Chris Fink

Chris Fink

Credentials

  • Chris Fink received a business administration degree in 2003 from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. [1]

Background

Chris Fink was the president of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) from 2009 until 2018. He currently serves as president of the Fink Family Foundation and Fink Solutions, and as the COO of the Human Rights Foundation. He is the son of Richard Fink, former executive vice president and member of the board of directors of Koch Industries, Inc. His father is a co-founder of the Koch-funded Mercatus Center. [2]

Before he joined AFPF in 2009, Fink was chief operations officer and co-owner of Johnson & Fink Enterprises, a marketing company that served his other co-owned business, Johnson & Fink Mortgage. [1]

Both Americans for Prosperity (AfP) and its 501(c)(3) counterpart, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, have been among the largest recipients of funding from Koch Family Foundations.

Americans for Prosperity, as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” group,  is permitted to participate in electoral politics so long as it was not its “primary” activity. Donations to Americans for Prosperity can be made anonymously but are not tax deductible. The Americans for Prosperity Foundation operates as 501(c)(3) educational organization. Donations to a 501(c)(3) can be written off as tax-deductible, however it cannot participate in the same electoral politics as AFP[41]

Stance on Climate Change

2016

Americans for Prosperity’s 501(c)(4) arm has consistently pushed for “abundant, affordable energy” while dismissing climate change as “alarmist propaganda.” This continued to take place during the time Fink was president of the AFP Foundation. [3][4][5]

According to publicly available 990 forms for the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, recorded under “transactions with related organizations,” the Americans for Prosperity Foundation regularly transferred millions of dollars in funds to its 501(c)(4) arm.

Key Quotes

September 29, 2017

Writing at The Daily Signal, Chris Fink suggested government should have minimal involvement in disaster relief efforts: [6]

“To be sure, government must play a part in disaster preparedness, public safety, and relief efforts. But it should be a supporting role, not a directing one.

The stunning coordination of neighbors helping neighbors proved [Alexis de] Tocqueville’s theory that Americans have combatted the pitfalls of individualism ‘with freedom, and they have defeated it.’”

Key Deeds

July 18, 2018

Americans for Prosperity, while Fink was president of the closely-tied AFPF, co-signed a letter supporting an anti-carbon tax resolution from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va). AfP was represented on the letter by Brent Wm. Gardner. [7]

We oppose any carbon tax. We oppose a carbon tax because it would lead to less income and fewer jobs for American families,” the letter read. “We support the House Concurrent Resolution in opposition to a job-killing carbon tax and urge members to co-sponsor and support this effort.” [7]

The resolution would call a carbon tax “detrimental to the United States economy.” E&ENews reported it was similar to a measure that passed the House in 2016. Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, co-chairman of the Climate Solutions Caucus, said he would not vote for the resolution. [8]

Protecting our environment and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” he said in a statement. “The resolution presents a false choice.” [8]

The Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) issued a point-by-point rebuttal of the measure when it was first introduced. [9]

February 12, 2018

AfP announced it was leading a coalition opposing a federal gas tax increase. Groups joining AfP included the National Taxpayers Union, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Tax ReformClub for GrowthHeritage Action, and numerous others. [10]

Raising the gas tax is a bad idea. It will make the burden of government on families and businesses heavier,” the coalition open letter read. While the Trump administration’s infrastructure proposal did not include a gas tax increase, AfP noted that several increases had been proposed. [10]

February 5, 2014

Mother Jones reported that a confidential document left behind at a Koch Brothers’ donor conferences  “suggests a close collaboration between officials of Koch Industries, AfP, and Freedom Partners, whose staff and board are stacked with numerous current and former Koch Industries employees.” [11] The document also highlighted several previously unknown donors.

According to the document, Chris Fink and his father Richard Fink were among AfP officials called to attend one-on-one sessions at the conference. [11]

Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis told Mother Jones he was “uncertain” about the document and did not respond to further questions. [11]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

Chris Fink is listed as an author at the Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal where he has one article dated September 2017.

Resources

  1. Chris Fink,” Americans for Prosperity. Archived September 8, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/tGaL4
  2. Chris Fink,” LinkedIn. Accessed May 18, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  3. Climate Change Gets the Cold Shoulder,” Americans for Prosperity, February 19, 2016. Archived February 21, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/fnbzo
  4. Climate Change Gets the Cold Shoulder,” YouTube video uploaded by user “AFPCalifornia” on December 11, 2015. Archived December 24, 2015. Video no longer available online.
  5. The Issues,Americans for Prosperity. Archived May 19, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/sLKYr
  6. Chris Fink. “Hurricane Relief Efforts Show What Sets America Apart Isn’t Government,” The Daily Signal, September 29, 2017. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/l1oDX
  7. 41 Conservative Groups Support Scalise/McKinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution,” Americans for Tax Reform, July 18, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  8. Nick Sobczyk. “House voting on anti-carbon-tax measure: ‘Pass the popcorn’,” E&ENews, July 16, 2018. Archived Aug 2, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.fo/aTP8h
  9. Teaching opportunities from House Concurrent Resolution 119 (H.Con.Res.119)” (PDF), Citizens’ Climate Lobby, April 30, 2018.
  10. Americans For Prosperity Leads Coalition Against Gas Tax Hike,” Americans for Prosperity, February 12, 2018. Archived February 20, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/vNQMN
  11. Daniel Schulman and Andy Kroll. “The Koch Brothers Left a Confidential Document at Their Donor Conference,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2014. Archived May 18, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/PNpse
  12. Our Team,” Human Rights Foundation. Archived April 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/lhlKk

Other Resources

Related Profiles

APCO Worldwide Background APCO has been described as “one of the world's most powerful PR firms.” [1], [2] According to its agency profile at O'Dwyers, “APCO Worldwide is a...
Hugh W. Ellsaesser Credentials Ph.D., Meteorology. [1] Background Hugh W. Ellsaesser, born in 1920, is a meteorologist by training and retired “guest scientist” at the Lawren...
Alfred (Al) Pekarek Credentials Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1974). [1]B.A. University of Minnesota-Twin (1965). [1] Background Alfred (Al) Pekarek is a former ass...
Benny Josef Peiser Credentials Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. [1], [2] Background Benny Peiser is a sports ...