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Americans for Prosperity seeks Stephanie Murphy’s help hunting ‘zombie’ loopholes

National campaign aims to ‘Unrig The Economy.’

Americans For Prosperity just launched a national campaign aimed at ending “zombie” tax extenders.

Moreover, the group will press U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, an Orlando Democrat, to give the issue life.

A mailer released by the organization shows a pair of zombie hands outstretched. A headline reads: “TAX LOOPHOLES ARE LIKE ZOMBIES… THEY JUST WON’T DIE.”

The back of each mailer will target specific members of the House Ways and Means Committee. The goal is to sway members to stop the Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization of corporate tax extenders.

It’s first phase in a larger “Unrig The Economy” campaign

“Government should pursue policies that create a level playing field where everyone is bound by the same set of rules,” said AFP President Tim Phillips.

“Instead, politicians too often rig the game by picking winners and losers through subsidies, tax carve outs, regulatory barriers, or protectionist policies.”

The first mailer targets tax extenders that expired in 2017 “but special interests are trying to bring them back from the dead.”

Skylar Zander, Americans for Prosperity-Florida’s state director, said the campaign in many ways builds off Florida fights against tax incentives.

In the Sunshine State, incentives have gone from a popular tool of pro-business politicians to an anathema for hardcore free marketeers.

“Florida lawmakers are changing the culture in Tallahassee that was previously riddled with corporate welfare and special deals for the well-connected,” Zander said.

“Whether it’s been the exhaustive taxpayer giveaways by Enterprise Florida, pro sports subsidies or Hollywood handouts, we’ve seen lawmakers focus on policy outcomes that have turned off the taxpayer trough to special interests. Our D.C. delegation should take this opportunity to work together and lead by example— the Florida way.”

While the Koch brand for years has been associated with Republican politics, news of this campaign comes as a leaked internal memo revealed AFP’s new interest in bipartisan outreach. The memo was first reported on by CNBC.

That may be important, as the new mailer targeting Murphy, a Blue Dog Democrat, aims to secure her vote.

“Representative Stephanie Murphy can Unrig the Economy,” the mailer reads. “Tell her to oppose tax extenders.”

The piece also shared poll numbers showing broad popularity in economic fairness. The mailer quotes a Washington Post poll saying 62 percent of Americans believe the economy is rigged— “and they’re right.”

“While AFP has been effective at fighting corporate welfare in the past, we’ve never waged a national campaign at this magnitude and with this focus. ‘Unrig the Economy’ will work across the country to stop government favoritism that tilts the playing field to the benefit of the powerful and well-connected,” said Phillips.

“We believe there are principled lawmakers across the country willing to live up to their roles as servants of the people, not the special interests. We will work with anyone to unrig the economy, so all Americans have a better chance to realize their potential.”

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
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