President, Americans for Prosperity
As leader of AFP, a corporate front group that funnels cash to the Tea Party, Phillips is on a mission to convince Americans that global warming is a plot hatched by Al Gore to take away their freedom and destroy the economy. Backed with $5 million from foundations funded by Koch Industries, Phillips launched a "Hot Air Tour" of America last year, staging faux-populist protests against climate legislation. In California, he organized "No Jobs" fairs to encourage voters to support Proposition 23, the referendum backed by the oil industry that would have scrapped the state's crackdown on global warming. And during the midterm elections, he cooked up a "No Climate Tax" pledge for conservative candidates, making them all but promise never to utter the words "cap and trade" in public, let alone vote for it in Congress. The political pressure worked: More than 600 candidates signed the planetary death warrant.