Fresh from their mid-day rally in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, the official bus representing “Obama’s Failing Agenda Tour” will make its way to the campus of Montclair State University this evening. According to Laquan Austion, field director for the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the bus will park in front of the Student Center, and several speakers will address an anticipated crowd at 7:00 p.m. The stop is sponsored on campus by the Young Republicans Club and is expected to last about 45 minutes. Featured speaker will be Steve Lonegan, director of Americans for Prosperity/New Jersey.
Though the Americans for Prosperity website opens with a call to sign a petition urging President Obama to “change your failing agenda,” and their tour is branded with his name and similar language, the organization claims not to advocate for or against any one candidate or party. Austion said their support crosses party lines, and that at today’s Manhattan rally, one of the speakers was Barbara Stinson. She has been described as a conservative Democrat (she is scheduled to speak tomorrow at a West Jersey Tea Party event), and runs an internet radio program billed as “Straight conservative talk from Black Americans for all Americans”.
In recent years, AFP has hosted a roster of Republicans at their events, including Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain. The group has also come under fire for their anti-Obama advertisements, for behaving like a political action committee without having to abide by federal campaign rules, and for purportedly being funded by the oil billionaire Koch brothers.
AFP says it has two million activist members and maintains 34 state chapters. The bus tour kicked off in late August and will make 50 stops across the country, including in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Colorado, and New Mexico.