"As nearly 2,000 progressives made their way last weekend to Pittsburgh for the annual Netroots Nation conference, the right made its stand in the same town with a conference called RightOnline, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a group that has gained notoriety for its involvement in organizing seemingly grassroots opposition to health-care reform," reports Adele Stan. "AFP is wedding public fear about health-care reform -- fear it has done its best to stoke -- to a larger agenda embraced by ground-level activists that includes opposition to the cap-and-trade climate bill and net neutrality. ... Americans for Prosperity is, perhaps, the brightest and shiniest of the astroturf organizations responsible for the misinformed, disruptive and sometimes dangerous citizens who continue to turn up at town hall meetings conducted by members of Congress over the August recess. All count themselves as members of the Tea Party movement of anti-tax activists. ... AFP President Tim Phillips is a former business partner of Ralph Reed, who, as its executive director, brought the Christian Coalition to national prominence. Phillips and Reed continue to work in tandem. Although Reed went on to ignominy for his involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbyist scandal, he is now attempting a comeback with a new organization, the Faith and Freedom Coalition. While Phillips was the master of ceremonies at the RightOnline event, Reed shared the stage with Dick Armey at an anti-health-care rally in Atlanta that was co-sponsored by Americans for Prosperity."
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