From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 10:09, 16 December 2013 by Jennifer S (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
President:Robert G. Romasco
Vice-president:Jeannine English
Chairman:Gail E. Aldrich
Features of Congress

Federal Election CommissionDemocratic Congressional Campaign CommitteeNational Republican Congressional CommitteeFiling requirements for congressional candidatesClasses of United States SenatorsFilling vacancies in the U.S. SenatePresident Pro Tempore of the SenateUnited States Speaker of the HouseFilibuster

114th Congress113th Congress112th Congress111th Congress110th Congress

Lifetime voting recordsNet worth of United States Senators and RepresentativesStaff salaries of United States Senators and RepresentativesNational Journal vote ratings
AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, is a political advocacy organization that plays a major role in ballot initiative campaigns around the country, often contributing very sizable amounts of money to defeat measures it dislikes. AARP has been a particularly significant source of major donations to defeat Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiatives, as well as other tax-limitation measures such as the Washington Taxpayer Protection Initiative of 2007.

The AARP defines itself as follows[1]

"a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over ... dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age," which "provides a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members." AARP operates as a non-profit advocate for its members, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States, and also sells insurance, investment funds and other financial products. AARP claims over 38 million members,[2] making it one of the largest membership organizations for people age 50 and over in the United States. Membership is expected to grow significantly as baby boomers age.

AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[3]

AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors and sponsors.[3]


AARP was founded in 1958. AARP evolved from the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA). The organization was opened to all Americans over 50. Today, NRTA is an AARP division.

According to critics, until the 1980s AARP was controlled by businessman Leonard Davis, who promoted its image as a non-profit advocate of retirees in order to sell insurance to members.[4] In the 1990s, the U.S. Senate and other government agencies investigated AARP's non-profit status.

The organization was originally named American Association of Retired Persons, but to reflect that its focus had become broader than American retirees, in 1999 it officially changed its name to just "AARP" (pronounced one letter at a time, "A-A-R-P").[5] AARP no longer requires that members be retired.

2014 elections

As of November 2013, no 2014 election information was available.

2012 elections

According to Open Secrets, AARP spent $29,826 in the 2012 election cycle. Open Secrets analyzed the success of 2012 general election cycle spending.[6]

Endorsed candidates

In the 2012 election cycle, AARP supported the following candidates:[6]


Top 10 largest AARP expenditures in 2012[6]
Candidate Party State Office For Against Total Desired Result
Barack Obama Democratic Party N/A President $9,500 $0 $9,500
James Clyburn Democratic Party SC House $1,500 $0 $1,500
Heather Wilson Republican Party NM Senate $1,500 $0 $1,500
Mitt Romney Republican Party N/A President $1,4000 $0 $1,400
Robert Menendez Democratic Party NJ Senate $1,250 $0 $1,250
Richard Carmona Democratic Party AZ Senate $1,000 $0 $1,000
Kirsten Gillibrand Democratic Party NY Senate $1,000 $0 $1,000
Toi Hutchinson Democratic Party IL State Senate $1,000 $0 $1,000
Tim Kaine Democratic Party VA Senate $1,000 $0 $1,000
Rob Portman Republican Party OH Senate $1,000 $0 $1,000
Elizabeth Warren Democratic Party MA Senate $1,000 $0 $1,000


AARP is widely known for addressing issues affecting older Americans through a multitude of initiatives, including lobbying efforts at the state and national governmental level, an activity permitted by its 501(c)(4) status. The organization claims that it is non-partisan and does not support, oppose or give money to any candidates or political parties. AARP's total revenue for 2006 was approximately $1 billion and it spent $23 million on lobbying. [7]

AARP Services, Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly owned subsidiary of AARP. AARP Services manages the wide range of products and services that are offered as benefits to AARP’s 38+ million members. The offers span health products, travel and leisure products, and life event services. Specific products include Medicare supplemental insurance; member discounts on rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and lodging; special offers on technology and gifts; pharmacy services; legal services; and long-term care insurance. AARP Services founded AARP Financial Incorporated, a subsidiary that manages AARP-endorsed financial products including AARP Funds. AARP Services develops new products, manages and markets products and services, creates and maintains partnership and sponsorship relationships, and develops and manages AARP’s Web site,

AARP Services founded AARP Financial Incorporated, a subsidiary that manages AARP-endorsed financial products including AARP Funds.


In an editorial column in the Los Angeles Times, critic Dale Van Atta says AARP does unauthorized lobbying for its membership, and lobbies against the best interests of its membership. Van Atta says that by lobbying for the above-mentioned Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, AARP leaders betrayed the membership.[8]

According to an Annenberg Public Policy Center report, critics have said AARP had a conflict of interest in supporting the Act, because AARP “derives income from the sale of health and life insurance policies,” by licensing its brand to insurance dealers such as New York Life Insurance Company[9] and would benefit financially from passage of the legislation.[10]

BusinessWeek magazine says that in the past questions have arisen about whether AARP's commercial interests may conflict with those of its membership, and characterizes many of the funds and insurance policies that AARP markets as providing considerably less benefit than seniors could get on their own.[11]

Ballot measures

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "AARP + American + Association + Retired + Persons"

All stories may not be relevant to this organization due to the nature of the search engine.

AARP News Feed

  • Loading...

Further reading

  • Trust Betrayed: Inside the AARP by Dale Van Atta, Regnery Publishing, ISBN 0-89526-485-4
  • The AARP: America's Most Powerful Lobby and the Clash of Generations, by Charles R. Morris, Crown, ISBN 0-8129-2753-2
  • Will America Grow Up Before It Grows Old? How the Coming Social Security Crisis Threatens You, Your Family, and Your Country, by Peter G. Peterson, Random House, ISBN 0-679-45256-7

See also

External links


Portions of this article have been adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Copyright Notice can be found here.