FreedomWorks

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation. Help expose the truth about the tobacco industry.

FreedomWorks is a non-profit organization heavily involved with the Tea Party movement.[1] It does not disclose its corporate donors, and its leaders are drawn heavily from the leadership of the Republican party and right-wing operatives. In 2006, the Washington Post revealed that from 2001 - 2006 FreedomWorks engaged in a hidden deal with insurance brokers whereby the brokers would sell high-deductible insurance policies and tax-free medical savings plans to individuals at a group discount, and those who purchased the plans would automatically be added FreedomWorks membership list. Customers unaware of the membership arrangement, for which they were charged extra fees. Membership was a condition of getting the discounted insurance plan. The arrangement was credited with helping increase the number of "members" FreedomWorks could claim belonged to the organization. About 16,000 people "joined" the organization in this manner, causing $638,040 to flow into FreedomWorks's coffers over 5 1/2 years in the form of monthly checks for "association fees" collected by the Medical Savings Insurance Company, that were forwarded to FreedomWorks.[2]

Koch Connection

The Koch Brothers are the conservative billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Founding

Created from merger of CSE and Empower America in 2004

In July 2004, FreedomWorks was created from the merger of Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Empower America.[3] (Although the FreedomWorks's website stated until late 2007 that it was founded in 1984[4], it was CSE that was founded at that time.)

Initial press release

In late July 2004, the initial FreedomWorks media release stated that "three of the most respected and accomplished leaders of the conservative, free-market movement" -- former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dick Armey, former White House Counsel and conservative luminary C. Boyden Gray, and Jack Kemp -- "will serve as the Co-Chairmen of FreedomWorks. Bill Bennett will focus on school choice as a Senior Fellow. Matt Kibbe is FreedomWorks’ new President and CEO."[3]

In this initial statement, FreedomWorks outlined that its initial plan was to "run major voter education campaigns and Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) efforts in key races" in the 2004 Congressional elections. Kibbe stated that the role of FreedomWorks was to be a "powerful answer to the challenge presented by the Left and groups like America Coming Together (ACT), MoveOn.org, and the Media Fund."[3]

The statement said that FreedomWorks:

"...boasts over 360,000 members and a legal structure that includes a 501(c)(3), a 501(c)(4), a 527, a federal PAC, and various state PACs. FreedomWorks is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with full-time campaign staff on the ground in the battleground states of Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. The new organization also houses a sophisticated conservative political database containing over 600,000 activist names in all 50 states."[3]

Dick Armey's Resignation

Dick Armey resigned as chair of FreedomWorks on November 30, 2012, sending his resignation to their CEO and President Matt Kibbe. Armey stated this was "effective immediately." Mother Jones reported his departure December 3, 2012, which was not made public by FreedomWorks.

"The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life," Armey told Mother Jones. "Obviously I was not happy with the election results," he says. "We might've gotten better results if we had gone in a different direction. But it isn't that I got my nose out of line because we should've done better." Asked if his disagreements were ideological or tactical, he replies, "They were matters of principle. It's how you do business as opposed to what you do. But I don't want to be the guy to create problems."[5]

As part of his resignation, Armey will receive $8 million in "consulting fees" from the group, paid in annual $400,000 installments.[6]

On September 4, 2012, the day after Labor Day, Dick Armey and his wife, Susan, entered FreedomWorks's Capitol Hill offices accompanied by an unidentified man with a handgun holstered at his waist. The gun-toting man took FreedomWorks's top two employees from the office, as the Armeys informed sobbing employees they'd be losing their jobs.[7] Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks's president, and Adam Brandon, its senior vice president, were removed from the premises by the armed man, two weeks after a gunman shot up the offices of the conservative Family Research Council, also in Washington, D.C.[8] One junior staffer, speaking anonymously, said “So when a man with a gun who didn’t identify himself to me or other people on staff, and a woman I’d never seen before said there was an announcement, my first gut was, ‘Is FreedomWorks in danger?’ It was bizarre.’ ”

A book, Hostile Takeover, had recently been published under president Matt Kibbe's name, though FreedomWorks staff contributed to its research, writing, and promotion.[9] Some of Armey's umbrage stemmed from Kibbe solely collecting royalties, which could jeopardize FreedomWorks's nonprofit status. Armey was threatening to sue Kibbe over the book deal. Armey was also frustrated with Kibbe and Brandon monopolizing media appearances while continuing to trade on Armey's name to market the group. Further complicating matters was Armey, as an old guard of the Republican Party, wanting to work with current GOP leaders. Younger members of FreedomWorks found that abhorrent, and indeed would soon denounce House Speaker John Boehner's proposed "fiscal cliff" compromise while Kibbe accused him of representing “the failed political establishment” and “purging House committees of fiscal conservatives.”[10] On December 19, 2012, FreedomWorks's blog celebrated Boehner's "Plan B" proposal.[11] The following day, in the same post titled "Two Cheers for Boehner's Plan B," they grimly note, “When folks in Washington thought FreedomWorks was for the bill, they assumed it would pass. When FreedomWorks came out against the bill, it failed. . . . After review of the Boehner Plan B legislation, pending in the House today, FreedomWorks has found it must oppose the legislation, and will be urging House members to vote NO on the bill. We will post our formal opposition letter on our site, soon.”[12]

There were many more intra-FreedomWorks disputes.[13] When Rep. John Mica, the Republican chair of the House transportation and infrastructure committee, was challenged by tea party freshman Rep. Sandy Adams in Florida in another primary race caused by redistricting, Kibbe wrote, Burnley, a transportation lobbyist, called Kibbe and "made it very clear…that he had a dog in this race." And on June 16, when FreedomWorks announced its "Retire Hatch" campaign against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), C. Boyden Gray endorsed Hatch. A month later, Gray held a fundraiser for Wisconsin senatorial candidate Tommy Thompson—two days before FreedomWorks endorsed tea party favorite Eric Hovde, who was challenging Thompson in the GOP primary.

On December 12, James Burnley IV, a board member, and Gray sent Kibbe a letter informing him that they had received "allegations of wrongdoing by the organization or its employees."[14]They notified Kibbe that the group's board of trustees had retained two attorneys, Alfred Regnery and David Martin, to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations. Burnley and Gray ordered Kibbe to cooperate with the lawyers, to make sure no records were "destroyed, deleted, modified or otherwise tampered with," and to send Regnery a check for $25,000 to cover his initial fees. (Regnery, a prominent conservative, is the past president of Regnery Publishing, a right-wing firm that has put out books by Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Pat Buchanan, and other notable conservatives.) The letter did not specify the allegations being investigated.

Shortly after receiving the December 12 letter, Kibbe wrote a memo outlining his beef with Armey, Burnley, and Gray. In the document—titled "Republican Insiders Attempt Hostile Takeover of FreedomWorks"—Kibbe accused the three of being shills for the Republican establishment and undercutting the group's standing as an independent, non-partisan, conservative organization.[15] (FreedomWorks has at times endorsed tea party candidates in primary elections against mainstream or incumbent Republicans, drawing the ire of mainline Republicans.) Kibbe charged that the three men were trying to punish him for defying their effort to steer FreedomWorks into the conventional Republican fold. He contended that the divisive fight within FreedomWorks was not really about his book contract or other organizational matters; it was a grand ideological clash pitting those fully loyal to the tea party cause (such as Kibbe) against backroom, Washington-centric pols attempting to wield their influence to benefit their pals. Of Kibbe's memo, Armey says "One of the most fascinating art forms in Washington is that of the perpetrator as victim. Matt Kibbe seems to have maintained it with this memorandum."[16]

Six days after walking in with an anonymous armed man to force key members out of FreedomWorks, Dick Armey agreed to an $8 million buyout. It was leveraged by board director Richard Stephenson, and all five targeted employees were back with FreedomWorks within that week. Stephenson is a 73-year-old millionaire residing in Illinois, founder of the for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and a longtime player in conservative activism.

The Washington Post notes the episode illustrates the growing role of wealthy donors in swaying the direction of FreedomWorks and other political groups, which increasingly rely on unlimited contributions from corporations and financiers for their financial livelihood. Such gifts are often sent through corporate shells or nonprofit groups that do not have to disclose their donors, making it impossible for the public to know who is funding them.

In the weeks before the election, more than $12 million in donations was funneled through two Tennessee corporations to the FreedomWorks super PAC after negotiations with Stephenson over a preelection gift of the same size, according to three current and former employees with knowledge of the arrangement. The origin of the money has not previously been reported. The $12 million came from two corporations set up in Knoxville, Tennesse within one day of each other, Specialty Investments Group and Kingston Pike Development.[17] Both were established by William S. Rose III, a bankruptcy lawyer in Knoxville. Rose has refused to answer questions about the donations. Three current and former FreedomWorks employees say the money came from Richard Stephenson and his family.


Armey's resignation memo:

November 30, 2012
To: Matt Kibbe, President, FreedomWorks Inc.
From: Honorable Richard K. Armey
Regarding: Resignation
This is to inform you that as of 5:00 P.M. ET on November 30, 2012 I resign my position of Trustee at FreedomWorks, Inc. and my positions of Chairman of FreedomWorks and FreedomWorks Foundation.
As I resign from all board positions and duties, please see below a list of dispositions on outstanding issues: I expect to be fully compensated through the expiration date (December 31, 2012) of my current consulting contract with FreedomWorks. Henceforth FreedomWorks shall be prohibited from using my name, image, or signature in any way or for any purpose without my written permission or in the event of my death, without my heirs written permission.
Effective immediately I expect that Freedom Works shall remove my name, image, and signature from all its letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter. I expect to receive via email at [redacted] by the close of business, December 4, 2012, all user names, passwords, security questions, and security answers for all accounts, web sites and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter, created in my name.
Effective immediately FreedomWorks is prohibited from using my booklet or any updated versions of my booklet "Hitting the Ground Running" without my written permission which I innovated while still in congress and trusted to Max Pappas to update for new member orientation. I request that FreedomWorks deliver the copy of my official congressional portrait to my home in Texas.

Positions taken

In 2009, FreedomWorks was a prominent opponent of proposals by U.S. President Barack Obama to reform the U.S. healthcare system, of the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill to address global warming, and of state proposals to raise taxes.[18]

Tobacco

Connections between the tobacco industry, third-party allies and the Tea Party, from the 1980's (top) through 2012 (bottom). The thick black line connects CSE with its direct successor organisations(Source:Tobacco Control[19])

According to the U.K. Guardian, FreedomWorks has received funding from the tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris. The Guardian also reports that local branches of FreedomWorks's sister organization Americans for Prosperity have also received tobacco money and opposes smoke-free workplace laws and cigarette taxes.[20] Freedomworks also opposes tobacco taxes.[21]

Tobacco Industry and the Tea Party

According to a study published February 8, 2013 in the journal Tobacco Control, "Rather than being a purely grassroots movement that spontaneously developed in 2009, the Tea Party has developed over time, in part through decades of work by the tobacco industry and other corporate interests."[19] Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, both of whom have worked to oppose smoke-free laws across the United States since at least 2006, were major players in this effort, with help from the PR firm, DCI Group.[19]

Activities

FreedomWorks has mobilized opposition to health care reform, taxes, union labor, and climate legislation.

Astroturfing

2012-2013, Anti-Union Work

In December of 2012, FreedomWorks announced "an aggressive grassroots, state-based campaign" for 2013 to "push back against domineering unions."[22] Since to the 2012 presidential election, FreedomWorks has promoted a petition to "support Michigan Governor Rick Snyder" in his anti-union push[23], published multiple blogs attacking unions[24][25][26] , and released a study purporting to show the benefits of "paycheck protection" legislation to defund unions in Pennsylvania[27] In January of 2013, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe announced a new "Save the States" campaign[28]. Four out of five issues in the campaign are tied to weakening unions, either directly or indirectly.

2010

In January 2010, FreedomWorks was offering a "Citizen Lobby Training" for a Tea Party Patriot group[29] whose cofounder[30] was featured in a January 15 New York Times article on the movement's push to take control of the Republican party.[31]

2009 focus on taxes, health care reform, climate

FreedomWorks was one of the lobbying groups involved in orchestrating the April 15, 2009 anti-Obama, anti-tax "tea parties". In February 2009, the FreedomWorks website said the group was "now working with other groups to plan a massive, nationwide tea party protest day for Tax Day on April 15th, 2009"[32], the Tax Day Tea Party protests.

In summer of 2009, FreedomWorks began pursuing an aggressive strategy to create the image of mass public opposition to health care and clean energy reform at Congressmembers' town-hall meetings in their districts. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website "Tea Party Patriots," describes how members should infiltrate town hall meetings and harass and intimidate Democratic members of Congress:

"Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up ... You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation. Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early. If he blames Bush for something or offers other excuses -- call him on it, yell back and have someone else follow-up with a shout-out ... The goal is to rattle him ..." [33]

For example, in August 2009, FreedomWorks supported the American Petroleum Institute's "Energy Citizens" rallies to oppose the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill, held in about 20 states. Other backers included the National Association of Manufacturers, American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform and Council for Citizens Against Government Waste. [34]

2008, focus on the bailout

In 2008, FreedomWorks was behind the creation of a fake grassroots web site called Angryrenter.com which rallied opposition to "the Obama Housing Bailout"; the site claimed to represent "Renters and responsible homeowners against a government mortgage bailout", and urged people to oppose bailing out mortgage companies. Michael M. Phillips of the Wall Street Journal investigated AngryRenter.com and reported[35]:

"AngryRenter.com looks a bit like a digital ransom note, with irregular fonts, exclamation points and big red arrows -- all emphasizing prudent renters' outrage over a proposed government bailout for irresponsible homeowners.

"It seems like America's renters may NEVER be able to afford a home," AngryRenter.com laments. The Web site urges like-minded tenants to let Congress feel their fury by signing an online petition. "We are millions of renters standing up for our rights!"

Angry they may be, but the people behind AngryRenter.com are certainly not renters. Though it purports to be a spontaneous uprising, AngryRenter.com is actually a product of an inside-the-Beltway conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, and publishing magnate Steve Forbes, a fellow Republican. It's a fake grass-roots effort -- what politicos call an AstroTurf campaign -- that provides a window into the sleight-of-hand ways of Washington."

2006, focus on the mid-term elections

In September 2006, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that FreedomWorks "listed Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District race along with 15 other contests around the country where the group will work to highlight economic issues in the November elections. ... Two Republicans and three Democrats are running for the 8th District seat held by Republican Rep. Mark Green, who is running for governor."[36]

The other "competitive races" where FreedomWorks is devoting its "$4 million campaign budget" for 2006 include U.S. Senate races in Michigan, Nebraska and Washington state, and House races in California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont and Washington state, according to a press release put out by the group.[37]

2004 and 2005, focus on immigration and Social Security

Immigration

In 2005, the Americans for Border & Economic Security was established by the Republican-leaning PR and lobby firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates to advocate in favor of Bush administration immigration reform proposals. FreedomWorks was a founding member of the group. [38]

Social Security

In 2005, FreedomWorks, "a group allied with Bush, sent its members 'Easter recess action kits' that included talking points and sample questions for town-hall meetings," all in favor of George W. Bush's push to privatize Social Security. [39] "By [FreedomWorks's] own count, the organization supplied about a third of the audience at a recent [pro-privatization] event in Tampa, Fla," reported the Saint Paul Pioneer Press in March 2005. "At least five of its members have joined Bush on stage." [40]

In December 2004, FreedomWorks employee Sandra Jacques was introduced at a White House economic conference as a "single mom" from Iowa who supported the Bush administration's Social Security privatization plan. According to White House budget director, Jacques was was an example of how Bush promotes his agenda with testimonials from "regular folks." As the New York Times pointed out, however, "Ms. Jaques is not any random single mother. She is the Iowa state director of a conservative advocacy group."[41]

The Times also noted that Jacques "spent much of the past two years as a spokeswoman in Iowa for a group called For Our Grandchildren, which is mounting a nationwide campaign for private savings accounts."[41]

In January 2005, FreedomWorks announced that it was organizing a "Fly-in" to Washington DC as part of a "grassroots" lobbying effort for Social Security privatization and to attend a "White House town hall meeting" on the issue with President George W. Bush.[42]

One of the 80 people the group brought to Washington was a Seattle-area businessman, Scott Ballard[43], the son of a long-time Republican politician in Washington state. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported:

"He was contacted by the White House last Wednesday about his willingness to participate in an event. White House aides called again Thursday and told him they'd like him to appear at a town hall event with the president. Later that same day, Ballard got a call from FreedomWorks, a group founded by former Republican Reps. Dick Armey and Jack Kemp, offering to pay his expenses."[44]

Other

2005 asbestos hidden conflict of interest

In early 2005, "Radio listeners in 15 states in recent weeks ... heard a broadcast appeal from former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) asking them to help scuttle a bill designed to contain asbestos litigation," reported Roll Call. "But at no time in the ad - made in his capacity as co-chairman of FreedomWorks, a conservative grass-roots network - does Armey disclose that he is also working as a lobbyist for Equitas, a British insurer that has lobbied to thwart the asbestos trust fund legislation." Armey was a registered lobbyist for Equitas, as part of his work at the DLA Piper firm. Equitas "directed $920,000 of the $1.7 million it spent on outside lobbying help last year [in 2004] to DLA Piper." [45]


2004 - Non-profit for hire?

"Speaking as the co-chairman of FreedomWorks" on CNBC in December 2004, Armey "spoke glowingly of 'Rx Outreach,' a national mail order program for low-income people that had just been launched by Express Scripts Inc., a pharmacy benefit management firm based in Maryland Heights, Mo." At the time, FreedomWorks "had been working with Express Scripts' public relations firm, and a week later issued a news release praising Rx Outreach. Now, Express Scripts says it plans to donate money to Armey's group, though it won't say how much or when."[46]

"Critics say the arrangement could call into question FreedomWorks's tax-exempt status because it appears that the group was a 'mouthpiece' for hire," wrote the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which noted that assertion was "sharply disputed by FreedomWorks." Bill Allison of the Center for Public Integrity said, "It's rare to see someone pushing a company this directly. It does look like it's more of a commercial for this company than a discussion of policy." Law professor Frances Hill noted that "corporate contributions to nonprofits are not supposed to benefit the donor." Hill added, "What it begins to look like is that the organization is operating for the private benefit of the company."[46]

Inconsistency/hypocrisy

FreedomWorks is chaired by former U.S. House Majority Leader, Republican Dick Armey. [47] In a 2005 article, Joe Conason noted:

[Republicans] who have controlled Congress since 1995 long ago proved eager to grease their friends with federal money [ in contrast to their rhetoric about limited government.] ... Asked once why his revolutionary Republican comrades were consuming so much more federal pork than the Democrats ever did, ...[ Dick Armey ] replied smugly: 'To the victors go the spoils.' (He now leads FreedomWorks, a national organization advocating limited government and lower taxes.)" [48]

Financial information

Funding

Funders in 2007 were:[49]

990s

2008

FreedomWorks's 2008 financial report to the Internal Revenue Service listed $4,346,782 in total revenue (including $42,003 from its "affinity program" and $16,828 for "list rental") -- nearly twice the $2,235,030 reported the previous year. The group reported $4,008,312 in total expenses for 2008, compared to $2,070,124 the previous year. In 2008, FreedomWorks reported paying 32 employees. [50]

Outside contractors

In 2008, FreedomWorks reported its highest compensated outside contractors as George Advertising of Oregon, paid $234,560 for "advertising production"; the controversial Republican lobby and PR firm DCI Group of Arizona, paid $141,178, also for "advertising production"; and Morgan, Meredith & Associates of Virginia, paid $133,674 for "printing & mailing of direct mail servi[ces]." FreedomWorks also paid ClearWord Communications Group $44,523 in 2008, for "fundraising counsel." In 2008, FreedomWorks reported having financial relationships with two "interested persons": paying Board member Dick Armey $250,000 for "consulting," and paying Matt Kibbe's wife Terry Kibbe $49,500 for "management." [50]

Salaries

Dick Armey's FreedomWorks 2008 salary was reported as $250,000 for 18 hours of work per week, plus $300,000 from related organizations. FreedomWorks's 2008 financial report also lists Jaclynne Brown as Vice President of External Affairs, with a salary of $56,723 for 17 hours of work per week, plus $73,735 from related organizations and $15,785 in other compensation; and Chris Kinnan as Vice President of Interactive Technology, with a salary of $59,582 for 17 hours of work per week, plus $77,451 from related organizations and $8,124 in other compensation. [50]

Related organizations, tax-exempt and taxable

FreedomWorks identified eight "related tax-exempt organizations" in 2008: the FreedomWorks Foundation, the "dormant" CSE FreedomWorks, and six political action committees -- FreedomWorks PAC, Oregon FreedomWorks PAC, Taxpayer Defense Fund, Citizens for PERS Reform, Judicial Integrity Coalition PAC and League of Freedom Voters. FreedomWorks reported donating more than $2 million worth in shared employees and facilities to the Foundation, and giving FreedomWorks PAC $492, Oregon FreedomWorks PAC $8,775, Taxpayer Defense Fund $12,097, Citizens for PERS Reform $11,704 and the Judicial Integrity Coalition $430 as reimbursement for expenses. FreedomWorks also listed the "dormant" Citizens for a Sound Economy as a related taxable entity. [50]

FreedomWorks Foundation Personnel

FreedomWorks Foundation Board

As of September 2009: [51]

FreedomWorks Personnel

FreedomWorks's President and CEO is Matt Kibbe.[47] FreedomWorks was chaired by former U.S. House Majority Leader, Republican Dick Armey until his resignation on November 30, 2012.

(The new group was initially co-chaired by Dick Armey, C. Boyden Gray and Jack Kemp. Former chair at Empower America William Bennett was a senior fellow focusing on school choice.)

Board of Directors

As of September 2009: [51]

Emeritus

Emeritus Board members

As of September 2009: [51]

Staff

As of September 2009, with salary reported in the group's 2008 financial report, when available: [52] [50]

  • Matt Kibbe - President and CEO - reported $121,471 from FreedomWorks for 17 hours of work per week, plus $157,901 from related organizations and $20,136 in "other compensation"
  • Rob Jordan - Vice President, Federal and State Campaigns - 2008 FreedomWorks salary reported as $46,766 for 17 hours of work per week, plus $60,792 from related organizations and $12,079 in other compensation
  • Nan Swift - Federal & State Campaigns Coordinator
  • Adam Brandon - Press Secretary
  • Thomas Keeley - Interactive Media Manager
  • Joseph Onorati - Staff Writer
  • Wayne T. Brough, Ph.D. - Chief Economist and Vice President, Research - 2008 FreedomWorks salary reported as $62,081 for 17 hours of work per week, plus $80,699 from related organizations and $11,895 in other compensation
  • Judy Mulcahy - Vice President, Operations - 2008 FreedomWorks salary reported as $68,770 for 17 hours of work per week, plus $89,396 from related organizations and $18,110 in other compensation
  • Jean Campbell - Executive Assistant to Dick Armey
  • Alberta Kinard - Office Administrator
  • Molly Byrne - Vice President of Development - 2008 FreedomWorks salary reported as $62,659 for 17 hours of work per week, plus $81,450 from related organizations and $7,548 in other compensation
  • Julie Schwan - Director of Foundations
  • Andrew Smith - Director of Development
  • Melissa Bevins - Deputy Director, Development
  • Clark Ruper - Development Assistant
  • Allen Page - North Carolina State Director
  • Russ Walker - Oregon State Director - 2008 FreedomWorks salary reported as $50,482 for 17 hours of work per week, plus $65,623 from related organizations and $14,927 in other compensation
  • Tom Gaitens - Field Coordinator, Florida

The following staff members left FreedomWorks in early December, 2012[53], in the wake of Dick Armey's resignation:

Steinhauser resigned from the group to join the Texas Public Policy Foundation as director of communications for the Right on Crime Initiative.[54]

Others formerly affiliated

Just prior to Citizens for a Sound Economy morphing into Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity Dick Armey was CEO/President and Tom Posey was Treasurer, with David H. Koch and C. Boyden Gray sharing seats at the the Board of Directors. Tom Posey was the bagman in the Iran-Contra Scandal transporting money and weapons to the Contras in Nicaragua through his mercenary group Civilian Military Assistance. During this moment C. Boyden Gray was heir to American Tobacco Company fortune participating with CSE, Armey, Koch, and Posey carrying out activities to further the 50-year RICO Organized Crime tobacco frauds. It is significant looking forward that this organization tolerated and approved employee-officers who engaged the overthrow of a popular democratically-elected government.

Contact information

FreedomWorks
601 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
North Building, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20004

Phone: 202.783.3870
Fax: 202.942.7649
Toll Free: 1.888.564.6273

Website: freedomworks.org

Mission Statement

FreedomWorks states that it works "for less government, lower taxes, and more freedom."[58] On its website, FreedomWorks states that it:"...drives policy change by training and mobilizing grassroots Americans to engage their fellow citizens and encourage their political representatives to act in defense of individual freedom and economic opportunity"[59]and in particular, to: "Fight The Left ...[and to create] a grassroots juggernaut capable of going toe-to-toe with the unions, extreme enviros, and the MoveOn.org's of the world."[18]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Joshua Holland Public Is Ready to Raise Taxes on Corporations and the Rich, Oregon Vote Shows Alternet/Economy. January 27, 2010
  2. Jonathan Weisman With Insurance Policy Comes Membership, Washington Post, July 23, 2006, Page A05
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 ""Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Empower America Merge to Form FreedomWorks", Media release, undated, archived from July 25, 2004.
  4. "About FreedomWorks", FreedomWorks website, archived from November 9, 2007.
  5. David Corn & Andy Kroll, "Exclusive: Dick Armey Quits Tea Party Group in Split Over Direction" Mother Jones.com, December 3, 2012
  6. Jack Gillum & Stephen Braun, "Tea Party group chief quits, cites internal split" Associated Press, December 4, 2012
  7. Amy Gardner, "FreedomWorks tea party group nearly falls apart in fight between old and new guard" The Washington Post, December 25, 2012
  8. Peter Hermann, "Suspect in shooting at Family Research Council indicted on terrorism charge" The Washington Post, October 24, 2012
  9. Kenneth Vogel, "http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=9C23E553-875A-4E9B-B791-860379D4C113 Inside the Dick Armey, FreedomWorks split"] Politco, December 4, 2012
  10. Amy Gardner, "http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/armeys-exit-from-freedomworks-highlights-tea-partys-post-election-turmoil/2012/12/04/b9103b0a-3e29-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_print.html Armey’s exit from FreedomWorks highlights tea party’s post-election turmoil"] The Washington Post, December 4, 2012
  11. Rachel Weiner, "[http:www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/12/20/freedomworks-changes-its-mind-hates-plan-b FreedomWorks flips, now opposes ‘Plan B’"] The Washington Post, December 20, 2012
  12. Dean Clancy, "http://www.freedomworks.org/blog/dean-clancy/fiscal-cliff-boehner-moves-to-plan-b Fiscal Cliff: Two Cheers for Boehner's Plan B (But Oppose It Anyway)" FreedomWorks blog, December 19, 2012
  13. David Corn, "http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/dick-armey-freedomworks-hostile-takeover-memo FreedomWorks Feud: War Inside Tea Party Group Gets Nastier"] Mother Jones, December 24, 2012
  14. C. Boyden Gray & James H. Burnley, Memo to Matt Kibbe December 12, 2012
  15. Matt Kibbe, "http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/549556-matt-kibbe-memo-republican-insiders-attempt.html Republicans Insiders Attempt Hostile Takeover of FreedomWorks] internal FreedomWorks memo, c. December 14, 2012
  16. David Corn, "http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/dick-armey-freedomworks-hostile-takeover-memo FreedomWorks Feud: War Inside Tea Party Group Gets Nastier"] Mother Jones, December 24, 2012
  17. Center for Responsive Politics, "Organizations Disclosing Donations to Freedomworks for America, 2012" OpenSecrets.org, accessed December 26, 2012
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Take Action", FreedomWorks website, accessed September 2009.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Amanda Fallin, Rachel Grana and Stanton A Glantz. "‘To quarterback behind the scenes, third-party efforts’: the tobacco industry and the Tea Party", Tobacco Control, 8 February 2013
  20. Ed Pilkington Republicans steal Barack Obama's Internet Campaigning Tricks UK Guardian. September 18, 2009
  21. Freedomworks More government expansionin Kansas in the form of tobacco taxes Press release. January 4, 2010
  22. "FreedomWorking: Official Newsletter of the FreedomWorks Community", PRWatch, December, 2012.
  23. "Support Michigan Governor and Right to Work!", FreedomWorks, Accessed January 24, 2013.
  24. Loren Heal, "Workplace Freedom and the Talking Point Machine", FreedomWorks, December 10, 2012
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