We are the 99%

February 20, 2010

Tribbing The Freedomworks

Oh the things you discover once you dig just a little.

In today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Craig Smith interviews former member of Congress, Dick Armey. Here's the setup:
Dick Armey championed lower taxes, less government and more freedom while serving 18 years in the House of Representatives. In 2003, he joined FreedomWorks to lead the same political charge on a grassroots level. Since joining the Washington, D.C.-based group, he's traveled to more than 20 states, energizing people, testifying before state and federal governments and meeting with pro-reform legislators.
Um, Craig? You know hat's not exactly true, right? But then again this is the editorial page at the Tribune-Review where "facts" aren't necessarily, you know, factual.

Here's the actual facts:
Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Empower America today announced that they have merged to form a new grassroots advocacy organization, FreedomWorks, that will expand and broaden the national fight for lower taxes, less government, and more economic freedom. Three of the most respected and accomplished leaders of the conservative, free-market movement-- Dick Armey, 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.
This is from the press release announcing the creation of Freedomworks.

Armey had been on the board of Directors for CSE since January of 2003 right after he left the Congress.

CSE dates back to 1984 and Freedomworks was not formed until more than a year later in July of 2004. Small point, obviously, but to say that Armey "joined" Freedomworks in 2003 (when it was not yet in existence) is, let's be honest here, factually incorrect.

But let's move on to the real point of this post.

Armey joins CSE in 2003. According to Mediamatters, foundations controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife, owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, granted CSE
Though something must've happened after 2007 as the Scaife Foundations own records show only a grant of $70,000 in 2008.

But still that's a tad more than $1.25 million in 6 years.

Doncha think Craig Smith should have mentioned that? Mentioned that his employer funneled more than a million dollars to the organization headed by the guy he's interviewing about that organization?

The circle jerk continues.

Here's something for all the Sarah Palin fans reading this blog:
Q: Where do you see Sarah Palin in this?

A: I think Sarah Palin is an extremely popular personality and she's a unique person, and she's very attractive to people who love freedom. She's very able at expressing her own values on the subject. She is detested by the liberals because she is everything that Hillary Clinton pretends to be. And understand, Sarah Palin did not become governor of Alaska because she was somebody's daughter or wife. She made it on her own terms. She is very clear in her own understanding of who she is and what she values and she's very direct in expressing it, and that, of course, is why people on the conservative side admire her and people on the liberal side detest her. But ... I frankly don't expect to ever see Sarah Palin seek public office.

Q: Why not?

A: My own view is, first of all, she's enjoying being sort of a national spokesman or figurehead of freedom and independence, and I think she's seen that politics at the national level is a pretty grubby business for very little reward in it.
Coincidentally, (if I am reading the forms correctly) according to their 2008 IRS taxes, Freedomworks pays Dick Armey about half a million dollars a year for about 18 hours of work per week. I guess the reward is heading a national "grassroots" organization like Freedomworks.

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