Americans for Prosperity is seeing some partial success in its efforts to get retractions of claims that the group financially backed the winning Wake County school board candidates in 2009.
The Huffington Post posted a correction today to the statement it made in an online Monday article about the school board candidates having been "bankrolled" by AFP. To try to beef up the story, it posts additional info today on AFP, such as the group's support of the Wake CARES lawsuit and a story earlier this year in Newsweek.
But Robert Greenwald, the director of the new film that came out Monday, isn't issuing a retraction. Neither is Sue Sturgis of the liberal Institute for Southern Studies.
In a blog post today, Sturgis essentially throws Bob Geary of the liberal Independent weekly under the bus, saying it's him who said that AFP gave money directly to school board candidates. (Sturgis declined a request for an interview today.)
"As to whether I found campaign finance reports with AFP's name on them -- no, I didn't," Sturgis writes. "But then, I didn't claim that I did. Nor did I claim that AFP-NC bought any ads related to the race.
Neither does the Brave New Foundation video say that the money flowing from AFP to the school board election was in the form of direct campaign contributions or ad buys, though perhaps it could have made that point more clearly."
Sturgis defends her statements in the video about following the money.
"AFP-NC's investment in organizing around the Wake County school board can be traced back at least to the 2006 mid-term election, when there was a $970 million local school bond issue on the ballot," Sturgis writes. "AFP-NC took the lead in organizing opposition to the bond, using the controversy over student assignment as one of its rallying points. The group also worked closely with a number of local organizations that would later play an important role in the 2009 election.
Though AFP-NC lost and the bond issue passed, the group continued to organize against the school board and its assignment policy leading up to the last election.
AFP-NC did not do this work for free, hence there is indeed money to be followed."
Dallas Woodhouse, state director of AFP, said this evening that Sturgis and Greenwald were trying to back away from the claims that AFP bankrolled the candidates.
Sue Sturgis has added a clarification to a blog post she wrote Monday about the video.