Americans for Prosperity brings $2.38 gas to Tallahassee
Image via Renzo Downey.

Marathon gas station Tallahassee
With the $2.38, AFP wound back time to the third week of January 2021.

For just one hour, unleaded gas was back below $3 at one Tallahassee gas station this week.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) brought its “True Cost of Washington” campaign to the Marathon gas station on Mahan Drive, catching the eye of passers-by with an enticing $2.38 displayed on its marquee. More than 100 customers got to pay that price per gallon Wednesday instead of the $3.64 that appeared later in the day.

Fiscal conservatives at AFP in April launched the campaign against “wasteful spending” by Congress and the rising costs of many everyday products, including fuel. Wednesday’s event marked the 10th of a dozen total planned stops throughout the state and one of more than 200 throughout the country. Other events have focused on inflation in supermarkets and other stores.

With the $2.38, AFP wound back time to the third week of January 2021, when that was the average price for a gallon of gas. Gas prices continue to fall in Florida since the peak of $4.89 mid-June, but the state average is still north of $3.50.

“That was the day that President (Joe) Biden took office and congressional Democrats took over Congress,” said Skylar Zander, state director of AFP Florida. “What we saw ever since they took office is they immediately focused on their agenda where they focused on ending the Keystone Pipeline on day one, they started ending leases on public lands on day one, and so those things have real ripple effects in the market and really restrict the ability to have our energy independence and gas abundance within the country.”

Zander wants to see Congress open more gas production and to send a signal to the market.

“We want to see Washington do what Florida has done really well and that is balance a budget and stop all the wasteful spending that they’re doing that’s driving up inflation,” Zander said.

Wilson Hinson, the distributor at the gas station, said he supports Americans for Prosperity and is a donor. A friend in Tampa reached out to him about bringing the campaign to Tallahassee. For him, the benefit is advertising and hopefully securing repeat customers.

Hinson said he supports the conservative movement and is for “America first, not last.” However, he doesn’t see that factoring in to his customers.

“Most of these people are pulling up here for the best deal, and we knew that and we appreciate them coming in,” Hinson said, “and we appreciate these people, Americans for Prosperity, doing it here.”

To not run afoul of the law, AFP is paying the difference in each sale.

AFP paid for 1,236 gallons worth of gas from 9:30 a.m. till 10:30 a.m. Each pump had an attendant, but they weren’t there to fill customer’s tanks. They were there to help explain their mission to their captive audience, encourage voters to research their candidates and hand out swag that read “Pay more. Get less.”

Serena Simmons, a Black woman who works at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and Goodwill, stopped to fill her tank when she noticed gas prices she said he hasn’t seen in months. Despite her two jobs, paying for gas has been difficult.

Rising rent only complicated her situation. Her rent in Madison was set to go up hundreds of dollars, so she opted to cut the commute and move back to Tallahassee. But she’s also had to dial back her travel and time off.

“I’m saving up to go to the mountains for the Christmas season,” Simmons said.

Simmons says she is an independent voter who leans toward Democrats. She voted during the 2022 Primary Election and already has an idea of who she’ll vote for in the General Election. However, she said she has some reservations and, like the AFP attendant told her, plans to do more research.

Zander noted some customers comment on the politics, but most are just happy about the gas prices.

“Center right folks have a hard time reaching out to minority communities and different types of communities, or that’s what at least a lot of the media gives us,” Zander said. “But this is an opportunity to to reach those demographics, and as you see, it’s a very diverse group here and cheap gas doesn’t discriminate.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


11 comments

  • Joe Corsin

    September 3, 2022 at 6:54 am

    Wasteful spending? How about the super rich not paying taxes, hording money, paying low wages, slowly grifting everyone into slavery decade after decade, while everyone else is distracted by civil strife by billionaire propaganda..aka Trump propaganda.

    • LeRoy McCallum

      September 4, 2022 at 12:52 am

      If you say the rich aren’t paying taxes you are sadly uninformed. The richest 3 percent of the population pay 80 percent of the taxes into the IRS coffers that the democrats waste on vote pandering. Wake Up People!

  • OPEC and Oil Executives did this

    September 3, 2022 at 7:38 am

    What a joke. How about we hold a “True Cost of Gas” event where everyone pays the actual, unsubsidized price for a gallon of gas. Also be sure to tack on extra for the costs of the military-petro complex and the immeasurable climate damage. I’m guessing around $10/gal is about right.

    We need gas right now, no question. But pretending like Biden had anything to do with these prices, other than the drops from releasing the reserve, is just lying. This is big oil and OPEC creating artificial price hikes to influence policy and politics in our country. They need to be put in their place with aggressive price controls while we work on domestic, sustainable alternatives to finally end their influence.

    • Impeach Biden

      September 3, 2022 at 9:07 am

      You forgot the executive orders he signed on day one of his presidency. You forgot all of his campaign speeches saying he was going to put the oil companies out of business. Well I didn’t forget and many others didn’t forget and will vote appropriately come November 2022 and 2024.

      • Joe Corsin

        September 3, 2022 at 9:49 am

        @Impeach: You’ve been victimized by billionaires and billionaire propaganda. Yeah pounded stupid by the orange shlong. Seek treatment for rape and PTSD.😆

  • Hope

    September 3, 2022 at 8:24 am

    Biden had everything to do with it, he created inflation, the debacle in Afghanistan killing many, supply chain interruptions, baby formula shortages, weaponizing our law enforcement agencies to protect his son who has committed treason, retaliating against Americans misusing his position to do so, crashing our 401ks, committing impeachable offense after impeachable offense and it goes and on. He finally flipped his lid the other night and for all to see where in his deranged state from Dante’s Inferno misusing our military to throw a Hail Mary in an attempt… A desperate attempt to throw a wrench into the elections because voters are going to come out and vote against Democrats like something you have never seen before because they are done with Biden. Bye-Done.

    The Hail Mary failed and Americans are tired of his Wars, inflation, and treason.

    • Bye loonies

      September 3, 2022 at 9:39 am

      Call your doctor. They need to up your meds.

      This noise is the death throes of the Republican Party who chose to get in bed with extremist, racist populism. We’re all tired of waiting for the real republicans to get things back under control. Time to just call it what it is and get on with condemning it to the trash bin of history.

      • Impeach Biden

        September 3, 2022 at 9:54 am

        You can’t defend record high fuel prices.
        You can’t defend record high inflation.
        You can’t defend the “defund the police movement”.
        You can’t defend record high crime in cities.
        You can’t defend the Afghanistan withdrawal boondoggle.
        The Red Storm is coming. Run for the high ground you leftist lunatics.

    • Elliott Offen

      September 3, 2022 at 9:46 am

      Seek help… you’ve been abused by the far right. You’ve been damaged by billionaire propaganda as well. You need serious help. Please do it for your loved ones.

  • Hope

    September 3, 2022 at 10:07 am

    Their defense is they have none they just rant on by name calling. It’s called deflection when you don’t have a platform or plan and your record is abysmal they ignore, deny, and deflect. Every time they do this it is another 10,000 votes against them.

    Ignore, deflect, deny, rinse and repeat rinse and repeat rinse and repeat…

    • Joe Corsin

      September 3, 2022 at 10:12 am

      Rinse repeat? Yeah with Trump it’s insult, lie, cheat, commit crime, lie again…rinse repeat 😂

Comments are closed.


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