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Inside the Epic (and Armed!) Power Struggle at FreedomWorks

Washington Post: The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall.

Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.

The coup lasted all of six days. By Sept. 10, Armey was gone — with a promise of $8 million — and the five ousted employees were back. The force behind their return was Richard J. Stephenson, a reclusive Illinois millionaire who has exerted increasing control over one of Washington’s most influential conservative grass-roots organizations.

Stephenson, the founder of the for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America and a director on the FreedomWorks board, agreed to commit $400,000 per year over 20 years in exchange for Armey’s agreement to leave the group.

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.

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That's how politics work...
"$400,000 per year over 20 years in exchange for Armey’s agreement to leave the group."

When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!

Conservative Establishment vs. Libertarian

This story is misleading. The battle was not between old and new guard. It was libertarian vs. conservative. It ended, when a rich libertarian paid Dick Army to back down and leave. Freedomworks focuses soley on economic liberty in order to align both conservatives and libertarians on a mutually agreed upon goal. There are a lot of Conservatives there and most of the grassroots are conservative, but the leadership is now run by libertarians. They've quietly...very quietly, put extra effort into libertarian candidates like Justin Amash and Thomas Massie.

Interesting read!

Bump. Politics is a messy business.

The Diamond Dog is a real cool cat. | Reporting on the world from an altitude of 420.

remember the Oregon - dont trust freedom works !!

remember the Oregon - don't trust Freedom Works !!

Anyone who followed the Oregon delegate story closely will recall that RUSS WALKER (Freedom Works's 'Northwest Director' and Vice President) didn't actually win his CD election as a delegate (based on vote tallies), but he was still given the position.

And his wife, LISA WALKER, was one of the 'appointed' delegates that Allen Alley and his Executive Committee later appointed (in place of duly elected delegates).

Some of the other losers that Allen Alley appointed along with Russ Walker of Freedom Works were:

Tim Nashif: the Oregon Family Council co-founder who ran the successful 2004 campaign for a ballot measure banning gay marriage in Oregon

Lindsay Berschauer, Bridget Barton, and Rob Kremer, principal members of Third Century Solutions, a public affairs company with Associate Alley Alley

Ourania Yue, wife of National Committeeman and Executive Committee member Solomon Yue;

Jeff Grossman, executive committee member

Lauri S. Hein, in a relationship with Jeff Grossman

Loren Later, executive committee member (resigned the appointment)
Elisa Later, wife of Loren Later (resigned the appointment)

Lindsay Berschauer, running for state representative in House District 26 and worked for the Oregon Transformation Project chaired by Allen Alley;

Rob Kremer, ORP treasurer (who has since had a vote of no confidence made in him due to misconduct)

Andrew Miller, CEO of Oregon Transformation Project, chaired by Allen Alley

Kevin L. Mannix, who ran for Oregon governor in 2002 and 2006 and Congress in 2008.

More info: http://www.ordelegates2012.org/2012/07/orp-appoints-friends-...

I personally spoke with Russ Walker in Eugene Oregon outside of the meeting at which the fake delegates were appointed, and he said that Allen Alley & the Exec Committee had the right to set a 5pm 'adjournment' time and then to subsequently appoint these delegates (including his own wife). He also stated that he 'wasn't very familiar with the rules' but he was confident they were being followed. Then he kept saying 'but i'm on your side!'


I've always wondered about

I've always wondered about Freedomworks. Especially when Judge Napolitano's Associate Producer for Freedom Watch was hired by Freedomworks as Director of Interactive Media. It seemed strange to me that Austin Petersen would go to work for a Conservative PAC like that. Austin Petersen is hardcore libertarian but after reading Stephenson and Kibbe are also Libertarian leaning, I have hope Freedomworks will play a very big role in the next round of elections.

Very Interesting

with only one truly relevant paragraph.

The episode illustrates the growing role of wealthy donors in swaying the direction of FreedomWorks and other political groups

They don't specify that the "other political parties" are the democrats and republicans, who have perfected the techniques discussed in the rest of the article.

It’s a good read, and shows that FreedomWorks has a long way to go to get into the big time, like the dems and reps, but, they are on their way. ;)

Just open the box and see