FreedomWorks

FreedomWorks Coordinating With Tea Party Patriots to Disrupt Health Care Town Halls.  According to TPM, FreedomWorks is teaming up with the Tea Party Patriots to target Blue Dogs on health care reform.  "Take, for instance, an email exchange, obtained by TPMDC, between a protester and a FreedomWorks field organizer on a list serv operated by the latter.  Last month, Tom Gaitens, a FreedomWorks field manager posted a spreadsheet containing contact information for Blue Dogs and their chiefs of staff, to a tea party organizers list serv that he manages." In addition, Roll Call reported that FreedomWorks is one of the organizations "behind the efforts" to disrupt town hall meetings. [Talking Points Memo, 8/4/2009; Roll Call, 8/5/2009]

 

FreedomWorks Chaired By Dick Armey. FreedomWorks is chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. [Freedomworks.org, accessed 8/4/2009]

 

Armey: Health Care is Not a Right. "Obviously, we would hope everybody would enjoy health care but ... health is a commodity just like bread and just like housing and everything else," Armey said in 1993. "Once you claim it's a right, then the next thing is, therefore, the government must control the health care system," Armey said. "We believe universal coverage is just a euphemism for the welfarization of health care." [Sun-Sentinel, 11/1/1993]

 

Armey Is Employed By DLA Piper, Which Has Been Paid Over $6 Million In Past Five Years By Pharmaceutical Company.  Armey is a "Senior Policy Advisor" for DLA Piper, a law firm that has been paid over $6 million over the past five years alone to lobby for Medicines Co, a pharmaceutical company. [DLAPiper.com, accessed 8/4/2009; Opensecrets.org, accessed 8/4/2009]

 

Armey Lobbied For Beverage Giant, Now FreedomWorks Fighting Against Soda Tax. In 2008, Armey was one of the lobbyists for DLA Piper representing Diageo, an international beverage company.  In 2009, FreedomWorks began promoting a campaign against enacting a "national soda tax" to help pay for health care reform. DLA Piper was paid $720,000 in 2008 for their work for Diageo. [Freedomworks.org, 5/15/2009; National Journal, 5/14/2009; Opensecrets.org, accessed 8/4/2009]

 

FreedomWorks Helped Bush Manipulate Town Hall Forums.  In 2005, "in his town hall forums on Social Security...President Bush has had help assembling friendly audiences from an offshoot of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a conservative, pro-business political organization.  The 1,000-plus crowd in Tampa included more than 100 members of FreedomWorks -- an offshoot of CSE -- and a conservative think tank, Empower America, said John Hallman, CSE's Florida director." [Tampa Tribune, 3/13/2005]

 

FreedomWorks Backed By Koch Industries. According to the New York Times, FreedomWorks is a "Koch-backed enterprise." [New York Times, 7/10/2008]

  • 2000: Koch Industries Paid $30 Million In Fines For Oil Spills. In 2000, Koch Industries paid $30 million in what was at the time the largest civil fine ever imposed on a company under any federal environmental law, to resolve claims related to more than 300 oil spills from its pipelines and oil facilities in six states.  [EPA Press release]
  • 2009: Koch Industries Subsidiary Paid $1.7 Million In Penalties.  In 2009, "Invista, a subsidiary of Koch Industries" paid "$1.7 million in civil penalties to the federal government and to three states after numerous violations at its chemical plants." [New York Times, 4/14/2009]
  • Koch Admitted Releasing a Dangerous Carcinogen. In 2002, the Washington City Paper reported that a "97-count indictment against Koch Industries and Koch Petroleum Group LP for violating the Clean Air Act and hazardous-waste laws, filed in 2000, was settled last year with a $20 million assessment and an admission by the company that it had vented benzene, a carcinogen, directly into the air at its Corpus Christi, Texas, plant." [Washington City Paper, 3/14/02]
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