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Entries in AUFC (41)


AUFC - The Pope or the Kochs?

New Ads in NH & IA Press GOP Presidential Hopefuls to Answer Pope Francis’ Urgent Moral Call to Address Climate Change

Click Here to Watch ‘Pope or Kochs’ :
Radio Version:


Washington DC – The Republican presidential field has been feeling the heat for their devil-may-care-attitude toward climate change since Pope Francis released his official encyclical calling the looming environmental devastation a ‘moral issue’ that can no longer be ignored by politicians and policy makers -- a very big deal within the Church. Insupport of the Pope’s urgent call to action, pro-environment group Americans United for Change is launching a new ad campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire calling on GOP candidates for President, including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum, to stand with the Pope over the oil billionaire Koch brothers that have spent millions of dollars trying to discredit climate science to protect their bottom line.


They can start by supporting President Obama’s bold climate change action plan that would cut down harmful carbon pollution by 30 percent while adding 360,000 net new jobs to the economy by 2020. See script and backup below for “Pope or Kochs” airing this week on TV and radio in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, IA and Manchester, NH. Paid digital ads on Twitter and Facebook will also encourage voters in these early primary states to view the ads at 


Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “The Republicans eyeing the White House may all sing from the same climate-skeptic hymnal, but the worsening consequences of climate change are not something that have to be taken on faith. It’s happening right before our eyes, whether it’s rising average temperatures and sea levels, out-of-control forest fires stemming from longer periods of drought, or more frequent and more intense storms and tornadoes. It’s no wonder 70 percent of voters want their representatives to stop fiddling as Rome burns.”


“Unfortunately, the promise of $900 million in campaign support from the Koch brothers has led to a race to the bottom between GOP presidential hopefuls over who believes less in climate science, some even going so far as to publicly dis the Pope,” continued Woodhouse. “Buying influence in Washington and funding quack climate studies is all part of Big Oil’s profit-protection plan to kill any effort to limit the millions of metric tons of carbon pollution they spew into the air every year.  It’s why today the GOP’s entire environmental policy can be boiled down to ‘Whatever the Kochs say.’


“The GOP didn’t listen to former U.S Generals and Admirals who warned climate change is a serious and immediate national security threat. They’ve blown off the 97 percent of the scientific community that agree that climate change is real and man-made. They choose to ignore the growing chorus of economists that say the President’s carbon action plan is a good for the economy and jobs. And so far, the moral appeal by the Pope and many of other faith leaders that our political leaders be better stewards of the planet has been met with indifference from those too busy chasing Koch money. What will it take to convince the Grand Oil Party to act: a climateevent straight out of the book of Genesis?”


Adding to the scientific consensus, two recent University of New Hampshire reports found: “Rising seas pose significant risks to New Hampshire coastal communities and ecosystems, cultural resources and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and climate change-driven health impacts threaten to affect Granite State and New England residents who are vulnerable to rising temperatures, more precipitation and severe weather events”.


Previous from AUFC:

§  NH Climate Change Voters Pursue Scott Walker’s Fundraising Cruise on a Floating Iceberg

§  Video: ‘Not a Scientist’ – GOP in Denial on Climate Change




AUFC - So What's Senator Ayotte's Plan If the Supreme Court Strikes Down Health Coverage

Washington DC – Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of Granite Staters have gained access to quality, affordable health care. But that could all be undone if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, a lawsuit that seeks to do away with premium tax credits that have helped millions of Americans purchase health coverage through the federal insurance marketplace in about three dozen states, including New Hampshire. Despite the fact that the life-saving health coverage of nearly 40,000 New Hampshirites hangs in the balance of the decision, Senator Kelly Ayotte has had little to say on the matter, except to remind voters of her overall opposition to the ACA. Ayotte is currently is a co-sponsor of legislation fully repealing the health law and all its new consumer protections and prescription drug benefits for seniors. On the heels of welcome news this week that over 10 million Americans have enrolled in health plans under the ACA and 9-in-10 Americans now have coverage, Americans United for Change, a pro-healthcare group that has aired numerous ads in support of the ACA, challenged Senator Ayotte to explain to her constituents how exactly she plans to protect the health security of Granite Staters if the Supreme Court strikes down a crucial component to the law’s success. Does Ayotte have a contingency plan for the Granite Staters who will no longer be able to afford health coverage without these critical tax credits and cost-sharing reductions – or for the rest of New Hampshire’s health consumers whose premiums will spike in the process? Does she even care?


Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “While most legal scholars agree that this case against the health law has no merit, the Supreme Court that gave us the disastrous Citizens United decision could again choose to put politics above of the law and strip away health care from nearly 10 million Americans, including 5 million children and 40,000 New Hampshirites. If it unfortunately comes to that and Congress does not act to fix it and fix it fast, the hospital industry has warned of "a widespread and massive disruption … to the entire health care system nationwide."  And it seems Senator Ayotte will be all too happy to sit by and watch the fire burn. But the consequences would extend far beyond just those who would lose their health coverage and become more vulnerable to medical bankruptcy – beyond the estimated 10,000 additional Americans who would die each year because of lost coverage. All consumers of health care will pay a price in the form of higher premiums following a surge in uncompensated emergency room care as millions of Americans suddenly lose health coverage. In fact, studies predict that individual market premiums will skyrocket up to 47 percent.

“Considering Senator Ayotte is actively trying to unravel the entire health law, don’t Granite Staters deserve to know what her detailed replacement plan is in case the Supreme Court introduces chaos and uncertainly into the marketplace in the coming days?  We know Ayotte is a co-sponsor of legislation to make legal again the worst insurance industry practices like dropping people when they get sick or denying coverage to kids born with pre-existing conditions.  Or was going back to the broken system where insurance companies come between patients and doctors her only plan all along?” 



Nearly 40,000 New Hampshirites would lose their insurance. According to the Urban Institute, 37,000 New Hampshirites would be unable to afford their health insurance coverage and would become uninsured if the U.S. Supreme Court repeals the tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act in the federal marketplaces.

Overall, nearly 45,000 New Hampshirites would lose an average of $2,620 in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. According to the Urban Institute, 44,000 people would lose an average of $2,620 in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions—a total of $116 million—if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs.

Nearly 50,000 New Hampshirites have selected a marketplace plan. As of January 16, 2015, 46,642 New Hampshirites have selected a marketplace plan.



AUFC - PICTURES: NH Climate Change Voters Pursue Scott Walker

Will Gov. Walker Answer for His Koch-Backed, Big Oil-Approved Agenda – or Give the Cold Shoulder? 





Laconia, NH – As Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) prepares to keynote a fundraising cruise around Lake Winnipesaukee, local climate voters are hot on his trail on a mobile inflatable iceberg, representing the melting polar icecaps, hoping to get some straight answers from the Wisconsin Governor on these key environmental questions:


1)      Other than signing the oil tycoon Koch brothers’ “no climate tax” pledge promising not to support any legislation that would raise revenue to combat climate change, what else did you, Governor Walker, promise the billionaire polluters to become their favored presidential candidate?

2)      Do you -- as your anti-environment policies would suggest -- count yourself among the Republican candidates who reject climate science despite the 97 percent agreement in the scientific community that climate change is real and man-made?

3)      You’ve been given millions of rea$on$ by the Koch Brothers to officially refuse to comply with the President’s climate action plan that would reduce carbon pollution by 30 percent by 2030  and create more than a quarter of a million jobs to the U.S. economy by 2040, according to a independent economic analysis.  Do you have any alternative plan – or is it unofficially ‘whatever the Kochs say”?

4)      Have you read the recent University of New Hampshire reports on climate change finding: “Rising seas pose significant risks to New Hampshire coastal communities and ecosystems, cultural resources and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and climate change-driven health impacts threaten to affect Granite State and New England residents who are vulnerable to rising temperatures, more precipitation and severe weather events”?  How would you address these problems as president, or do you even consider them to be problems?


5)      Considering that the oil baron Koch brothers have already spent millions of dollars backing your anti-environment, anti-worker agenda in Wisconsin and against efforts to recall you and have promised millions more await should you become the nominee, it’s clear they have a lot of money to burn. Do you really believe the Kochs and their Big Oil industry colleagues that pulled in companies pulled in $90 billion in profits last year need $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies every year? Would you as President sign or veto legislation repealing these wasteful Big Oil taxpayer subsidies?

The action was sponsored by Americans United for Change, the pro-environment group behind


AUFC - Climate Change Voters To Press Scott Walker 

Climate Change Voters To Press Scott Walker



On Friday, May 29th at 6pm, the Koch brothers’ favored candidate Scott Walker will attend a fundraising cruise around Lake Winnipesaukee and climate voters will be hot on his trail. With a floating iceberg in tow, climate voters will press Walker and his out-of-touch views on climate change. Participants will also be highlighting two University of New Hampshire reports this month showing how climate change will have detrimental impacts on Granite State residents.



**Great Visuals:

  • ·         Floating iceberg dock trailing Governor Walker with climate voters in moose costumes


WHO: Americans United for Change

Climate Change Voters


WHAT: Climate change voters will press Scott Walker and his out-of-touch views on climate change


WHEN: Friday, May 29, 2015 at 6:00PM


WHERE: Lake Winnipesaukee, leaving from Weirs Beach Port in Laconia






NHDP - US Rep Guinta Just Voted to Give a Giant Tax Break to Paris Hilton and Fellow Trust Fund Babies

Guinta’s Vote to Repeal the Estate Tax Would Add $270 Billion to the Deficit, Comes on Heels of His Vote for a Budget That Raises Taxes on Average Working Families, Cuts Rx Drug Benefits for Seniors, Cuts Pell Grants for Students, Cuts Food Assistance for the Hungry

Associated Press, Apr. 14, 2015: ‘FACT CHECK: Estate tax hits fewer than 1 percent of estates’

Washington DC -- Americans United for Change called on U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta to give up the charade of claiming to care about the deficit and average taxpayers after voting today to repeal the Estate Tax, a tax which effects less than 5,500 (.02%) households nationally with 75 percent of the tax cut going to inheritors of estates worth more than $20 million. So what’s in it for the rest of us? The Paris Hilton tax break would balloon the deficit by nearly $270 billion.

The vote was the latest demonstration of Guinta’s fixation with failed trickle-down economic policies over middle class economics. It followed his recent vote for an extreme Robin Hood-in-reverse budget plan that would stick seniors with higher Rx drug and out-of-pocket costs, raises taxes on average working families, gut nursing home care, leave millions uninsured, cost nearly 3 million Americans their jobs, and make college less affordable.

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “Congressman Guinta could count on his fingers and toes the number of the multi-millionaires in New Hampshire actually affected by the estate tax – and he wouldn’t need any fingers at all to count up the number of jobs its repeal would create. When Republicans are only 100 days into this Congress and their biggest concern is protecting the inherited wealth of trust fund babies, there’s a troubling question of priorities here. Republicans pretend like this tax punishes the families small business owners and family farmers, but the claim has zero basis in reality – a ruse to disguise the fact that this effort is designed to make the richest 1 percent of the 1 percent even richer. After a vote like this, how can Congressman Guinta and fellow Republicans claim to be serious about fiscal responsibility or giving everyday Americans a chance at getting ahead? Guinta and company can’t vote to give .2 percent of the richest Americans an average $2.5 million tax break and turn around and say there’s no money left for food assistance, college aid and seniors’ prescription drug benefits.

“Giving the Paris Hiltons and Donald Trump Juniors out there a giant tax break they don’t need while slashing investments that seniors and students and middle class families do need -- and widening the income inequality gap in America on top of it -- is exactly how you derail the economic recovery.  Paris Hilton is going to be just fine without this tax break. But there’s a lot of struggling Americans out there that, under proposed cuts in the GOP budget, would not be ok without food assistance or access to affordable health and nursing home care.  We’ve seen this movie before. During the Bush years, Republicans in Congress gave millionaires and outsourcers a lot of special treatment and claimed it would benefit everyone. Except the special tax breaks were paid for on the backs of everyday Americans and all we got was the Great Recession. Why does Congressman Guinta think trickle-down economics will work this time?”


§  The Poster Child for Who Benefits from the GOP Estate Tax Repeal: Salon, Feb. 4:  “F***ing peasants”: Conrad Hilton arrested for assaulting flight attendants in an epic air rage tantrum”

§  Associated Press, Apr. 14, 2015: ‘FACT CHECK: Estate tax hits fewer than 1 percent of estates’

§  Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, Feb. 3: “Double taxation? Americans for Tax Fairness, citing Federal Reserve data, notes that 55 percent of the value of estates worth more than $100 million comprises unrealized capital gains that have never been taxed.  Hurting family farmers and small businesses? In the entire country, only 120 small businesses and farms (100 of them large farms) were hit by the estate tax in 2013. And for that tiny number affected, there are all sorts of provisions already in place to soften the blow: low valuation rules, delayed tax payments and other breaks and discounts.”

§  The Congressional Budget Office determined the Estate Tax repeal would add nearly $270 billion to the deficit.

§  Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: “Today, 99.8 percent of estates owe no estate tax at all, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Only the estates of the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans — roughly 2 out of every 1,000 people who die — owe any estate tax. This is because of the tax’s high exemption amount, which has jumped from $650,000 per person in 2001 to $5.43 million per person in 2015.”

§  Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: “Only roughly 20 small business and small farm estates nationwide owed any estate tax in 2013, according to TPC.[10]  TPC’s analysis defined a small-business or small farm estate as one with more than half its value in a farm or business and with the farm or business assets valued at less than $5 million.  Furthermore, TPC estimates those roughly 20 estates owed just 4.9 percent of their value in tax, on average.”

§  Source: CAP Action