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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Americans for Job Security

Political leanings: Pro-business/Free market/Republican

Spending target: Not stated

Americans for Job Security has been active since 1997, claiming to have been involved “with issue advocacy campaigns in over 98 media markets in 46 states.” It describes itself as a “pro-business issue advocacy organization in America.” Its president is Stephen DeMaura, who was the executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party in 2007 and early 2008. He is a contributor to the popular conservative blog RedState.com.

AJS is organized as a 501(c)6 “business league” and does not have to disclose its donors. It says only that its members are “businesses, business leaders and entrepreneurs.” In 2008, the Federal Election Commission staff completed an investigation into AJS, finding there was “reason to believe” the group violated campaign finance laws. But the commission was deadlocked along party lines and no action was taken. In 2009, the Alaska Public Offices Commission staff found that AJS violated state election laws while advocating against a proposed mining operation. The group agreed to a $20,000 fine and made no admission of guilt, according to the New York Times.

It is unclear how much AJS will spend in 2012. But in the 2010 election cycle, AJS spent almost $9 million, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. A little less than half of that amount ($4.4 million) was spent on attack ads against 10 House Democrats — seven of whom were defeated. The remaining money was spent on electioneering communication — which are ads that clearly identify a federal candidate but do not expressly advocate in support or against any one candidate.