. It's a COATRACK nightmare if such a low standard can be connected. --DHeyward (talk) 14:43, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion. High quality source by respected veteran political reporter Matea Gold, echoed by other high quality sources, plus further sources linked in MrX's and Fyddlestix's entries, show that this is an important and significant fact. Binksternet (talk) 15:18, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose inclusion as written, per Arthur Rubin's proposal. I support the replacement of the section with a similar sentence that was proposed in the RFC draft. The sources lack a clear connection to the article, and I feel that the statement is violating WP:SYNTHESIS. Comatmebro User talk:Comatmebro 15:48, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Are we going to survey everything previously deemed undue, POV, or coatracking back into existence? Its undue. Are you going to include this same type of coverage in Soros related foundations? Or the other donors of AFP? Are we going to slowly add back more and more POV statements to the article until we are given a survey on adding back completely arbitrary statements like "The Washington Post said taxpayers should know where there money is coming from" ? Its undue. It opens the door to POV and COATRACK. Lets just keep it out and drop this issue so we can go actually improve Wikipedia. DaltonCastle (talk) 03:30, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - single sourced, only one source for 44M.--Polmandc (talk) 04:07, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion per Binsternet. IMO, the "oppose" votes seem to be more a case of making up new rules for "I just don't like it" information. Gandydancer (talk) 14:40, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose inclusion - I think Scoobydunk's !vote demonstrates one of the serious problems with the inclusion of this type of statistic, bare of any sort of context: "...multiple sources regard Koch Industries/Koch Brothers as the primary funding behind AFP. Since they are considered the primary funding entity..." Since $44 million is markedly less than 50% of $140 million, and the funding of AFP was primarily from sources outside the nebulous, undefined "Koch-related" aka "-linked" aka "-backed" network. This means it is no more "Koch-backed" than it is "Groups X, Y, Z-backed", so why should we define it as such? And as I do some quick arithmetic of the contributions that are listed here like $850K from David Koch, and a million here and there from other groups across various years, I find that there must have been significant contributions from other sources to sum up to those figures. Singling Koch(s) out clearly makes the funding seem more monolithic than it truly is - the RSs do not single Koch out as the "primary funder" and presenting it this way observably has the effect of misleading average readers (and clearly even readers who are more critically analyzing the sources) into believing they do.
Furthermore, in an election cycle in which at least $6.3 billion was spent (for clarity of comparison, $6,300 million), we do little to demonstrate what the importance of that $44 million out of $140 million statistic is. To the average reader without further context, it just reads as "a lot of money". Problematic, given the policy that we should not WP:INDISCRIMINATEly include statistics without their proper context. Are we saying that the Kochs have a great deal of control over AFP's operations? That seems to be the implication; do the sources support that as well? I wasn't aware this went through RSN, so never mind the fact that the original source Matea Gold does not even explain the origin of this information, nor, as I said earlier, by what parameters her statistics include or exclude groups from the set of groups that are defined as "Koch-linked". This is unacceptable and itself untransparent. It could mean literally anything and still technically be correct. In any sort of scientific context this would render the results completely useless and they would therefore be universally ignored. Unfortunately for us, it is not. But we are still asked to use some editorial discretion and common sense in our inclusion of material. The fact that it has been repeated in a few RSs does not compel us to include it here. Without further context or better definition, the line provides very little in the way of informational value for the reader and very much in the way of POV/verifiability issues. Unless I'm missing the point. So I ask again - what exactly is this line attempting to demonstrate? Why is it important to single out this mathematically minor, poorly defined set of contributors?
To Hugh's concern, if the point is to clarify that a relationship between AFP and Koch exists, I'd point out that a "Ctrl+F" search of the page for "Koch" already yields several results (87, at present, including refs), some of which are lines on the founding and funding of the organization. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 20:10, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose inclusion - My new BFF, AdventurousSquirrel, hit the nail on the head. Why indeed is it important to single out this mathematically minor, poorly defined set of contributors? --Guy Macon (talk) 06:59, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Inclusion: I don't think it's useful to decide what belongs in the funding section on a piecemeal, sentence-by-sentence manner. Context matters. The only way we can determine if this particular proposed content is appropriate in the article is by knowing what other content will go alongside it. I think the article should have a funding section, but we cannot know if WP:DUE weight is given to the Koch contributions unless we have a handle on what other content is to be in the section. AdventurousSquirrel makes a good point about proportionality. The sources seem to say that in 2012, the Kochs were involved in funding a bit less than 1/3 of the group's budget. Who funded the other 2/3? A fair and comprehensive funding section would discuss this and give due weight based on a percentage of the budget funded by each entity. Winning consensus for inclusion of one sentence doesn't necessarily move the ball forward on building a neutral funding section that gives due weight to each donor based on the proportion of the budget each donor has given. Champaign Supernova (talk) 17:49, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion per WP:LEAD which specifies that significant controversies shouldn't just be mentioned, but that they should be summarized in the introduction of the article. EllenCT (talk) 01:14, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Inclusion for reasons already pointed out by DaltonCastle and AdventurousSquirrel. Abierma3 (talk) 21:22, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per DaltonCastle. FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 19:53, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion. For some reason a number of commenters seem to think we need more than one reliable source stating something for it to be verifiable. No, we only need one uncontradicted source. Here it appears we have three. The fact that the same journalist wrote both WaPo sources isn't very relevant. The author is a veteran reporter with 20 years of experience at top-flight newspapers, and both of her pieces were fact-checked by WaPo's highly reputable editorial staff. Then we have FactCheck.org repeating the same statements. FactCheck.org is one of the most reliable sources there is. The proposed language appears to accurately reflect these sources without any improper synthesis. All three sources specifically call out the Kochs' contributions to AFP, which given these sources (and many others) is highly noteworthy and not at all undue. I'm not watching this page so please ping me if you want my attention.--Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:42, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion. Summoned by bot. The Koch brothers supplied 30% of AFP's funding in 2012, this was notable enough that WashPo reported it, and readers at our AFP article would want to know. All the WP:OR that has come up in discussion, about large sums of political money given by entities that are not the Koch brothers, are interesting but irrelevant to this article about AFP and the Koch brothers who fund them. Lastly, complaints that the Koch brothers are getting a hard time on Wikipedia push aside the obvious policy questions concerning the scope of our article about AFP (and its funding), and the reliable sources we use to determine the relevance and weight of material. Instead, we get a bunch of vague arguments about how unfairly the Koch brothers are treated. That's irrelevant to this article, and trust me, the Koch brothers will be fine. -Darouet (talk) 03:26, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion. The language is neutral as stated and is reliably sourced. In the post-Citizens United era of dark money, it is difficult for people (including our readers) to ascertain the origins of campaign contributions. Where possible, and with clarity, we should be allowed to report on the conclusions of reliable sources. gobonobo + c 00:22, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
As a note, this is not a 'post-Citizens United' organization. It has been in existence since 1984 doing the same things it does today. Nothing has changed in this org as result of the Citizens United decision, which is why there is not a single discussion of it (Citizens United) or reference to it at this article. Capitalismojo (talk) 00:35, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion because Americans_for_Prosperity#Funding only mentions quite small donations at the moment, and is unbalanced without this big one. I think the Washington Post should be attributed in the prose, as this is some sort of leak that has not been corroborated by other news sources. I don't see that this is an unwarranted or unbalanced attempt to tar the Koch brothers or their corporation, who seem proud of their association with AfP, despite wishing to keep this donation secret. I made other comments about my position in the threaded discussion below. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 09:40, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
I struck a sentence from my response, as I forgot about the NPR source that MrX introduced into the discussion. That source should be cited: its significant differences demonstrate its independence. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 10:28, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion of a neutrally stated fact. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:56, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Threaded discussion[edit]

Please restrict threaded discussion to this subsection. Please sign your comments. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 15:02, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

  • The RfC should be formatted something along the lines of ArthurRubin’s proposal noting that the current coverage of the Kochs is excessive and that the funding section be replaced with “Of the $140M AFP raised in the 2012 election cycle, more than $44M came from Koch-linked feeder funds”. And to touch on DHeywards’s point, WP:CONSENSUS was already met on this issue. Opening up new discussions over the inclusion of content that has already reached consensus multiple times is not not beneficial and prohibits users from improving the quality of the page. Thanks. Cheers, Comatmebro User talk:Comatmebro 17:36, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Coverage of the Koch brothers is not excessive. Anyone who thinks that it is needs to familiarize themselves with what RS actually say on the subject (credit to Aquillion for that list and their thoughtful contribution on this point above), and to check out some high-quality, academic sources like this one and this one - both of which make it clear that the Koch connection is the central point of interest for most academics who have studied AFP. Also, as both myself and MrX have noted above, the supposed consensus which some editors keep citing here does not appear to exist. Activity on this page was recently the focus of both an AE and an ANI thread because people are not listening to each other and letting their emotions get in the way. So: please stop hand waving about a pre-existing consensus that never was: focus on the arguments and evidence, and leave your baggage at the door. Fyddlestix (talk) 17:57, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Also note that there is a previous consensus for exclusion, so that an overriding consensus would be required. (The consensus, although weak, does exist. All participating editors other than HughD agreed to exclude the material, as well as some other material now restored by a drive-by.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:49, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Arthur, can you provide a link to the discussion where this consensus was developed, please? Fyddlestix (talk) 18:55, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
@Arthur Rubin: can you clarify what you mean by "replacement of the section?" It's not clear to me what content/section you'd like to see removed and replaced, perhaps you could be more specific. Fyddlestix (talk) 18:48, 9 July 2015 (UTC) moved Hugh (talk) 19:43, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
The entire paragraphs on funding of AfP, not including comments related to transparency. (Transparency is a separate issue.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:46, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
@Arthur Rubin: Thanks for clarifying. Still waiting on you to link the discussions where the consensus you refer to above was discussed and developed. Fyddlestix (talk) 21:16, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
You understand that consensus occurs when decisions to add things are rejected. The article is defacto consensus when proposals to change it fail. --DHeyward (talk) 15:36, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
There's no need to be patronizing, I understand perfectly well how consensus works. Perhaps we shouldn't derail this discussion further by going off on a tangent about what consensus is or isn't, though; the result of this RFC will supersede any (alleged) local consensus anyway. I was simply curious what discussions Arthur was basing his statement on, if he'd rather not give specifics, that's fine. Fyddlestix (talk) 16:06, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
An RfC on Talk:Americans for Prosperity about the content of the Americans for Prosperity article doesn't supersede local consensus. It demonstrates local consensus. If some other RfC on an appropriate Wikiproject or noticeboard applies to multiple articles, then WP:CONLIMITED comes into play. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:56, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Sourcing

  1. Sources 1 and 2 (by the same author in the same publication) has $44M only in the context of "Koch-linked feeder funds". They mention a donor network organized or backed by the Kochs, but that seems to be the entire Kochtopus, and doesn't mention a dollar amount.
  2. Source 3 doesn't presently have a URL, but your quote has $407M for the Koch organization as a whole (for unspecified years), and $44M for "Koch-based feeder funds".
  3. Source 4 quotes the Washington Post as saying "Koch-based funds".
  4. NPR says "two other tax-exempt organizations in the Kochs' extensive political network".

I don't see "a donor network organized by the Koch brothers". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:02, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

The phrase "In the 2012 election cycle, AFP reportedly raised $140 million — with more than $44 million of that coming from a donor network organized by the Koch brothers" appears verbatim (I just copy-pasted that) in this source (factcheck.org). @HughD: did you mean to link this as part of your "source 3" above? Fyddlestix (talk) 21:12, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Disingenuous as you failed to note the embedded link in factcheck.org. "reportedly raised" is linked to the WaPost article. It's blue in the artcile. It looks like this: "AFP reportedly raised $140 million" Follow the link and you will see that factcheck.org is not doing an original report, they are reporting what WaPost said. --DHeyward (talk) 15:44, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
@Arthur Rubin: 'I don't see "a donor network organized by the Koch brothers"' It's bolded. Should I make it all caps? Hugh (talk) 04:12, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
@Fyddlestix: Thanks for your comments. The title is linked in source 3, isn't it? It works for me. Thanks again. Hugh (talk) 04:12, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
@HughD: You're correct. I probably had one too many tabs open earlier and got confused, my bad. Fyddlestix (talk) 04:20, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
It's not near the $44M, but near the completely different $407M. But let me check again. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:38, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  1. Kochtopus is not in the proposed content or in any of the refs. Please help us all focus on the above proposed content and refs. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 04:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  2. The title is linked. Hugh (talk) 05:36, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  3. The National Journal did not use the exact same words as The Washington Post. They paraphrased. Sort of like what some of us do. Hugh (talk) 04:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
  4. Please help us all focus on the above proposed content and refs in the RfC above. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 04:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
That wording seems significantly different, to the point that it seems to be synthesis to assert that it's the same $44M or Koch-related organizations. For what it's worth, most of the articles also include the $407M, and I have no idea where that came from. It's probably the sum of the funding of all the Koch-related organizations, as there is no easy way to eliminate double- (or triple-) counting. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:03, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Further reasons for reducing the section.

  1. Each fact has a single source (there are few sources which have more than one fact)
    1. There are different (sets of) organizations and (sets of) years, so there may be overlap.
    2. Including them all together would encourage readers to add the totals, which we could not do, being WP:SYNTHESIS.
  2. Some of the facts have limited relevance. The last time I checked, there was a $500,000 entry which is out of $140 million or so. That would be less than 0.3%, even though we might not be able to say that in the article, if the $500,000 and $140 million were from different sources.

(The fact that the information can only come from reports of the funding organization, not of AFP, could be somewhat relevant, although that is also overweighted at the moment. But we are not discussing the "transparency" section in this RfC. ) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:10, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

"reducing the section" Please help us all focus on the above RfC, which proposes a one-sentence addition. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 05:33, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
As I noted in the draft discussion, the RfC needs to include the option of replacing the funding section with the corrected sentence. You ignored that fact when you opened the RfC. The RfC should probably be considered null as too biased if that option is not included. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:29, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
This RfC and its draft are both one sentence adds. I'm sorry you are not happy with that. This RfC does not propose removing any content. On the first day of an RfC for a one-sentence add you are on recorded planning how to get it nullified. As you know you have venues for contesting the close if it comes to that, but you're not worried, are you? why not wait and see how it turns out. Your opposition to the question of this RfC is noted above in the survey, thank you for that. Please consider a separate RfC to embody your interpretation of our due weight policy that the appropriate coverage of the funding of AFP is one sentence, take some time to think it through and build your case based on policy and guideline and I look forward to reading your position. Please do not be disruptive here on his RfC. Hugh (talk) 07:04, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

There is a political faction on Wikipedia that wants to demonize the Koch brothers wherever possible.

Take a look at our pages for the top political donors listed by opensecrets.org, and see how many of them contain the kind of criticism that is being pushed into anything Koch-related:

 Top Organization Contributors
RANK _____________ Name _________________________ Total _____ %Dem. _ %Rep.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Service Employees International Union ----- $222,434,657 -- 99% --- 1%
2 ActBlue ----------------------------------- $160,395,135 - 100% --- 0%
3 American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees -- $93,830,657 --- 99% --- 1%
4 National Education Assn ------------------- $92,972,656 --- 97% --- 4%
5 Fahr LLC ---------------------------------- $75,289,659 -- 100% --- 0%
6 American Federation of Teachers ----------- $69,757,113 -- 100% --- 1%
7 Las Vegas Sands --------------------------- $69,440,942 ---- 0% - 100%
8 National Assn of Realtors ----------------- $68,683,359 --- 49% -- 52%
9 Carpenters & Joiners Union ---------------- $67,778,534 --- 94% --- 7%
10 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers --- $63,572,836 --- 99% --- 2%
11 United Food & Commercial Workers Union --- $63,229,927 -- 100% --- 1%
12 AT&T Inc --------------------------------- $61,004,110 --- 42% -- 58%
13 Laborers Union --------------------------- $57,644,241 --- 94% --- 6%
14 Perry Homes ------------------------------ $55,482,749 ---- 0% - 100%
15 Goldman Sachs ---------------------------- $52,230,718 --- 54% -- 47%
Source: [ https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php ]

BTW, if you are wondering where the Koch Brothers are on this list, At $28,572,742, they are Number 48.

Just to be complete, here are some figures for dark money:

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2013/11/liberal-dark-money-dominating-2014-elections/

While we are not bound by what those other pages do (see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS), there is a good reason why the editors of those other pages don't treat the other large donors the way the Koch brothers are treated here. It simply isn't very notable that billionaires spend millions of dollars supporting political causes that they like -- unless the billionaires' last name is Koch, then suddenly it becomes the most important fact about them.

Wikipedia should give the same WP:WEIGHT to donations and criticisms of same no matter which side they support. And large numbers of left-leaning blogs and news sites all talking about the Koch brothers doesn't really show that it is widely reported when 99% of those stories are the direct result of comments about the Koch brothers by the democratic party and by president Obama. Proper weight would be a NPOV section (not in the lead) reporting what the president accused them of and what their response was. --Guy Macon (talk) 00:00, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

"There is a political faction on Wikipedia that wants to demonize the Koch brothers wherever possible."
Just in case you're not aware of it, editors of this page are subject to discretionary sanctions. Your comment doesn't seem very helpful at all.- MrX 01:29, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Any admin is free to take action if he or she thinks that expressing an opinion concerning a systemic bias is deserves a discretionary sanction. Of course I will be royally pissed off if said admin fails to fist post a note to my talk page asking me to stop doing whatever he or she thinks I did wrong so I can stop and discuss. I think that I can easily demonstrate that there is indeed a a political faction on Wikipedia that wants to demonize the Koch brothers wherever possible, and that other major political donors don't get the same treatment. I am apolitical, but against POV pushing of any kind on Wikipedia. -Guy Macon (talk) 06:54, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
I would like to work with you to include the President's noteworthy comments and noteworthy reactions, but not in this thread, thanks. A few nice sentences doing exactly what you suggest was recently deleted. One thing at a time, ok? Is this a cross-post from ANI? If so please replace it here with a brief summary and link. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 04:22, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
This is a separate discussion from ANI. ANI deals with user behavior, not article content, and the fact that I believe that there is a systemic bias is relevant to the user behavior ANI is examining. The fact that I believe that there is a systemic bias is also relevant to article content, whch of course should be discussed here. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:54, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: Above in your brief statement of position in the survey you asked, "Why indeed is it important to single out..." Coverage of the subject of this article's relationship with the Koch is not an expression of systematic bias, it is an expression of our commitment to our neutrality pillar: a fair, unbiased summary of high quality reliable sources requires coverage of the Koch relationship, of funding, and of the results of investigative journalism, however incomplete a picture investigative journalism reveals to us. May I respectfully suggest Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countering systemic bias may be an appropriate forum for you to collaborate with colleagues on the pattern of bias you perceive. Here in this RfC on this article talk page please familiarize yourself with the high quality reliable sources used in this article and update your position. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 19:04, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
You might want to try actually reading Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias before suggesting that editors talk about political bias in articles there (and conveniently, not challenging your assumptions here) That's not the kind of bias that project addresses. Wikipedia:Systemic bias may also be helpful if you want to understand the nature of the systemic bias that I and other editors are attempting to deals with. WikiProject Countering systemic bias specifically does not address the kind of political bias we are discussing here, other than the obvious fact that we, like many other Wikipedia editors are talking extensively about US politics while politics in other parts of the world are neglected. That's a real problem, and one that Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias is working hard to rectify, but they don't care at all about bias for or against particular US political views and against others.
The relevant pages for the kind of bias that I am seeing here (cherry picking sources that put the Koch brothers in a bad light while ignoring other major political contributors) are WP:BIASED, Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#Bias in sources and especially WP:POVS. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:42, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Are you saying you oppose the above proposed content because it unduly increases our coverage of US politics? Hugh (talk) 21:08, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Are you saying the above proposed content puts the Koch brothers in a bad light? How so? I believe the above proposed content is neutral. Hugh (talk) 21:08, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I have already given my reasons for opposing several times -- POV pushing. Search this page for my name for more details on my position. Right now I am (unsuccessfully, it seems) trying to explain to you that your comment ("I respectfully suggest Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countering systemic bias may be an appropriate forum") is completely wrong, because the "systemic bias" that wikiproject deals with is not political bias resulting in POV pushing. If you learn nothing else from this discussion, please learn not to suggest WikiProject Countering systemic bias as a place to discuss systemic political bias. It doesn't belong there and wastes everybody's time.
I still haven't seen a real response from you to the following (From AdventurousSquirrel's oppose !vote):
  • "The fact that it has been repeated in a few RSs does not compel us to include it here. Without further context or better definition, the line provides very little in the way of informational value for the reader and very much in the way of POV/verifiability issues. Unless I'm missing the point. So I ask again - what exactly is this line attempting to demonstrate? Why is it important to single out this mathematically minor, poorly defined set of contributors? To Hugh's concern, if the point is to clarify that a relationship between AFP and Koch exists, I'd point out that a "Ctrl+F" search of the page for "Koch" already yields several results (87, at present, including refs), some of which are lines on the founding and funding of the organization."
--Guy Macon (talk) 17:38, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
"...what exactly is this line attempting to demonstrate?" Thank you for your question. What we can expect readers to take away from the proposed content above, is that the subject of this article raised $140M in the 2012 election cycle, and of that, more than $44M came from a network of donors organized by the Koch brothers. Sorry if this is not clear to you. Thank you again. Hugh (talk) 18:41, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
@HughD: And what is the significance of this data? Keeping in mind that our goal is to provide good encyclopedic coverage of the topic and that more comprehensive funding information can be found elsewhere in places which by the nature of their format can inherently provide better context and more complete presentation for this kind of data, what sort of lasting value does this proposed addition lend to the article for the benefit of the reader? What is the significance of the money having reportedly come from the "donor network organized by the Koch brothers"? Certainly, arbitrary lines are not being inserted into this article simply because they both relate to the subject and appear in RSs. So what is the significance of this line in particular? Any "key finding of an important investigative journalism report" prominently displayed in an encyclopedia article should be able to easily stand on its own with sufficient context and explanation as required by WP:NOT and common sense. And again - unless I am missing something, this line, as proposed, isn't providing that. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 12:14, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Any editor is welcome to reply to questions or concerns raised in this RfC threaded discussion on this article talk page. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 15:31, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
The Washington Post, the National Journal, and the Annenberg Public Policy Center all thought the content proposed by this RfC question is significant. I'm sorry you do not. Hugh (talk) 15:31, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
I see you are sorry that I do not. But if you're trying to build consensus to support the addition of this line, why not explain to us, then (as I have requested many times), why you believe it is significant? Again, RSs include plenty of things about all different kinds of topics that are not appropriate for inclusion in encyclopedic coverage of the topic. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 19:50, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
May I respectfully ask, what is your basis in policy or guideline for suggesting that the above RfC propose content is "not appropriate for inclusion in encyclopedic coverage" of Americans for Prosperity? Thank you in advance for your reply. Hugh (talk) 20:09, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Certainly you may! Please refer to my other comments in this thread to you and others in which I outline my main objections to this proposed addition. But I think you forgot to respond to my question again. Since the standing consensus on this article currently excludes the proposed addition, shouldn't those wishing to insert it be explaining the way(s) in which it will provide better encyclopedic coverage of the topic? I'm not sure why it's so difficult to pin this down. I think my questions have been pretty straightforward, and I truly apologize if I'm mistaken in thinking so, but I'm just struggling to understand how this proposed addition will improve the article, given the potential problems with it I and others have pointed out. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 17:43, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
"how this proposed addition will improve the article" The proposed addition will improve our article by informing our readers that the subject of this article raised $140M in the 2012 election cycle, and of that, more than $44M came from a network of donors organized by the Koch brothers. Sorry if this is not clear to you. Hugh (talk) 21:02, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
You are simply repeating the same non-answer. We already know what changes you want to make to the page. Please explain why you think those changes are beneficial when so many other editors think that they are not. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:03, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry you are not happy with my answer. May I expand, the proposed addition will also improve our article by fairly summarizing more reliable sources. I hope this helps. Sorry if this is not clear to you. Hugh (talk) 03:50, 5 August 2015 (UTC) The proposed addition is significant because it was featured in The Washington Post, FactCheck, and the National Journal. I hope this helps. Sorry if this is not clear to you. Hugh (talk) 04:02, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, it's perfectly clear to me and to everybody else. You think that the only criteria needed to put the content that you want into an article is that it be supported by reliable sources even though you are utterly unable to articulate why you think that we should include the content into the article or how it benefits the reader. Somehow the significance of the fact that there are millions of other facts that (in your view) are supported by reliable sources that aren't in the article escapes you. Carry on with your ongoing WP:BLUDGEONing; I am done here. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:33, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your participation in this request for comment. I'm sorry my answer is inadequate. Perhaps we could hear from others of our colleagues on your question. Thanks again. Hugh (talk) 15:31, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
HughD's answer was (1) to inform readers about the fact, and (2) to improve the article. One may quarrel with his answers, but one cannot claim that he did not answer the question, which was why he thinks the changes are or were beneficial. Those were his answers. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 19:36, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your participation in the threaded discussion section of this RfC. If you have not done so already, you may or may not be interested in contributing to the survey section, above. Thanks again. Hugh (talk) 00:58, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
No, you'd have to provide sources that place emphasis on other groups funding AFP for there to be a violation of WP:Biased. That's how NPOV works, it's not a term people get to just throw around when they don't like what reliable sources say. If there were numerous sources, some of them emphasizing Koch funding, some of them emphasizing Adelson funding, some of them emphasizing ground-roots funding, then it would be a violation of WP:NPOV to strictly write the article placing an emphasis on Koch related funding. In this example, the editors are being biased in writing the article to reflect their POV about koch related funding while ignoring other funding that is also represented/emphasized in reliable sources. However, if there are no articles/reliable sources placing an emphasis on other AFP funding groups, then it is not a violation of NPOV to ignore them when writing the section. As a matter of fact, to give those other groups importance when no reliable sources articulates their importance, is the actual violation of WP:NPOV. Hugh's proposal is backed by numerous reliable sources and unless you can prove that other reliable sources give other funding entities equal importance as the Koch related funding, then arguments about WP:biased and WP:NPOV are fruitless and inapplicable. Simply, there are no other point of views when it comes to primary funding that counter the Koch related funding point of view.
Now, even if you find sources that speak to the importance of other funding groups, this is where WP:weight policies come into place. We examine the number of sources that reflect Koch-related funding compared to sources that emphasize other related funding and make sure that those viewpoints are covered in the article relative to the amount of representation they have in reliable sources. So if Hugh as 7 sources that place importance on and speak to Koch funding the AFP and you find 1 source that places importance on another group, then the article will clearly reflect what the 7 sources say, with MAYBE a brief mention of your 1 source that holds an alternative viewpoint.Scoobydunk (talk) 06:42, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments and your time and commitment. Please let us try to depersonalize our discussion. "The RfC proposed content..." please. Thanks again. Hugh (talk) 07:20, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Let's try and keep the red herring arguments and down to a minimum. We're here to discuss Wikipedia policy regarding the information in the RFC and I've yet to see anything substantiated by those policies that would oppose including the information. So far all I'm seeing in the way of opposition are "I don't know"s and "but they aren't doing it" which is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.Scoobydunk (talk) 07:54, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
It appears that you may have a case of WP:IDHT. I don't see how the argument by AdventurousSquirrel in particular can in any way be characterized as "I don't know" or "but they aren't doing it". Dismissing the opinions of over half of the respondents to the RfC as "red herring arguments" while ignoring the principled arguments they posted in not helpful. I suggest that in the future you stick to arguments about content and sources and avoid comments about other editors. -Guy Macon (talk) 20:58, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd advise you to take your own advice. This statement of yours "It appers that you may have a case of" is a direct criticism of me as an individual and doesn't address my arguments. Furthermore, I didn't comment about other editors, I commented on the validity of their arguments and said that they are red herring arguments. So your suggestion doesn't apply to me in this instance, but certainly does apply to your previous comment. Multiple people opposed speak to other articles that don't approach funding in the same way, which is irrelevant to this article and the fact that sources do discuss funding they way Hugh's suggested inclusion claims. That means they are red herring arguments and red herring arguments are logically fallacious in determining the validity of a claim. Hugh says this information should be included because of WP policies XYZ, and instead of actually citing policies, many of those opposed make irrelevant appeals to how other articles are written or should be written as a result of this. This is me addressing those arguments and explaining why they don't have merit, which is what my previous comment suggested.
Furthermore, if you want to speak specifically about AdventurousSquirrel's contribution, it largely hinges on OR claims which are irrelevant to what gets reflected in the WP article. He starts by using math to try and discredit what reliable sources have to say about Koch related funding and its importance. Sorry, but you are not allowed to use your own arguments to try and refute what reliable sources actually have to say. Therefore, it is red herring argument because it doesn't address what policies WP has to refuse this information being included into the article and is not relevant to this RFC. This is not a place where editors get to debunk what reliable sources actually say. He then talks about us doing little to "demonstrate what the importance of that $44 million out of $140 million statistic is" which, again, is not our responsibility as editors. Reliable sources are the ones that establish importance, we simply write the article to reflect that importance. Now, if he had other articles that placed the emphasis of funding on other entities, then he might have a point with making sure the WP article reflects those other articles. But if his position isn't supported by reliable sources, then it's irrelevant in terms of NPOV, because his position is not represented in reliable sources and, therefore, doesn't even exist as a POV. Not to mention, multiple reliable sources do cite Koch as being the primary funding for AFP, so this part of his statement is just inaccurate. So, that's 2 red herring arguments right off the bat. He then questions the reliability of the source's statistics, which is another example of him trying to refute reliable sources. We are not here to debate what scientists actually say, we're here to write articles to reflect what scientists say. So this is another red herring argument and CAN be dismissed as simply that.
So, ultimately, Squirrel's only arguments boil down to context and NPOV which are both problematic. In reality, his comment is trying to create context to muddle/refute what reliable sources have to say about AFP's funding from the Koch brothers, since they mostly don't put emphasis on other funding sources. This approach is against WP policy regarding original research and NPOV. Also, Squirrel does say towards the end of his comment "unless I'm missing the point" which is an example of one of the "I don't knows" that I was referring to. This is exactly why most of Squirrel's comment and those who parrot it, can be ignored in terms of arguments that have actual basis in WP policy for preventing exclusion. Multiple reliable sources put an emphasis on AFP and its funding from the Koch family, there is no confusion about that. Scoobydunk (talk) 06:24, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Wow. "Do understand that your argument primarily consists of red herring arguments". "Squirrel's comment and those who parrot it". "this is a strawman argument". You have amply demonstrated your personal opinion of AdventurousSquirrel, and now you are accusing everyone who agrees with him of "parroting". I do not consider this to be acceptable behavior, and thus I am going to stop responding to anything you write. Feel free to have the last word -- I plan on skipping over it rather than reading it. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:47, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
No, all of those things you quoted directly speak to the "arguments" people were making and are not about the people themselves. So this is another false accusation. Furthermore, when people say "Oppose Inclusion for reasons already pointed out by DaltonCastle and AdventurousSquirrel." Then that is literally people parroting someone else's arguments that are wholly and fully logically fallacious and have no backing by WP policy. I'm also not surprised that you didn't to attempt to refute my rebuttal, not a single person has any of the times I've debunked the red herring arguments made by others.Scoobydunk (talk) 02:05, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
@Scoobydunk: Which sources "cite Koch as being the primary funding for AFP"? I've seen some which call AFP something like "Koch’s primary political-advocacy group", but that line was the subject of a different RfC and does not directly relate to the funding we're discussing here. I don't recall seeing anything saying Koch is AFP's "primary funder". And in fact, as I tried to explain, the data in the sources we're talking about contradicts that claim. The fact that it is presented in numbers and not words does not mean it can be dismissed from the RSs. The "math" I was using is not any type of OR - it is a pretty straightforward, inescapable conclusion drawn from the figures presented in the sources we're discussing. See WP:CALC. And I'm not sure what the objection to my 'I don't know' is, as it was simply an invitation to editors supporting the line's addition to explain its purpose - something which should be pretty simple to do for a significant, well-sourced line, I think - and something which I strongly believe has still not been done adequately. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 12:14, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
@AdventurousSquirrel: My use of "primary" relates to the numerous articles that emphasize the Koch brothers as the founders of the organization and speaks to the nature of the Koch's being the first funding of the AFP. It does not speak to being the largest donors, but being of importance because of the attention given to it by multiple reliable source. However, I did come across a peer reviewed article when doing my own research, but thought the sources here were sufficient. In "The Greening of America Revisited: Can the U.S. Create High-Skill Green Jobs?" published in the New Labor Forum, Andrew Ross says "But it soon became clear that AFP had masterminded the campaign. Primarily funded by the Koch family..." They say "primarily", so if you protest "primary" then we can use "primarily funded". I'm okay with that. The math itself might not be OR, but the conclusions/assertions of "most" and "least" is where the original research comes in. It's not merely a simple calculation, but a claim based off of your own observations about the information available. This is not what WP:Calc speaks to. For instance, they use a person's age as an example. If someone was born in July, 2000 then it's a simple calculation to say they are 15. However, it would be OR if you said "they are the youngest/oldest person" based off of those calculations. WP:Calc strictly stops at the math part and doesn't allow people to draw their own conclusions from those calculations. Not only that, you certainly can't use your own conclusions to try and refute what reliable sources actually say. Even from a "primary source" vs. "secondary sources" point of view, that approach would become invalid since reliable secondary sources take priority over primary sources, and these calculations would come from a primary source. Regardless, it's original research to use your own calculations to try and disprove what reliable sources say. The importance of the line comes from the amount of weight given to it by reliable sources. Numerous reliable sources emphasize the importance of the Koch brothers and the amount they've donated to AFP. That is way more than sufficient for recognizing the importance of this line and meriting its inclusion into the article. Normally WP only requires a single reliable source, and here was have many.Scoobydunk (talk) 18:54, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
@Scoobydunk: Well that is not at all an equivalent situation. It's clear we have all of the information necessary to calculate the example's age with complete certainty, and almost none of the information necessary in the second part of the example to make the claim that the example is the "the youngest/oldest person". On the contrary, we have all of the information necessary to calculate that $44M is less than 50% of $140M from the proposed addition we're talking about, and AFP was therefore primarily funded by groups/individuals who were considered to be not "associated"/"linked" with Koch, by whatever arbitrary measure the original author decided to use and not expand upon. No further information is needed to come to that conclusion. Which I think should highlight another potential problem with using this kind of data. What definition of "primarily" is the New Labor Forum source using to make that claim? For what year was it true? Because apparently, it was not true in 2012. We have to keep in mind that this is an encyclopedia, not a newspaper, and what we write should ideally not have constant expiration dates. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 19:50, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
@AdventurousSquirrel:The whole point was that they were not equivalent examples. WP:Calc clearly applies to one and doesn't apply to the other. Your determination of which contributors are "'associated'/'linked' with Koch" is the ORIGINAL RESEARCH part. You're grouping and separating contributors based on your own perception of what is/isn't significant is also OR. Then you want to use your own understanding of the word "primarily" to try and dispute what a reliable source says, which is also OR. Just about every piece of your argument is a violation of WP's policies concerning original research. Again, "primary/primarily funded" doesn't have to mean "majority funded" and this approach is a red herring argument since multiple sources clearly speak to the Koch brothers as having founded the AFP. That clearly meets the definition of "primary" that speaks to chieftain, most important, earliest, most prominent, original, etc. Trying to say "Oh, they don't provide the majority of funds" is an irrelevant argument to the fact that they are regarded/emphasized in academia and in the media and those are the sources that WP represents, not your own arithmetic and arguments based on said arithmetic. To say "AFP is primarily funded by groups and individuals not associated with Koch" is an original research claim based off of a primary source(of some sort) and does nothing to refute what peer reviewed academic sources say. Whenever there is debate about what reliable sources mean, it's easily rectified by directly quoting and attributing the material. So even if you still want to stick to your OR argument, we can just directly insert the quote into the article if you're so concerned about what "primarily" means. Also, your usage of it to mean "majority funding" is a direct contradiction to Wikipedia not being a newspaper and goes against your position that "we should ideally not have constant expiration dates." This is because the "majority" of funds is constantly changing. The other definition from any of the choices I gave above relating to earliest and/or foremost, is not something that "expires" since the AFP will indefinitely be known as being founded by the Koch brothers. We now have a quoted peer-reviewed source that says "primarily funded" and the importance and reason why the text submitted in this RFC should be included is determined by the fact that there are multiple reliable sources that give this information weight/importance. None of your calculations refute this fact.Scoobydunk (talk) 22:48, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
@Scoobydunk: I have made no determination of which contributors are "'associated'/'linked' with Koch", because it would be impossible for me to do so, as the original source (confoundingly) obfuscates which contributors are even actually included in the figure.
Yes, I understand that you gave two opposing examples; I am saying that contrary to what you have attempted to do, it is more correct to equate this case to the first example than to the second. This is because like the calculation of the example's age, the line we're discussing in this RfC provides all of the necessary information (assuming it is accurate and meaningful) to arrive at an inescapable conclusion - in this case, that Koch-linked sources were not the "primary" funders of AFP in 2012. Saying "$44M of $140M came from Koch-linked groups" is exactly equivalent to saying "$96M of $140M came from sources not linked to Koch"...except it's a little less POV-pushing, given that it is phrased from the perspective of the majority segment. Though whether or not it faithfully represents the intent of the source is perhaps another matter. I am certainly not alone in 'my own' understanding of the word "primary", and accepted definitions of it frequently include "majority" (the thing you say it is not) or synonyms of it, like "mainly" or "for the most part". Particularly in the context of quantitative data like we're discussing, I think it has to mean "more than 50%". A few of the top results after a quick search reflect that same usage: 1, 2. But no matter what your opinion on the matter is, I don't think it could possibly be at all a stretch to think readers would be likely to interpret that statement that way.
I'm not sure why we keep mixing in discussions of founding with funding. Though they may sound similar, there is no direct relationship between the two. I really don't think "primarily funded by" can be taken to mean "originally/initially funded by". AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 17:43, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
@AdventurousSquirrel:Based your most recent reply, your assertion that $96M came from sources not linked to Koch is actually a violation of WP:NPOV since you're taking something not emphasized by reliable sources and changing the language to fit your own point of view. Here, you are the one adding emphasis on the "non-linked Koch sources" which is not how the information is presented in reliable sources and is a violation of a neutral point of view. NPOV pertains to representing sources/information accurately without inserting our own bias, not changing language and emphasis when we don't like it. After re-reading your comment, I see you recognize this aspect of your rephrasing, but will still verbalize the distinction here because it's important. The argument is still a violation of WP:OR since you're still making a strawman argument based on a narrow interpretation of "primarily". Also keep in mind, there are two different arguments here and it appears you keep trying to combine them into one argument, which can be seen as a violation of the WP:Synth part of WP:OR. The first argument deals with the fact Koch gave $44 million out of $140 million to AFP. This has been substantiated through multiple reliable sources and what gives the Koch funding importance is the fact that they are the ones emphasized in all those sources. This is a fact you keep failing to refute, yet you still continue to ask others "why is it important?". You've been told why, multiple times. The second argument is that the AFP is primarily funded by Koch. This is substantiated by a peer reviewed source, that doesn't use the 44/140 argument, and therefore those numbers are irrelevant when attempting to refute it. To try and use those numbers from other sources to say "The AFP is not primarily funded by Koch" in an attempt to refute a source that doesn't speak to those numbers is where the synthesis comes in. It really doesn't matter what your argument is, it's never going to take precedence over the strongest type of reliable source available and you're mistaken if you think your own personal arguments are going to have any relevance in refuting what reliable sources actually say.
Also, "founding" and "funding" are often times directly related because people who "found" something often times "fund" them as well. This is not always the case, but here it's clear that the Koch brothers both "founded" and "initially funded" the AFP, so they are directly related in this case. Furthermore, you say "in the context of quantitative data like we're discussing" which is a strawman argument. Never ONCE have I said that my usage of the word "primary/primarily" is related to the quantitative data...NOT ONCE. I specifically said that I used it to refer to the initial funding and founding of the AFP, which is still a correct usage of the word. You then asked to me supply a reliable source that supports that language and I did. Now, if I didn't have reliable source to back my usage of the word "primary/primarily", then you could argue for less ambiguous language, but now that I have a peer reviewed source, that language is directly substantiated and is no longer simply a result of editorializing or POV concerns...unless you find equally reliable sources that beg to differ. Of course, I'm happy to review those sources and use language that most neutrally satisfies and encompasses the majority of those sources. Regardless, this discussion about "primarily" has no relevance to the RFC and is a red herring argument. So let's focus on the proposed language and the policies that might prevent it from being included in the article. So far, all you've given are your own OR arguments for why it shouldn't be included, and those are ultimately irrelevant. It's backed and given weight/importance by multiple reliable sources and the language neutrally reflects what those sources say. You've yet to supply an argument to support excluding this information that hasn't already been thoroughly refuted. Let's recognize this first, then we can continue discussing...whatever.Scoobydunk (talk) 18:56, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
Well said, Scoobydunk. It's absolutely true that a purely numerical argument cannot trump a reliable source that makes no numerical argument. Binksternet (talk) 00:13, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
@Guy Macon: I've no idea if there's truly "a political faction on Wikipedia that wants to demonize the Koch brothers." Without any faction, the Koch brothers have gained enough notoriety in the media upon which we rely to easily create that illusion. Editorially excluding Koch-related coverage on the notion that sources overemphasize them commits the very sin of "POV-pushing" you write you want to avoid.
You provided a fascinating table showing financial contributions above, and wrote, "it simply isn't very notable that billionaires spend millions of dollars supporting political causes that they like." I'm one of billions of people who'll never have access to those resources, and along with plenty of journalists, academics and editors, disagree. If you believe that equitably covering political funding is crucial, you will be able to improve politics articles by informing readers about financial contributions that receive insufficient coverage. If however you maintain that money pouring into politics just isn't relevant, you'll find yourself striking content provided by disagreeing journalists, academics and editors with little cause beyond that conviction, and ultimately harm politics-related articles. -Darouet (talk) 04:41, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I think that "you'll find yourself striking content but only if the contributor is the Koch brothers" is more accurate. There is no mention of political contributions in our articles about the Las Vegas Sands ($69 million dollars in political contributions, 100% to republicans) or United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America ($67 million dollars in political contributions, 94% to democrats), nor does our Las Vegas sands article mention the politics of CEO and 52% owner Sheldon Adelson. Wikipedia simply does not find it to be particularly notable that billionaires give millions of dollars to political causes they like unless the billionaires are named Koch. This has nothing to do with sources -- there are plenty of sources for all the other billionaires giving millions of dollars to political causes they like -- but rather with an organized effort to violate our rules concerning NPOV in articles relating to the Koch brothers. (I should also note that I have never edited this page, I am uninvolved other than commenting on this talk page after I was notified of an RfC here).--Guy Macon (talk) 19:25, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
If the sources for the contributions by LVS and UBCJA are as strong as those listed in this RfC, I think that Wikipedia should mention those contributions, as well as adding the sentence HughD proposed. The coverage by the sources, as well as the size of contributions compared to those made by small donors, makes the contributions noteworthy in my book. Guy Macon suggests that adding these donations violates NPOV, yet both republicans and democrats agree that the Kochs made these donations, which makes the mention neutral. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 21:06, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Those other articles are irrelevant to Americans for Prosperity, so making an appeal to the information they articulate is irrelevant. If reliable academic and media sources make a source of funding notable, then it's our responsibility to have the article reflect that. It is not WP editors spotlighting contributions, it's those sources that spotlight it and we are simply writing the article to reflect what numerous sources say about the subject matter. This is consistent with WP guidelines and the underlying basis of how ANYTHING and EVERYTHING gets included into articles to begin with. Red herring arguments are disruptive as they detract from an actual WP policy discussion about why this information should/shouldn't be included in the article. This approach has already been refuted on multiple fronts, let's please refrain from repeating logical fallacies and focus on actual relevant policies.Scoobydunk (talk) 22:35, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break 01[edit]

@Springee: Thank you for your engagement with this RfC. Please move your comments to this threaded discussion area if you are not going to take a position on the question of this RfC, thanks. In terms of verifiability, one source, The Washington Post is sufficient. For Wikipedia purposes the number of authors does not matter as much as the number of editorial staffs; between the four refs above are three quality editorial staffs. The $44M and $140M figures got passed three editorial staffs. The third and fourth refs cite the first and second; that's not an issue, that's the noteworthiness of the proposed content. Hugh (talk) 05:01, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

@Springee: "not shown to my satisfaction is that the sentence would or would not add undue weight to the specific claim." Our due weight policy very strongly endorses inclusion of the proposed content in this article. The funding of Americans for Prosperity, the relationship between Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers, and the role of Americans for Prosperity in the 2012 elections are among the most notable aspects of Americans for Prosperity. The coverage of funding and the relationship with the Kochs is severely under-represented in this article relative to coverage in reliable sources. Hugh (talk) 19:11, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
@Springee: Please see our content guideline WP:USEBYOTHERS:

How accepted, high-quality reliable sources use a given source provides evidence, positive or negative, for its reliability and reputation. The more widespread and consistent this use is, the stronger the evidence.

Please let us know if you have any questions on our content guideline WP:USEBYOTHERS. Please update your statement of position to reflect your understanding of our content guideline WP:USEBYOTHERS. Hugh (talk) 15:14, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the additional information. It does not sufficiently address my concerns on the mater. Springee (talk) 19:12, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
@Springee: Above in your statement of position you wrote "all four are basically the view of one reporter" and "one news organization has made this claim." How do you reconcile this position with your new understanding of our content guideline WP:USEBYOTHERS? Please update your above statement of position to reflect your understanding of WP:USEBYOTHERS. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 17:37, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

@DHeyward: Please move your comment on MrX's statement to this threaded discussion subsection. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 15:39, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

No problem if MrX wishes to move his new sources to the "Sources" section of the threaded comments. A drive by list of unchallengable sources in the Support/Oppose section warrants a threaded response right underneath those misleading and poor sources. It's not related to the proposal and things like a KC star letter to the editor is being misrepresented as an article. Considering other editors are citing MrX's "sources" as their reason for support impliease they are misinterpreting both the sources and the RFC.. --DHeyward (talk) 15:53, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
DHeyward please move your rebuttal to my !vote to the threaded discussion section. The RfC is specifically structured so as not to permit threaded rebuttals.- MrX 16:13, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you to all for citing additional reliable source references in support of their statements of their position or in their comments in the threaded discussion comments. All are welcome to cite references which support or contradict the content posed in the above RfC question. Please help us all out, and in particular show consideration for our closer so they do not have to hunt through threaded discussion in search of statements of position. Thank you in advance. Hugh (talk) 16:46, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

@Capitalismojo: Thank you for your support of well-sourced funding info.

Overby, Peter (March 6, 2014). "Running Against The Koch Brothers". National Public Radio. OVERBY: Phillips is also president of AFP's companion charity organization, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. David Koch is the foundation's chairman. Long-time Koch associates serve on the boards of both groups. For 2012, tax records show that AFP got nearly $44 million from two other tax-exempt organizations in the Koch's extensive political network. 

Of course National Public Radio and Overby are reliable sources in general, but in this particular instance I believe you may be reading too much into the exact wording of a transcript of a radio interview to attempt to undermine the references included in support of the above RfC. The NPR interview does not explicitly cite The Washington Post's investigative journalism report, though I believe the NPR report adds noteworthiness to the proposed content. As you know from your thorough reading of the main sources, The Washington Post investigative journalism reports, The Washington Post found that just two organizations, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and TC4 Trust, dominated the donor network organized by the Koch brothers, so there is no contradiction in the NPR transcript; however, at this time explicitly calling out these two funds by name is not part of the content proposed by this RfC. NPR is not among the references included in the above RfC. Respectfully I feel that, in using discrepancies you perceive in the wording of a paraphrase in a transcript of a radio interview to discredit the references supplied with this RfC, you are giving it too much consideration in your evaluation of this RfC question relative to the superb references included in support of the above RfC, and I respectfully ask that you reconsider your position. I believe you have an excellent opportunity here to show leadership in support of more broad understanding among our collaborators of the appropriate application of our neutrality pillar. Thank you again. Hugh (talk) 16:36, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Well, I think everyone here has shown great deference to neutrality. I do like accurate data and believe that we should be as accurate as possible. I would suggest that if we are to be accurate we should give the improtant detail. If both the WaPo and NPR refs say that two orgs gave almost $44 million, why don't we adjust the RfC to meet what the refs say? I'd be supportive of that. Capitalismojo (talk) 17:14, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your suggestion of including additional detail from these excellent sources. The proposed content is a succinct summary of the reliable sources. You state that you would prefer "...from Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and TC4 Trust" to "...from a donor network organized by the Koch brothers" May I respectfully ask, might your preference be in part because the RfC proposed content mentions the Kochs and your suggestion does not? Your suggestion introduces new proper nouns to the article, which are not strictly necessary to the proposed content, and would require additional context for clarity for our readers. I know you would not make a suggestion that deliberately makes our article less clear. Given your expressed interest in increased detail drawn from our reliable sources, may I respectfully ask, might you support:

"...from from a donor network organized by the Koch brothers, including the now defunct TC4 Trust, the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the major funding arm of the network, and the Phoenix-based Center to Protect Patient Rights, a major funder of conservative groups in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles."

I look forward to collaborate with you on adding additional detail from these excellent sources to our articles. Respectfully I ask again that you reconsider your position on the RfC proposed content in light of the RfC proposed references and in light of your stated commitment to a fair summarization of reliable sources. Hugh (talk) 18:01, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

@Comatmebro: Thank you for your comment. Thank you for citing specific policy. As you know, our reasons are more important than our votes. May I respectfully ask, could you please elaborate on what you feel is unclear about the connection of the sources to the subject of this article? Could you please elaborate on your feeling that the proposed content is synthetic? Thanks again. Hugh (talk) 19:01, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

I think the connection is unclear because there is only once source supporting the 44$M statement. Comatmebro User talk:Comatmebro 15:34, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. May I ask, how does the striking agreement between the sources make unclear to you the connection between the sources and the subject of this article? All the sources unambiguously, explicitly state "Americans for Prosperity." The content proposed in the RfC is supported by four references that include three high quality editorial boards. For Wikipedia purposes, we have three sources. The $44M figure was reported by all three editorial boards. The acknowledgement of The Washington Post by FactCheck and the National Journal does not mean the editorial boards at Annenberg Public Policy Center and the National Journal looked the other way, and it does not mean there is only one source. In terms of verifiability, The Washington Post alone is sufficient. May I ask, what is your basis in policy or guideline for your claim that content on Wikipedia must have more than one source? My impression is that much of Wikipedia has only one source. Here, even if it were one source, which it obviously is not, that one source would be The Washington Post. Do you have an issue with The Washington Post? FactCheck and the National Journal support the verifiability and noteworthiness of an already very highly reliable source. As you know, a version of this content was posted for comment at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard, linked above, and no commenter there mentioned your theory that the sources are not connected to the subject of this article, and no commenter there mentioned your theory that there is only one source, and no commenter there mentioned synthesis. Please review the previous reliable sources noticeboard discussion linked above in the RfC and please reconsider your position on the sourcing. Thank you again. Hugh (talk) 17:09, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

National Journal cites the same WaPo article as everyone else. KC Star isn't an article it's a "Letter to the editor" in which one "Robert Russell" from "Kansas City" plagiarizes the WaPost story (I will ask them to yank that unreliable copyright vio). NPR statement by interview host doesn't match the wording. --DHeyward (talk) 15:17, 10 July 2015 (UTC) (moved from survey section) Hugh (talk) 16:45, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

NPR is sloppy and as interview it should be discounted. First, NPR says "In 2012" not "2012 election cycle". the tax returns are available and in 2012, AFP took in only $115 million. 2011 has to be added to get to $140 million of the RFC [1][2]. Second, nearly $44 million and over $44 million are not the same and given the discrepancy by year, I don't think they are reliable as they are off cuff umbers to generate conversation, not accurate reflections of accounting. If anything, they big takeaway is that no one knows the exact numbers as is stated in nearly all the sources. --DHeyward (talk) 19:39, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
It is not the privilege of editors to try and refute/debunk what sources say, which is all your comment amounts to. If you disagree so strongly with a source, you are welcome to write an article and get it printed by a reliable publication which can then be used to combat what sources say. However, this would remove you from the discussion since it would be a conflict of interest. Until then, reliable sources will not be "discounted" due to your own OR arguments.Scoobydunk (talk) 19:52, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you that the main value of the NPR report cited in the comments is not toward verification, rather if anything perhaps toward noteworthiness of the proposed content, and that's why it is not included among the references in the above statement of the question of the RfC; please help us all focus on the RfC. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 20:44, 10 July 2015 (UTC) Please move your comment on one of your colleague's statement from the survey section to this threaded discussion section. No one jumped on your statement. Thank you in advance. Hugh (talk) 20:48, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
When reliable sources (with approximately the same degree of reliability) disagree, we include all or none. Since the Washington Post reporter and the NPR reporter have comperable creditability, and we have not seen any source commenting on either one, we must include both statements (without noting the contradiction) or neither. I side with neither. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:03, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
It's obvious that NPR simply made a simple mistake in their reporting. That doesn't negate other sources who did not make the same mistake.- MrX 04:25, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
... on the other hand, NPR was probably referring to this this and this which does show $44 million, while Washington Post did say more than $44 million, and referred to the 2012 election cycle.- MrX 04:37, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
There is no disagreement between the refs in the RfC. The $44M and $140M figures were published by all three editorial boards of the refs in the RfC. The agreement is compelling. Furthermore, there is no disagreement between the refs in the RfC and the NPR transcript. The Washington Post carefully specifies the period of their study as the 2012 election cycle, which thanks to AFP includes late 2011, and the scope of their study as the network of donors, and reports "more than $44M"; NPR specifies the year 2012 and two organizations and reports "almost $44M." Please move your comment on one of your colleague's statement from the survey section to this threaded discussion section. Thank you in advance. Hugh (talk) 05:53, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - I seriously urge anyone reading this, and in particular the closer, to analyze the "one source" claim that some of the participants in this RFC are making critically. I don't question that many of the sources which make the "$44 million" claim can be linked back to the initial investigative report by Matea Gold of the Washington Post. But this does not mean that sources which recognize & repeat this claim are somehow the "same" source, or that the claim itself is less valid.
Just because multiple sources contain the same information does not make them "one source," and if anything the repetition of facts uncovered by Gold in other (reliable, high-quality) sources speaks to the weight, reliability, and significance of her reporting. You might as well argue that half of what's been written about Watergate is "one source" because it repeats claims originally made by Woodward and Bernstein.
Also, the attempt to make something out of a discrepancy in the exact amount of funds being reported (ie, was it just over or just under 44 million) is an obvious red herring. All of the sources report a figure of approximately $44 million, and that is the salient, indisputable fact here. Fyddlestix (talk) 06:26, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

@Polmandc: The content proposed in the RfC is supported by four references that include three high quality editorial boards. In Wikipedia terms we have three sources. The $44M figure was reported by all three editorial boards. FactCheck and the National Journal citing The Washington Post is acknowledgement, it does not mean the editorial functions at Annenberg and the National Journal went on vacation, and it does not mean there is only one source. In terms of verifiability, The Washington Post alone is sufficient. FactCheck and the National Journal support the verifiability and noteworthiness of an already very highly reliable source. Please review the previous reliable sources noticeboard discussion linked above in the RfC and please reconsider your position on the sourcing. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 06:31, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

@Polmandc: Last month a version of this content was posted for comment at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard Americans for Prosperity funding proposed addition from Washington Post. No commenter there mentioned your theory that there is only one source. Please review the previous reliable sources noticeboard discussion and reconsider your position on the sourcing. Thank you again. Hugh (talk) 17:18, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
As one of the people who replied to that noticeboard request, the question, "is this really just one source" was not asked. It is clear that the WP is generally a reliable source. You might be able to argue the fact has more merit by pointing out the 3rd and 4th sources who decided it seemed reasonable enough to repeat the claim. That the WP reporter made the claim twice doesn't mean much. Please don't imply something that was not asked or implied in the noticeboard discussion. Clearly the issue has been mentioned here and should not be dismissed. As an outsider I see you working very hard to get a single line into the article based on the basis that "it is reliable". That doesn't mean it has way you wish to include adds value to the article. As presented I see it as a single line that begs a question and I think the coatrack comments are probably legitimate. I think you need to make a case for why the comment is of merit and why it shouldn't be seen as coatracking, non-neutral POV, etc. Concentrate on answering those questions and I think you will have a stronger case for inclusion. That would probably be a new discussion since the phrasing of the included text would have to change. I hope that helps you come up with a proposal that meets with sufficient support. Again, this is my outsider POV.Springee (talk) 19:11, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
The source and the quote meet WP's reliability and verifiability standards. Therefore, it has every right to be included into the article. Now, if you or others want to argue that it doesn't deserve to be included, then the burden of proof is on you. You have to prove that it violates another standard which is why it shouldn't be included. An argument for coatracking hasn't been substantiated. There is a section in this article that is labeled "Funding" and this information is exactly what the section addresses. Where it gets its money from and the quantity of that funding is not an attempt to shoehorn irrelevant information into the article about an unrelated topic. Even more relevant is the fact that multiple reliable sources put emphasis on the funding of AFP and its connection to Koch Industries, and, therefore, the article should reflect what those reliable sources say about the matter.Scoobydunk (talk) 19:21, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
As I'm not trying to edit the article I'm not sure I need to do anything. I don't think just showing that something is from a reliable source is sufficient to merit inclusion but if there is a Wikipedia guideline that says otherwise I will be wiser if you can provide a link. Springee (talk) 19:28, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Here you can find information about how to contribute to Wikipedia, which then directs to the five pillars and other policies regarding making contributions.Scoobydunk (talk) 20:29, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the link. I see two sections which may be of value in answering my question, possibly three. The first two would be WP:NPOV and possibly WP:OR. The inclusion of that single sentence might beg the question and thus lead the reader to a conclusion that is not supported or referenced to a source. If that conclusion isn't supported then I would take that to be an WP:OR issue. If the source does support it then it still might be WP:NPOV. I think others have claimed that and I'm not sure Hugh has sufficiently responded to those concerns. The other issue pillar might be WP:NOT. While I appreciate the link, it hasn't answered my question. Springee (talk) 20:56, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
@Springee: I think you need to be more specific. What is the conclusion that you're suggesting the source might not support? Fyddlestix (talk) 21:15, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Please see my earlier question. I haven't stated this is WP:OR. My question was how do we decide if a singular fact or sentence should be included even if we can find a single reliable source which says that single fact is correct? Scoobydunk provided a link as an answer but having read it I don't feel the question was answered. The comment about WP:OR was speculation on my part, not a claim of it. I apologize if it came off as such. That said, I do think that a reader, seeing only that sentence might be left to jump to their own conclusions. That might be an issue with WP:INDISCRIMINATE. I think this is something Hugh should address. Springee (talk) 21:28, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
@Springee: "a reader, seeing only that sentence might be left to jump to their own conclusions" Readers will not see "only that sentence". The proposed content is an addition to the "Funding" section. We should expect that readers, upon seeing the proposed addtion, will jump to the conclusion that the subject of this article raised $140M in the 2012 election cycle, and of that, more than $44M came from a network of donors organized by the Koch brothers. Sorry if this is not clear to you. Hugh (talk) 17:45, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
@Springee: The allegations of coatracking and non-neutral POV are clearly meritless here if you actually look at what reliable sources say. Have a look at Aquillion's sources here and at how reliable, academic sources treat the subject.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] (those are just some examples, I could cite a lot more if needed). As you can plainly see, the vast majority of reliable academic and media sources focus on almost nothing but the financial links between AFP and the Koch brothers, and very nearly all of them identify the group as "Koch funded" or "Koch linked" or as the "Koch brother's" group (or some variant thereof). To anyone with even a passing familiarity with what the reliable sources actually say, the idea that this information and sources is undue, coatracking, or not consistent with NPOV is frankly laughable. Fyddlestix (talk) 21:24, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Roberts, Robert North; Hammond, Scott John; Sulfaro, Valerie A. (2012). "Americans for Prosperity". Presidential Campaigns, Slogans, Issues, and Platforms: The Complete Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313380938. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
    • First sentence: "Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP) is an antitaxation advocacy group founded in 2004 and financed by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who own Koch Industries of Wichita, Kansas."
  2. ^ Theda Skocpol, Vanessa Williamson, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (Oxford University Press, )
    • "After the CSE breakup, Americans for Prosperity continued to enjoy direct funding and leadership through Koch Industries and the Koch brothers," p. 145.
  3. ^ Lawrence Rosenthal, Christine Tros Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party (University of California Press, 2012).
    • AFP was “funded by the brother David and Charles Koch. Multibillionaire owners of the petrochemical conglomerate Koch industries, the brothers aggressively pursue the conservative vision of their father, who was a founding member of the John Birch Society.” p. 32.
    • “Houston organizers communicated with Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch family, to recruit speakers. p. 112.
  4. ^ Allan J. Cigler, Burdett A. Loomis, Anthony J. Nownes, Tony Nownes, eds. Interest Group Politics (SAGE/CQ Press, 2016).
    • Calls AFP "David and Charles Koch’s organization Americans for Prosperity - perhaps the most influential organization in today’s conservative movement.” p 38.
    • “If the TPM has generated a host of local organizations and substantial popular support, it has also received considerable backing from elite, national organizations, some of which long predated the movement’s 2009 emergence. In particular, right-wing groups FreedomWorks and the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity worked within the TPM to extend their reach into a large new audience and prospective activists.”
  5. ^ The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (OUP, 2011)
    • “Especially important are the roles played by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks front groups in generating a significant portion of the ‘Tea Party’ and encouraging it to focus on climate change.”
  6. ^ Wendy L. Hansen, Michael S. Rocca, and Brittany Leigh Ortiz, "The Effects of Citizens United on Corporate Spending in the 2012 Presidential Election," The Journal of Politics, Vol. 77, No. 2 (April 2015), pp. 535-54
    • "the Koch brothers of the private Koch Industries created their own conservative Super PAC called Americans for Prosperity that spent $33,542,058 [in 2012]."
  7. ^ Nella Van Dyke, David S. Meyer, eds. Understanding the Tea Party Movement, (Ashgate, 2014).
    • “When faced with the charge that the Tea Party movement really represents only the interests of its generous benefactors, the Koch brothers, Tea Partiers like to cite Goerge Soros, the billionaire currency speculator who has bankrolled political efforts for civil liberties generally. The easy equivalence is deceptive; it’s hard to see how decriminalizing drugs, for example, serves Soros’s business interests in the way relaxing environmental regulations supports the Kochs’ businesses; the scope and scale of the Tea Party’s dependence on large capital may indeed be unique.” 177.
    • “Koch and his allies created libertarian institutions to try to create a free market base to the Republican Party that counters its reliance on conservative evangelicals. While the Koch-founded Americans for Prosperity has accommodated the social conservatives, other institutions like the Cato Institute and Freedom Works appear less happy with conservative Christian elements powering parts of the Tea Party and promoting the anti-Muslim storyline.” 102.
Thanks for the reply. In that case I would suggest that the sentence needs to be better integrated into the article. It currently has little context and thus the reader is not told what to think of the information. That is an issue an WP:INDISCRIMINATE issue. This has been my primary concern since I replied to the neutrality noticeboard topic. Springee (talk) 21:35, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
WP:INDISCRIMINATE Exists to discourage/bar exhaustive or excessive lists/compilations of information. I could see it applying if HughD was trying to list how much money the Koch's donated every year, or put in a table of AFP's funding or something. But adding one (clearly notable) stat, which multiple articles refer to, and which reliable sources make clear is not UNDUE, is - in my opinion - hardly the kind of thing that WP:INDISCRIMINATE was written to rule out. I recognize we may disagree on that, but personally I don't see how that policy applies at all. Fyddlestix (talk) 21:44, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable but I think the text needs to be integrated into the article. Again, just stating it begs too many questions. The articles which originally mentioned the donations would have had a context. That context should be carried into the article. I think Hugh can answer the questions I'm asking and the entry will be better for it.Springee (talk) 21:57, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
"just stating it begs too many questions" I'm sorry that you find the proposed content so confusing. It is straightforward. With all due respect to your editorial prowess, have you noticed that the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the National Journal both decided to include the proposed content, pretty much as is, without re-iterating the entire Washington Post report. Thank you for your support for adding additional relevant content from this and other sources. I look forward to collaborating with you in the future. Please support this proposed content. Thank you again. Hugh (talk) 03:08, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
May I ask, can you please be more specific about what you see as the appropriate application of our WP:INDISCRIMINATE policy to the above proposed content? I do not see any song lyrics or excessive listing of statistics in the proposed content. Please be more specific. Thank you. The content proposed by this RfC question is discriminant. The Washington Post, the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and the National Journal all thought it was noteworthy to report to their readers the magnitude of the support of Americans for Prosperity in the 2012 election cycle. We can, too. Context for the above proposed content in the article is already more than adequate, including the role of the Kochs in the founding and funding. The above proposed content states nothing other than the proposed content. Please help us all focus on the above proposed content here in this RfC discussion. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 22:05, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Many of the sources speak to how AFP is a sort of front organization to represent the Koch family's businesses interests regarding the environment and climate change. I'm sure we can provide that context so the reader knows EXACTLY the reason why academic sources and other reliable sources bring attention to these details.Scoobydunk (talk) 23:32, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
@Polmandc: Please see our content guideline WP:USEBYOTHERS:

How accepted, high-quality reliable sources use a given source provides evidence, positive or negative, for its reliability and reputation. The more widespread and consistent this use is, the stronger the evidence.

Please let us know if you have any questions on our content guideline WP:USEBYOTHERS. Please update your statement of position to reflect your understanding of our content guideline WP:USEBYOTHERS. Hugh (talk) 15:25, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
@Polmandc: Above in your brief statement of position you wrote "single sourced, only one source." How do you reconcile this position with our content guideline WP:USEBYOTHERS? Thank you. Hugh (talk) 18:08, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Washington Post is reliable and reputable, and only one source.--Polmandc (talk) 05:16, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. May I ask, what is your basis in policy or guideline for opposing the above propose content? Thanks again. Hugh (talk) 06:43, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

@DaltonCastle: Please help us all focus in this thread on the above RfC question. Your comments on other subjects, other possible content, and possible future RfCs, and your expression of concern about what the article might become, are inappropriate here. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 06:44, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

@AdventurousSquirrel: Do understand that your argument primarily consists of red herring arguments and original research attempts to refute what reliable sources say. Wikipedia is suppose to reflect what the strongest reliable sources say, not what you have to say about reliable sources. To combat reliable sources you need to present your own reliable sources of equal reliability to contend with the claims being made. Your own OR interpretation of the numbers behind AFP's financing are irrelevant.Scoobydunk (talk) 20:40, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Which Wikipedia guidelines help decide the information is of merit? A reliable source might tell us they use a janitorial service instead of hiring janitors. What guideline do we use to tell if such information is of merit?Springee (talk) 21:03, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
Merit is established by Wikipedia Guidelines regarding WEIGHT. If a subject receives an appropriate amount of coverage in reliable sources and is relevant, then it deserves to be included into articles. This is how we establish the merit of articles when they're first made to begin with. All of the subsequent information should be covered in reliable sources. Clearly there are numerous articles and sources that discuss Koch Industries, so a WP article about Koch Industries exists. Clearly there are numerous sources that discuss the funding behind Koch Industries, therefore a section regarding "funding" exists. Finally, there are numerous sources, including academic sources, that speak to Koch Industries' role in funding AFP and how prevalent they are to the initial funding of AFP, therefore that information also deserves inclusion. Those reliable sources give information/claims/facts/opinions merit through their coverage, we aren't the ones who establish "merit" we simply write the article to reflect what the reliable sources say about the subject.Scoobydunk (talk) 23:32, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
@Scoobydunk: Primarily? I think Inigo Montoya would have something to say about that. Most of what I wrote is not an opinion at all. Rather, it was the restatement of facts from very sources we're discussing. To your point on refuting it: nothing truly can "contend with the claims being made" because the claims being made are never actually defined, and can therefore technically describe literally any group. Ostensibly there is some "link", but without saying how close or what kind of link, there is no real value in including this statement, is there? What does it actually mean? What are readers supposed to take away from that statement? AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 21:20, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
"Most of what I wrote is not an opinion at all", this is a strawman argument because red herring arguments and OR arguments are not limited to opinion. This RFC is to discuss the inclusion of information as presented by numerous sources. Instead of discussing policies relevant to establishing its inclusion, you decided to try and debunk/refute those articles with your own OR arguments. That would be the equivalent of trying to debunk multiple scholarly works speaking to the Earth being round by you saying "nu-uh, because XYZ". Your arguments are not relevant to what those sources actually say and it's not our responsibility as editors to try and debunk what sources say. That's why your response was primarily a giant red herring argument. Also, a number of those sources articulate the "link" behind Koch Industries and AFP as describing AFP as a sort of front to push climate denialism and anti-regulation to benefit their funding companies' bottom lines.Scoobydunk (talk) 23:32, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
@AdventurousSquirrel: "search of the page for "Koch" already yields several results (87, a present, including refs)," Your plea to be careful with statistics early in your statement of your position seems to be undercut by your assertion late in your statement that the article includes 87 references to "Koch." Your statistic includes titles of reliable source references, and excerpts from reliable sources included in the references. Of the 87, perhaps a handful are in the body of the article. You do well to remind reviewers of this RfC discussion that reliable sources include extensive coverage of the relationship between Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers, and that the coverage in the body of this article so severely under-represents reliable sources so as to be grossly non-neutral and a serious embarrassment to our project. Thank you for your comment. Hugh (talk) 21:42, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
@HughD: Yes, I said "including refs". My statistic is infinitely better defined than the one we're discussing. Do the refs added to the article proportionally reflect all available reliable refs on the topic? So we're all on the same page, what percentage of the article, in your opinion, should discuss the influence of the Kochs in order to avoid further embarrassment? And rather than criticizing the figure I think I was adequately transparent about, how would you respond the main questions I pose in my comments? AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 22:07, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
"what percentage of the article, in your opinion, should discuss the influence of the Kochs in order to avoid further embarrassment?" Please help us all focus on the content proposed by the RfC question here in this RfC question discussion. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 22:41, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
@HughD: Yes, that is what I was attempting to do when I asked if you had any response to the questions I asked regarding this proposal. I just thought it would be rude and confusing of me not to respond to your comment about the coverage of the topic, which (I think) was the main point of your initial reply to my !vote. Thank you. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 23:20, 13 July 2015 (UTC)
"this type of statistic" The $44M figure and the $140M figures are not statistics. They are raw numbers. They are dollar amounts. They are a key finding of an important investigative journalism report from The Washington Post. Are you perhaps labelling them as statistics to support your application of WP:INDISCRIMINATE? Hugh (talk) 02:53, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I follow:

sta•tis•tic (stə-tĭsˈtĭk)
n. 1. A numerical piece of information.

But in any case, I think that is somewhat beside the point. Is your argument that we should indiscriminately include raw numbers as long as they are not "statistics"? If these figures are indeed a key finding, it should be no difficult task to explain their significance. So I ask again, what is it you wish readers to take away from this piece of numerical information, and why should this minority contributor, in particular, be singled out? Thank you. AdventurousSquirrel (talk) 22:42, 14 July 2015 (UTC)
What I expect does not matter, thanks. What we can expect readers to take away from the proposed content above, is that the subject of this article raised $140M in the 2012 election cycle, and of that, more than $44M came from a network of donors organized by the Koch brothers. Sorry if this is not clear to you. Hugh (talk) 02:43, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Thank you very much to all the conscientious editors who are talking the time and energy to clarify the proper application of our neutrality pillar for our colleagues here in this request for comment discussion. The neutrality of this article is a concern of many editors. All editors are welcome to respond to the objections to the proposed content. Thank you again. Hugh (talk) 22:34, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

@Gandydancer: Thank you for your support. I agree with your overall assessment of the most of the opposing positions. As deficient as the opposing positions are, a few us are trying hard to work with our collaborators to enrich their understanding of our pillar of neutrality. Please continue your engagement with this request for comment discussion. Thank you again. Hugh (talk) 03:49, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

@Champaign Supernova: Thank you for your eloquent support for an expanded funding section. Of course you support an expanded funding section, because you understand that the very definition of neutrality is with respect to coverage in reliable sources, and the funding of the subject of this article is widely covered in copious reliable sources. "Winning consensus for inclusion of one sentence doesn't necessarily move the ball forward on building a neutral funding section that gives due weight to each donor based on the proportion of the budget each donor has given." Every sentence we add that summarizes more significant viewpoints from more reliable sources is an improvement to our project. I'm sure you do not intent to hold an improvement hostage to the perfect. As the funding section clearly explains, we will never have a complete funding picture. Coverage in Wikipedia is proportional to coverage in reliable sources, not proportional to some whole you prefer. A donor who contributed $1 could make it into Wikipedia if the contribution got enough coverage in reliable sources. Please reconsider your position on this RfC question in the light of your thorough understanding of our due weight policy. Hugh (talk) 04:02, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

@Champaign Supernova: "we cannot know if WP:DUE weight is given to the Koch contributions unless we have a handle on what other content is to be in the section" The RfC question is very clearly a one-sentence add. You know exactly what other content will go along side it: the current content. Please help us focus on the current RfC question here in this RfC threaded discussion area. Your expressed concerns about other possible future content are off-topic. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 04:46, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break 02[edit]

RfC publicized at WP:RSN, WP:NPOVN, WP:ORN, and WP:VILLAGEPUMP. Hugh (talk) 14:48, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

Hugh, I think you have moved from simply informing to spamming the boards with this RfC. Your initial post was reasonable. The follow up round of postings on the 17th looks like you are simply unhappy with the outcome of the RfC and thus you are hoping for a different outcome the second time. The third time is almost certainly a violation of the guidelines regarding spamming and cross posting. In addition to needlessly updating every possible legitimate noticeboard, you also posted in unrelated article talk pages, [[3]] [[4]][[5]] [[6]]. I would suggest you revert those edits. Springee (talk) 23:42, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Please help us all focus on the proposed content and relevant content policy and content guidelines here in this RfC threaded discussion. Please refrain from comments on editor behavior in this RfC threaded discussion. Other venues are available to you for your concerns regarding editor behavior, including but not limited to user talk pages. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 01:18, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
There clearly is not a consensus to add your proposed material. Cross posting and spamming to get more eyes here is against the notification guidelines. If you do not chose to voluntarily close the discussion it will be posted to WP:ANRFC. It would be best to admit you couldn't get consensus this time and move on to the next edit. Springee (talk) 01:41, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Please help us all focus on the proposed content and relevant content policy and content guidelines here in this RfC threaded discussion on an article talk page. Your one-on-one comments to a colleague and comments on editor behavior are off topic here in this RfC threaded discussion on an article talk page. This RfC has been and will continue to be publicized in conformance with WP:RFC and WP:Discussion notices. This RfC will have an administrative close after 30 days, that is, 6 August 2015. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Hugh (talk) 17:24, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Hugh, my one on one comments to other editors are not related to this topic. What is related to this topic is your failure to conduct this WP:RFC within the site guidelines. Those guidelines do not allow for repeated posting of notices just because you are unhappy with the answers you are currently getting. We would thank you in advance for cooperating with site guidelines when soliciting editors. So far I don't believe you have. Springee (talk) 17:44, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Please help us all focus on the proposed content and relevant content policy and content guidelines here in this RfC threaded discussion on this article talk page. Your speculation as to the motives of your colleagues is off topic here in this RfC threaded discussion on this article talk page. Please assume good faith. Please refrain from disrupting this RfC threaded discussion. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Hugh (talk) 17:51, 25 July 2015 (UTC)


Hugh, please show that you aren't acting in bad faith by following RfC guidelines. Springee (talk) 17:55, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

I have posted a comment on WP:ANRFC in an attempt to have a third-party administrator close out this RfC. Please let this comment serve as a notice to all participating editors that I have requested that this RfC be closed by an uninvolved admin. Cheers Comatmebro User talk:Comatmebro 18:39, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
This article is currently marked as being a part of four WikiProjects: Wikipedia:WikiProject Organizations, Wikipedia:WikiProject Politics, Wikipedia:WikiProject Conservatism, and Wikipedia:WikiProject United States. I find it a bit odd, to say the least, that the RFC has been posted at just three of four of those projects. Can anyone guess the missing one? Ah, WikiProject Conservatism! Interesting! Yet the RFC has somewhat randomly been posted to the Citizens United v. FEC talk page, while being omitted from the WikiProject talk page of a project that the page actually falls under. Interesting oversight. Champaign Supernova (talk) 15:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your support of wide, diverse community feedback on this request for comment. Your assistance in publicizing the RfC in complaince with WP:RFC and WP:Discussion notices is welcome. Template:please see is useful. Thanks again. Hugh (talk) 16:00, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I find this to be an example of canvassing, egregious and inappropriate. Notifications are supposed to be spare and not lobbying to tee up specific responses. This RfC should be ended it is becoming so poorly handled. Capitalismojo (talk) 19:58, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
This isn't the first time Hugh has engaged in selective notifications that appear to have a canvassing angle. Luckily, in this case the problem is easily remedied by posting a note at WikiProject Conservatism. I'll also note that just because that WikiProject is conservative doesn't mean its members have a conservative bent. I'm not watching this page so please ping me if you want my attention. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:20, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Please help us all focus on the above proposed content and relevant content policy and content guidelines here in this RfC threaded discussion on this article talk page. Other venues are available to you for your concerns regarding editor behavior including but not limited to user talk pages. Your comments on editor behavior are off topic here in this RfC threaded discussion on this article talk page. Please refrain from disrupting this RfC threaded discussion. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Hugh (talk) 04:25, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually my comment here was quite on-topic and constructive, not disruptive, and your unwillingness to acknowledge that isn't helpful in the least. Just look at the army of haters you've collected in the last few months. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 04:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Please help us all focus on the above proposed content and relevant content policy and content guidelines here in this RfC threaded discussion on an article talk page. Other venues are available to you for your one-on-one comments to a colleague and comments on editor behavior including but not limited to user talk pages. Your one-on-one comments to a colleague and comments on editor behavior are off topic here in this RfC threaded discussion on an article talk page. Please refrain from disrupting this RfC threaded discussion. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Hugh (talk) 04:58, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
DrFleischman's comments are directly relevant to what is being discussed in "Arbitrary section break 02." They are also directly relevant to the RfC itself, as all editors should work to ensure the RfC follows RfC policy, which states "Take care to adhere to the canvassing guideline, which prohibits notifying a chosen group of editors who may be biased." Thus, DrFleischman has not been "disrupting this RfC threaded discussion." On the other hand, repeatedly ignoring the concerns of other editors (6 different editors have now called you out for improper canvassing) is disruptive. Abierma3 (talk) 18:08, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Please help us all focus on the above proposed content and relevant content policy and content guidelines here in this RfC threaded discussion on an article talk page. Other venues are available to you for your one-on-one comments to a colleague and comments on editor behavior including but not limited to user talk pages. Your one-on-one comments and comments on editor behavior are off topic here in this RfC threaded discussion on an article talk page. Please refrain from disrupting this RfC threaded discussion. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Hugh (talk) 23:57, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

@Capitalismojo: Please move your comment on a colleague' brief statement out of the Survey section and into the Threaded Discussion section. Thank you. Hugh (talk) 05:18, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

@Hroðulf: Thank you very much for your participation in this RfC, including the threaded discussion and survey. As an aside, for your information, The Washington Post explains that their source was not a leak, but rather an analysis of tax filings in collaboration with the Center for Responsive Politics, corroborated with interviews. We agree the NPR source strongly supports the main idea of the proposed content. Thanks again. Hugh (talk) 13:31, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Hugh, you have made 58 comments to this RfC so far. Responding that many times makes me think that your purpose for posting this RfC was not to get a fair assessment of the community consensus but rather to get your way. (I am at 16 comments, which is at least 10 too many) --Guy Macon (talk) 04:50, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
Please help us all focus on the above proposed content and relevant content policy and content guidelines here in this RfC threaded discussion on an article talk page. Other venues are available to you for your one-on-one comments to a colleague and comments on editor behavior including but not limited to user talk pages. Your one-on-one comments and comments on editor behavior are off topic here in this RfC threaded discussion on an article talk page. Your speculations on the motives of your colleagues is inappropriate. Please refrain from disrupting this RfC threaded discussion. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Hugh (talk) 04:57, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
I think I speak for the community when I write: knock it off. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:13, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

@Gobonobo: As a note, this is not a 'post-Citizens United' organization. It has been in existence since 1984 doing the same things it does today. Nothing has changed in this org as result of the Citizens United decision, which is why there is not a single discussion of it (Citizens United) or reference to it at this article. Capitalismojo (talk) 00:35, 1 August 2015 (UTC) (move comment from survey section to threaded discussion, Hugh (talk))


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Content Up for Debate - Requesting Feedback[edit]

With user HughD's topic ban coming in today I wanted to open up a discussion pertaining to the material recently added by the editor. I would like to address the content here and see what everyone thinks should, and should not be kept on the page per WP policies and guidelines. If an RfC is needed to determine whether or not this material should be kept or removed, I would be happy to put one together as well:

  1. AFP has been funded by the Kochs and others.[1][2][3][4][5].
  2. In 2011, the AFP Foundation received $3 million from the foundation of the family of billionaire Richard DeVos, the founder of Amway, making the DeVos family the second largest identifiable donor to the AFP Foundation.[6][7]
  3. According to NBC News, The New York Times and others, some of AFP's policy positions align with the business interests of the Koch brothers and Koch Industries, including its support for rescinding energy regulations and environmental restrictions, expanding domestic energy production, lowering taxes, and reducing government spending, especially Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]
  4. According to Bloomberg News, with AFP the Koch brothers "harnessed the Tea Party's energy in service of their own policy goals, including deregulation and lower taxes....As the Tea Party movement grew in the aftermath of Obama’s election, the Kochs positioned Americans for Prosperity as the Tea Party's staunchest ally"[15]

Let me know what you guys think. Comatmebro User talk:Comatmebro 21:39, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

references

References

  1. ^ "Americans for Prosperity". FactCheck.org. October 10, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ Cohen, Rick (September 15, 2010). "The Starfish and the Tea Party, Part II". Nonprofit Quarterly (Institute for Nonprofit News). Retrieved June 18, 2015. The Koch family does show up as a major funder of another of the national Tea Party infrastructure, Americans for Prosperity. 
  3. ^ Roarty, Alex (June 12, 2014). "Americans for Prosperity Is Just Getting Started". National Journal. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ Ballhaus, Rebecca (September 25, 2014). "Mystery Money: Your Guide to Campaign Finance in 2014". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ Pilkington, Ed (October 13, 2010). "Americans For Prosperity sponsors Tea Party workshop". The Guardian (London). Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Clifton, Eli (November 3, 2014). "Who Else Is in the Koch Brothers Billionaire Donor Club?". The Nation. Retrieved April 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ Hansen-Bundy, Benjy; Kroll, Andy (January 2014). "The Family That Gives Together". Mother Jones. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  8. ^ Caldwell, Leigh Ann (January 15, 2015). "Koch-backed Group Vows To Hold GOP's Feet To The Fire". NBC News. Retrieved August 24, 2015. Americans for Prosperity, which spent more than $100 million in the 2014 election in efforts to help elect Republicans, is vowing to hold Republicans accountable now that they have control of both bodies of Congress. The group, financed largely by conservative entrepreneurs Charles and David Koch, promised Thursday at the National Press Club to expand its reach and influence in 2015 by pushing its core legislative policies of repealing the Affordable Care Act, rolling back energy regulations, expanding domestic energy production, reducing taxes and reining in government spending, especially Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - all efforts that would financially benefit the Koch brothers' sprawling business entities. 
  9. ^ Hulse, Carl; Parker, Ashley (March 20, 2014). "Koch Group, Spending Freely, Hones Attack on Government". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2015. The Kochs, with billions in holdings in energy, transportation and manufacturing, have a significant interest in seeing that future government regulation is limited. 
  10. ^ Fish, Sandra (August 12, 2014). "Americans for Prosperity: Koch brothers’ advocacy gets local in Colorado". Al Jazeera. Retrieved May 11, 2015. AFP — and the Kochs — are strong supporters of oil and gas development and strong opponents of regulation, especially environmental restrictions. 
  11. ^ Fang, Lee (January 25, 2015). "Americans for Prosperity’s legislative agenda is just Koch Industries’ corporate wish list". Salon. Republic Report. Retrieved August 24, 2015. Americans for Prosperity, the grassroots organizing group founded by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, spent $125 million in the midterm elections last year. Now, they’re calling in their chips. At the National Press Club yesterday, AFP president Tim Phillips and several officers with the group laid out their agenda. The group is calling for legalizing crude oil exports, a repeal of the estate tax, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, blocking any hike in the gas tax, a tax holiday on corporate profits earned overseas, blocking the EPA’s new rules on carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants, and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, along with a specific focus on the medical device tax. The announcement was touted by NPR as a “conservative agenda for Congress.” But it’s also a near mirror image of Koch Industries’ lobbying agenda. Koch Industries — the petrochemical, manufacturing and commodity speculating conglomerate owned by David and Charles — is not only a financier of political campaigns, but leads one of the most active lobbying teams in Washington, a big part of why the company has been such a financial success. 
  12. ^ Meyer, David S.; Pullum, Amanda (2014). "The Tea Party and the Dilemmas of Conservative Populism". Understanding the Tea Party Movement. Ashgate Publishing. p. 86.  in Nella Van Dyke and David S Meyer, eds., * Describes AFP as one of several groups “established before Obama’s election and funded by very wealthy sponsors who sought both to promote an ideological vision and to protect a financial interest. As Jane Mayer’s profile of the billionaire Koch brothers (2010) notes, the promotion of a conservative ideology with hundred of millions of dollars serves business concerns worth many times that. Moreover, she notes, the Koch brothers had accepted the input of big government initiatives when they were helpful to the business.”
  13. ^ Skocpol, Theda; Williamson, Vanessa (January 2, 2012). The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-19-983263-7. Retrieved August 22, 2015. Using the Tea Party as backdrop, Americans for Prosperity is trying to reshape public discussions and attract widespread conservative support for ultra-free-market ideas about slashing taxes and business regulation and radically restructuring social expenditure programs. 
  14. ^ Van Dyke, Nella; Meyer, David S (March 1, 2014). Understanding the Tea Party Movement. Ashgate Publishing. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-4094-6522-5. Retrieved August 24, 2015. When faced with the charge that the Tea Party movement really represents only the interests of its generous benefactors, the Koch brothers, Tea Partiers like to cite George Soros, the billionaire currency speculator who has bankrolled political efforts for civil liberties generally. The easy equivalence is deceptive; it’s hard to see how decriminalizing drugs, for example, serves Soros’s business interests in the way relaxing environmental regulations supports the Kochs’ businesses; the scope and scale of the Tea Party’s dependence on large capital may indeed be unique. 
  15. ^ Bykowicz, Julie (February 17, 2015). "Scott Walker Is King of Kochworld". Bloomberg News. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  • @Comatmebro: - I hope you don't mind, I've taken the liberty of adding the relevant refs to the sentences you picked out, and numbering the items to facilitate discussion. Fyddlestix (talk) 22:32, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
My thoughts:
  • Item #1 is a simple statement of fact that is backup up by the vast majority of reliable sources on the subject. We could probably swap in some higher-quality refs to support the statement, but it is exceedingly well documented in RS.
  • Item #2, footnote #7 is not a great source (it's just an infographic), and it's not clear to me why we're singling out DeVos (the other article discusses multiple AFP donors). It's a good source of information for identifying who some of the main donors to AFP are, but we could probably phrase that sentence differently.
  • Item #3 is, again, a clearly accurate statement that is backed up by a very large number of high-quality reliable sources. So much so that I don't see the need to attribute it to NBC, the York Times, etc. This statement is accurate and well-documented enough to be stated as fact in wikipedia's voice. Certainly, it should not be removed.
  • Item #4 is basically just an attributed quote that backs up Item # 3. Again, this is one of salient facts about AFP that reliable sources place front and center. We can talk about whether we need the Bloomberg quote (I can probably replace it with one from an academic source or three that say exactly the same thing), but basically there's nothing wrong with that content - it's entirely accurate and one of the most salient facts about AFP that this article should highlight.
Sourcing on all of this can be supplemented as needed - there are lots of high-quality sources on AFP out there that can be used to back these statements up further. Fyddlestix (talk) 22:50, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Seems more-or-less reasonable. In regard point 3, I thought there was a source for the assertion that some of AFP's policy positions oppose the business interests of Koch Industries. If so, it should be added, especially if (as I tend to agree) the claim is made in Wikipedia's voice. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 23:57, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I have a few concerns with some of these items. On item #1, sure it is accurate and reliably sourced. But didn't someone way back in this talk page find out that the Koch's aren't the top funders of AFP? So saying that any funding from the Kochs is notable entirely because they are Kochs hints at COATRACKING. No one seems to want to enact this policy with any of the other "billionaire philanthropists" who pour money into politics (of which the Kochs are nowhere close to the largest contributors).
On item #3, why say AFP policy aligns with Koch views? Why not phrase it like "AFP supports conservative/libertarian views"? But if you do agree to keep this, why is it in the Background section at the top of the page and not a criticisms section? This page has plenty of COATRACKING issues; that is, it hints at something akin to "the Kochs are buying American politics". Even if this were true there are scores of other philanthropists doing the same thing on a much larger scale and to say that the Kochs are bad guys and not anyone else is POV, UNDUE, COATRACKING.
On item #3, lower taxes are not a Koch goal, they are a conservative and/or libertarian goal. Next, the Koch's didn't move AFP like a chess piece into a realm of support for the Tea Party. AFP itself did that. This item seems to have some of the same issues as the one I have listed above. DaltonCastle (talk) 20:30, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
The intended implication of #3 (if the sources didn't actually say that; I haven't checked) is that AFP reflects the financial goals of the Kochs and Koch Industries. There are sources stating that some of the goals of AFP are contrary to those goals, but their reliability and independence have been questioned. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:32, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Then how is that in the Background section? If its kept on the page, shouldnt it be way down in a criticism section? Claiming that allegations AFP aligns with financial goals is notable for the background just does not add up. It was not founded to help the Kochs financially. DaltonCastle (talk) 04:49, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Koch Funding[edit]

A couple of editors have tried to remove a long-standing sentence about the initial funding of the organization. One editor attempted to cast it as something that liberals complain about. This is not in accord with WP:NPOV. I'm opening this section for discussion so that those editors might seek consensus for removing or significantly altering this material.- MrX 01:48, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

The Koch's involvement is discussed in the body of the article, which is appropriate, since they do have an involvement in this organization, but to place this in the lead is WP:UNDUE. While WP:OSE is sometimes not a valid argument, there needs to be consistency through the project about how aspects like this are covered. For example, the Wikipedia article on moveon.org doesn't mention that George Soros is the majority funder of that group. Or where does the funding for Black Lives Matter. Or on the right, the Federalist website. Onel5969 TT me 02:04, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Are you serious? This is the single most WP:DUE piece of information for which AfP are notable. Even the Koch's seem to agree. The lead is supposed to be a summary of an article's most important contents. Is there a concern about the number of available sources, or the proportionality of discussion of the Koch's in the available sources that cover AfP? As it happens, I'm not editing out article on moveon.org or Soros, so I can't help there.- MrX 02:11, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
ETA: It's very difficult to find any news coverage of AfP that does not prominently mention the Koch's.- MrX 02:15, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
News coverage in the US is skewed to the left (even the left-leaning PEW research group has documented this). Have you read this article. You make the claim, "This is the single most WP:DUE piece of information for which AfP are notable.", yet, in the article, this is no where near the level of being included in the lead, consisting of mentions in 3 of the 4 paragraphs (and not a majority of those paragraphs) in the very short funding section. Interesting that you address none of the other, more pertinent points I mention. Onel5969 TT me 02:20, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
It's your opinion that news coverage in the US is skewed to the left, but even if that's true, this is not the place to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. We simply need to follow sources. WP:NPOV requires that amount of coverage that a topic receives in an article should be proportional the amount of coverage in reliable sources. - MrX 02:31, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Onel5969: Why have you restored this nonsense: "Moreover, many on the political left have criticized the group's ties to businessmen and philanthropist brothers David H. Koch and Charles Koch and David Koch."? And why have you leaned on WP:BRD as your justification? My edit restored the consensus version. Your edit restored the WP:BOLD edit. Kindly restore the consensus version, then seek a new consensus if you wish.- MrX 02:22, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I have no issue with you removing the statement regarding the political left (although your statement above discloses your bias in this), it was part of a revert of the undue in the lead. And that wasn't the consensus. The discussion which was reached was no-consensus. The fact that you included it in a reverting of something under discussion is your issue, not mine. Please address the issues raised above, and not edit war. Onel5969 TT me 02:31, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)It's not undue. I wasn't exaggerating in my last edit summary, there are literally hundreds of high-quality reliable sources that highlight the funding AFP receives from the Koch family as the single most important, defining characteristic of the organization. Here are a few examples, originally compiled by Aquillion here
  • Factcheck: "Founded by billionaire businessman and conservative/libertarian political activist David Koch" is the first sentence.
  • National Journal: "Most of the political world knows the basics about AFP: It's funded in part by billionaire industrialists (and favorite Democratic villains) Charles and David Koch." Lists the fact that it was founded by the Koch brothers as the first thing everyone knows about it.
  • New York Times: "But he has a long way to go to catch up with the Koch brothers, whose own group, Americans for Prosperity,"
  • Washington Post: "One of the major players on the right is Americans for Prosperity, a group co-founded by conservative billionaire David Koch."
  • Washington Post: (describing the "Koch-backed network"): "Its main political organ, the free-market advocacy group Americans for Prosperity,"
  • Washington Post: "Americans for Prosperity, the on-the-ground wing of the network of conservative organizations spearheaded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch," First sentence again.
  • Kenosha News: "Americans for Prosperity — the conservative group funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch — is getting involved..." First sentence again.
  • Huffington Post: "Americans for Prosperity — the main political arm of billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch"
  • The Hill: "The group, which is backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch..." Second sentence.
  • Mother Jones: "On Monday Americans for Prosperity, the conservative nonprofit group founded by billionaire David Koch..." First sentence.
  • LA Times: "Nine of the 12 new Republicans on the panel signed a pledge distributed by a Koch-founded advocacy group — Americans for Prosperity..."
  • New York Times (Describing the Koch network.) "But as 3,000 activists, dozens of big donors and a gaggle of presidential aspirants gathered here for a pre-election conference held by the network’s flagship political organization, Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ political operation is confronting the anxieties of influence."
  • Wall Street Journal "But other groups – including Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit backed by the billionaire Koch brothers –"
  • Mother Jones: "At least half of the one-on-one sessions involved representatives of Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers and their top political adviser and strategist, Richard Fink,"
  • Politico: "David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Foundation"
  • National Journal "David Koch Seeded Major Tea-Party Group, Private Donor List Reveals" (That's the headline. They devoted an entire article to it.)
  • International Business Times "Money In Politics: The Companies Behind David Koch’s Americans For Prosperity". That's the headline, again.
  • Slate "In the past, Charles Koch and his allies have criticized Cato for lacking real, provable results. Since then, David has found tremendous success with Americans for Prosperity,"
  • New York Times "The one Koch-financed group mentioned by name at the meeting was Americans for Prosperity"
  • The Guardian "Americans for Prosperity, the rightwing campaign funded in part by the energy billionaires the Koch brothers," First sentence.
Given the strength of these sources, why are we (still) even having this debate? Fyddlestix (talk) 02:34, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
See also all of these high-quality academic sources:
  • Roberts, Robert North; Hammond, Scott John; Sulfaro, Valerie A. (2012). "Americans for Prosperity". Presidential Campaigns, Slogans, Issues, and Platforms: The Complete Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313380938. Retrieved 8 July 2015.  First sentence: "Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP) is an antitaxation advocacy group founded in 2004 and financed by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who own Koch Industries of Wichita, Kansas."
  • Theda Skocpol, Vanessa Williamson, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (Oxford University Press) States that: "After the CSE breakup, Americans for Prosperity continued to enjoy direct funding and leadership through Koch Industries and the Koch brothers," p. 145.
  • Lawrence Rosenthal, Christine Tros Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party (University of California Press, 2012). States that AFP is “funded by the brother David and Charles Koch. Multibillionaire owners of the petrochemical conglomerate Koch industries, the brothers aggressively pursue the conservative vision of their father, who was a founding member of the John Birch Society.” p. 32. Also states that “Houston [Tea Party] organizers communicated with Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch family, to recruit speakers" p. 112.
  • Allan J. Cigler, Burdett A. Loomis, Anthony J. Nownes, Tony Nownes, eds. Interest Group Politics Calls AFP "David and Charles Koch’s organization Americans for Prosperity - perhaps the most influential organization in today’s conservative movement.” p 38. States that "if the TPM has generated a host of local organizations and substantial popular support, it has also received considerable backing from elite, national organizations, some of which long predated the movement’s 2009 emergence. In particular, right-wing groups FreedomWorks and the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity worked within the TPM to extend their reach into a large new audience and prospective activists.”
  • The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (OUP, 2011) “Especially important are the roles played by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks front groups in generating a significant portion of the ‘Tea Party’ and encouraging it to focus on climate change.”
  • Wendy L. Hansen, Michael S. Rocca, and Brittany Leigh Ortiz, "The Effects of Citizens United on Corporate Spending in the 2012 Presidential Election," The Journal of Politics, Vol. 77, No. 2 (April 2015), pp. 535-54. States that "the Koch brothers of the private Koch Industries created their own conservative Super PAC called Americans for Prosperity that spent $33,542,058 [in 2012]."
  • Nella Van Dyke, David S. Meyer, eds. Understanding the Tea Party Movement, (Ashgate, 2014). States that “When faced with the charge that the Tea Party movement really represents only the interests of its generous benefactors, the Koch brothers, Tea Partiers like to cite Goerge Soros, the billionaire currency speculator who has bankrolled political efforts for civil liberties generally. The easy equivalence is deceptive; it’s hard to see how decriminalizing drugs, for example, serves Soros’s business interests in the way relaxing environmental regulations supports the Kochs’ businesses; the scope and scale of the Tea Party’s dependence on large capital may indeed be unique.” 177. Also notes that “Koch and his allies created libertarian institutions to try to create a free market base to the Republican Party that counters its reliance on conservative evangelicals. While the Koch-founded Americans for Prosperity has accommodated the social conservatives, other institutions like the Cato Institute and Freedom Works appear less happy with conservative Christian elements powering parts of the Tea Party and promoting the anti-Muslim storyline.” 102.
The "undude" argument is obviously completely without merit, and the recent edits are completely inconsistent with what the vast majority of RS say about AFP. Fyddlestix (talk) 02:34, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
You're conflating undue with reliable sourcing. The long quote from a left-wing supporter is indicative of your bias. The other mentions are just that, mentions. And it is included in the article. And let me be clear, I don't think the comment which was added regarding left-wing bias belongs in the lead either. I'll remove it. Onel5969 TT me 02:42, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
But rather than go back and forth, let's let other editors weigh in on this and re-address it in a week or so. Fair? Onel5969 TT me 02:43, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Let's try to leave editor's biases out of this. I would like to understand your understanding of WP:UNDUE. Your statement "You're conflating undue with reliable sourcing." has me puzzled. If you don't think that WP:DUEWEIGHT is about the amount of coverage in sources, then please explain how you think proper weight is determined.- MrX 02:49, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I'll thank you not to lecture me about bias when your own edits are so obviously inconsistent with how pretty much every reliable source available treats the subject of this article. FYI, I've raised this at NPOVN here. Fyddlestix (talk) 02:53, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Also, while I'm not sure which one you were referring to - all of those longer quotes are from peer-reviewed, academic publications - you can't dismiss them simply because you personally think the author's a "left wing supporter." Fyddlestix (talk) 02:59, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
No worries. It appears that both you and Fyddlestix posted virtually simultaneously. My remark regarding conflating was apparently directed at Fyddlestix, who posted the WP:WALLOFTEXT above. The lead is supposed to reflect the article as a whole. The amount of coverage regarding the Kochs' funding in the article does not merit a mention in the lead. Plain and simple. Your argument would hold weight if any mention of the Kochs' involvement in the organization were being excised from the article, but that isn't the case. They are a major contributor to the group, just as Soros is a major contributor to moveon.org, and media matters, and black lives matter. He is mentioned in the funding section on those pages (at least I think he is, I haven't checked), but isn't mentioned in the lead. And wonderful that Fyddlestix is now canvassing. Onel5969 TT me 03:00, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Posting to a noticeboard isn't canvassing, it's a perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) form of dispute resolution. See WP:SEEKHELP. Fyddlestix (talk) 03:07, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Not sure where you get it's "encouraged". Definitely acceptable. Although going to it within 1 1/2 hours of a discussion on a talk page might be perceived as canvassing. Usually, disputes should be attempted to be resolved on article talkpages through WP:CONS. Onel5969 TT me 03:15, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Feel free to report me for canvassing then, I think seeking outside input was perfectly reasonable given the fact that this page has a long-standing problem with people trying to scrub almost every mention of the Koch brothers (often claiming that their edits make the page "more neutral") when in reality reliable sources place the Koch connection front-and-center almost without exception. Fyddlestix (talk) 12:51, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't think a laundry list of left-wing news sources mentioning the Koch brothers warrants mentioning the Koch brothers in the second sentence of the article. Like I said, news sources tend to cover aspects of organizations that are controversial. The media has no interest in simply reporting bland, uncontroversial AFP activities, while mentioning the Koch brothers is an easy way to grab attention. While news media have no obligation to be unbiased or provide due weight, Wikipedia does. And the fact is that the Koch brothers, while providing significant support to AFP, are not funding a majority of AFP activities. Is there any objective reason why the Koch brothers' involvement in AFP is more notable than Soros's and Steyer's involvement in left-wing groups? Mentioning the Koch brothers in the second sentence of this article seems like nothing more than an attempt to implicitly delegitimize the organization, and constitutes a blatant violation of WP:NPOV in my opinion. Plokmijnuhbygvtfcdxeszwaq (talk) 05:11, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Again, look at the list of sources above. They're not all left-leaning; the list includes the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, National Journal, the IB times, and so on. But beyond that my point is that virtually all mainstream coverage of the group puts their connection to the Koch brothers in the first sentence or so, often the headline. It's one of the most notable things about them, so it belongs in the lead. To compile that list, I literally just went down the sources for the article at the time and compiled how prominently they mentioned the connection to the Koch Brothers; as far as I can recall (it was a while back), I didn't leave anything out. Whether you think mainstream coverage of the organization is balanced against how whatever other groups you're concerned about are handled isn't the issue; we need to reflect how it's described in the sources, which seem to overwhelmingly make its link to the Koch Brothers central to its description. It is also extensively discussed in the body of the article; the first sentence of its description further down says it's their "primary political advocacy group", which probably belongs in the lead itself, and their names come up over and over again throughout the article. This requires equally-prominent coverage in the lead per WP:LEAD. --Aquillion (talk) 05:21, 23 May 2016 (UTC) --Aquillion (talk) 05:21, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
This is already at the NPOV noticeboard. The fact of who funds and operates an organization is never itself WP:UNDUE as long as it is reliably sourced, which it is. The undue comes from any wording that an editor may associate with that fact. Using left-wing twice, in a fairly derogatory manner, means you probably hold a non-neutral point of view about this topic. We just cite what other sources say, as long as we stick to facts, this isn't an issue and certainly isn't undue. Lipsquid (talk) 05:26, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
It is an issue and it is undue. I still haven't seen evidence that AFP is primarily funded by the Koch brothers. In fact, it seems there are several groups that fund AFP to a greater extent than the Koch brothers. This fact is too important to overlook. If we mention the Kochs in the lede, but not other sources that provide more funding than the Kochs, then I think that shows great political bias and a conscious effort to implicitly discredit AFP. Plokmijnuhbygvtfcdxeszwaq (talk) 06:58, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Please actual read WP:UNDUE. It says nothing about providing evidence, which would violate the WP:OR policy anyway. The only thing that matters is the amount of coverage in reliable sources. The last two paragraphs of this section of the policy are clear:
Keep in mind that, in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors or the general public.
If you can prove a theory that few or none currently believe, Wikipedia is not the place to present such a proof. Once it has been presented and discussed in reliable sources, it may be appropriately included. See "No original research" and "Verifiability".
If you can find as many sources as presented above that discuss AfP's about other funding sources, then I have no objection to listing them in the lead as well.- MrX 10:50, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Comment: Given the number of sources that mention Koch funding it would seem hard to argue that such material shouldn't be in the lead. However, I think making Koch funding the second sentence can be seen as a either UNDUE and/or NPOV. Is the MOST signficant thing about the group that (if I recall correctly from last year) the Koch family is the largest, yet still minority, funder of the organization? Given that the majority of AfP's funds come from non-Koch sources, the things the group advocates/supports/promotes would be a more logically ahead of Koch funding in the lead. Reversing the order and putting emphasis on the Kochs without noting the group gets more money (combined) from non-Koch sources seems to make the article about the Koch's vs the AfP and their advocacy. I think this could be solved relatively easily by moving the Koch funding material to later in the lead.

As an aside, I feel like the article sprinkles the Koch name into way to many quotes and sections as if the intent is to taint the discussion of the groups actions etc. It reads a bit too much like an article that was cobbled together from the negative comments from RSs. This reduces emphasis that could focus on adding context to the groups positions or answering if the groups positions are reasonable (again based on RSs). It's a bit like reading an article that says a company did X "just to save money" while hinting that saving money is somehow a bad thing. It would help the article to have more information on the validity of AfP's message vs who pays for it. Springee (talk) 05:38, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
if the article's prose added by editors were to actually cast the fact that it is funded by the Kochs as a negative rather than just a fact. Then I would to agree with you and I encourage you to modify those sections. If the prose does not cast the Kochs in a negative light, outside the criticism section, then it is merely an echo of what reliable sources say about the subject, which is what we are here to do. Is any of the prose negative against the Kochs? if so that would probably be undue. If you only feel that so many mentions are a negative, then I don't really see a problem. Again, the majority of reliable sources tie these two subjects together, it isn't anyone's WP:OR or WP:SYNTH Lipsquid (talk) 07:15, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I feel like the prose was added with an intent to give it a negative spin but that is as much a gut feel as anything else. Sometimes you read an article and it just gives you a vibe even though you can't pin a single strong example of a problem. Regardless, it's not something I feel strongly about. I do think it would be an improvement if someone who is more familiar with the sources would cut down on some of the examples of OVERCITE. There are many examples of 4, 5 or even 6 sources being cited for one sentence. I think some of this reference packing was due to a POV push last year.Springee (talk) 13:18, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I think leaving it in the lead, but moving it later in the lead, after their policy objectives, is appropriate - since it is an advocacy organization, their policy objectives are most important. It is still a fact that the Kochs founded the organization and that the organization promotes their values, as discussed later in the article. That's neither good nor bad. They can do what they wish with their money in this country! They can buy a yacht or advocate for lower taxes and less regulation. No value judgment implied. It just is, and reliable sources are clear on this. No WP:SYNTH necessary. MisterRandomized (talk) 08:29, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Most RS, and also the one tertiary source on AFP that I've been able to find (I linked it above) address the Koch connection within the first 2 or 3 sentences - ample evidence if this has been repeatedly linked above. The current level of emphasis in the lede is consistent with the majority of RS and entirely due. I'm open to different wording, but opposed to any "demotion" of this content - the level if emphasis should be the same as in the RS. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:52, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

OVERCITE in the article[edit]

I don't want to wade into the controversies associated with actually editing this article but I would suggest dealing with WP:OVERCITE would be one area for article improvement. There are many examples of 4, 5 or even 6 citations being used for one fact/sentence. I'm not sure if the other references were added as an attempt to prove DUE or just because someone liked the spin a particular source added. Either way, it seems many of the overcite examples aren't overly controversial claims or are claims made by reliable sources. Perhaps some of the active editors could parse down the extras? Springee (talk) 13:28, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

I personally don't value that essay much at all. It is definitely not something we should be considering for this article when people are complaining about WP:UNDUE on this very page. Multiple citations make it clear that the material is indeed WP:DUEWEIGHT and affords readers multiple sources for verification and further research.- MrX 13:34, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
The large number of citations are there because some editors have dragged their heels on including certain content, despite the fact that it is extremely well documented by RS. If folks agree to stop trying to whitewash the article then the citations can be trimmed, but given the article`s history of conflict that seems unlikely. If the number of notes really bothers you that much the citations can always be bundled. Fyddlestix (talk) 13:43, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
You say whitewash but it may be equally seen as black washing depending on the tone, nature and/or political leanings of the added source. I understand the claim regarding some controversial points but consider this claim with four citations, "President Obama, speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraising dinner in August 2010, criticized AFP for its political spending and non-disclosure of donors." What is controversial about that claim? What about this one, "AFP has been funded by the Kochs and others."? It has 5 citations, why? This run-on sentence has 6 which should tell anyone that perhaps the sentence needs to be broken up and rephrased.
According to NBC News, The New York Times and others, some of AFP's policy positions align with the business interests of the Koch brothers and Koch Industries, including its support for rescinding energy regulations and environmental restrictions, expanding domestic energy production, lowering taxes, and reducing government spending, especially Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.[19][20][21][22][23][24]
I do understand the concerns about people claiming UNDUE but that shouldn't be an excuse for otherwise sloppy work. I would hope that people here can address this without feeling like they are opening the door for spin (black or white). Springee (talk) 14:16, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I disagree that it's sloppy to have multiple citations, but I am open to hearing why you think it is.- MrX 14:37, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
In general I think the OVERCITE article does a good job of explaining why. If a fact needs that number of citations (more than 3) then perhaps the sentence should be changed. A talk page discussion can settle UNDUE concerns while the article can use just the strongest citations. In at least two of the specific examples above I don't see anything that is overly controversial regarding the statements that would warrant so many citations. Anyway, I don't see any issue with the OVERCITE article and I think it applies aptly in this case. This isn't an argument for changing the text (except for perhaps expanding it if the citations are really needed) but instead to get rid of the many examples of more than 3 citations per statement/claim. Springee (talk) 16:06, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Trimming sources in the middle of a WP:DUEWEIGHT on a politicized topic is a fool's errand and as sure as the sun rising in the East immediately after we trim sources some silly person will cry "Undue, undue, you only used CNN (or Foxnews or MSNBC) as a source" and start deleting stuff. Finish the weight discussion and after it is over, trim the sources. (By the way, I completely agree sources need to be trimmed, just not yet) Lipsquid (talk) 04:40, 25 May 2016 (UTC)