When Americans for Prosperity embarked on a bus tour across the state last week to campaign against U.S. Senate hopeful Tim Kaine (D), they got a few unwanted guests.


(Democratic Party 87of Virginia)

In Harrisonburg, where organizers said they canceled the event because Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had to shuffle his plans after the health care ruling, Democrats protested anyway.

Officials at Americans for Prosperity, a powerful group founded with support from the billionaire Koch brothers, said they didn’t mind.

“We’re for free speech,” said Audrey Jackson, AFP state director.

AFP said the group had a minimum of 45 people at every stop, with more than 100 at a pair of events in Northern Virginia last weekend. Jackson said Democrats had about 25 people at each stop.

But you know how this works.

Democrats said AFP didn’t have the number quite right — meaning they claim AFP had less and they had more.

AFP’s “Real Facts. Real Solutions: Tell Tim Kaine His Policies Hurt Virginia!” bus tour stopped in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties as well as Richmond, Roanoke, Lynchburg, Virginia Beach and Harrisonburg.

Speakers included political consultant Dick Morris and Americans for Prosperity and tea party activists.

Americans for Prosperity advocates lower taxes and smaller government and has long involved itself in tax issues in Virginia and across the nation.

The organization, which has its national headquarters in Arlington County and a state chapter in Richmond, played a significant role in the Republican takeover of the U.S. House in 2010 and has aired $7 million in anti-Obama TV ads during this election cycle.

Kaine faces George Allen (R) in the race for governor. Jackson said her group is bipartisan and not necessarily for Allen, but just wanted to tell voters about Kaine’s record.