SEBRING — If the phone or the door bell rings, it may be John and Tina Altic calling.
Both are Highlands County tea party members, but they’re knocking on doors and phone banking on behalf of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group headquartered in Arlington, Va.
Americans for Prosperity was founded in 2004 with the help of David and Charles Koch. The Koch Brothers are the executive vice president and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, a conglomerate that sells pollution control equipment, polymers, minerals and fertilizers, and produces brands such as Stainmaster carpet, Lycra, Quilted Northern and Dixie Cups. AFP’s director, Richard Fink, is an executive vice president and member of the board of directors of Koch Industries.
“We’ll be meeting tonight at Beef O’Brady’s at 4 p.m., and we’ll be knocking on doors at Sun N’ Lake,” Tina Altic said Friday. Same routine on Saturday morning, except it will be breakfast at Village Inn, then meeting more people at Sun N’ Lake.
“We’ve been doing this since April,” Altic said. Volunteers wear AFP T-shirts, caps and name badges.
“Sometimes it’s just me and my husband,” Altic said, but they’re also trying to increase the number of volunteers. “We’ve signed up 45.”
Residents are asked whether they like the direction in which the country is headed. “We ask five questions, and we try to get the people’s views. We are asking them about issues federal spending. We are working on strictly free-market issues.”
Altic described AFP as a “non-partisan group,” but also described herself as a conservative.
Altic said she is a field associate. “We’re having a lot of people even thank us for coming, from the veterans and the door knocks that we’re doing. We did some phenomenal figures last week, we topped all 24 states in phone calls and door knocks. Last week, we knocked on 300 doors.”
“There is a reason and a purpose that we’re doing this,” Altic said. “We have started this to change the direction of this country. I am tired of the handouts, the welfare state of mind. I am for the working person. I am just so frustrated because of what is happening in our country today. We need to change this country. And the only way to do that is face-to-face and on the phone, get the word out that we are for a free America, free markets, and holding legislators accountable for their voting.”