The Conservative FreedomWorks PAC Lays Plans to Keep Texas Red [CORRECTED]]
Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend! I saw your post about FreedomWorks and BGTX, and there was a major inaccuracy that I was hoping you can correct.
FreedomWorks has no connection with the Koch brothers. No founding, no funding. I think you are confusing it with the original organization, Citizens for a Sound Economy, which split into two groups in the early 2000's. The Koch's moved on and founded Americans for Prosperity, while our organization became FreedomWorks.
If you could take out the factually incorrect Koch references in your post, I would really appreciate it.
We've adjusted the following and we're very sorry about any confusion Buzz might have caused by reading things like this from Right Web:
FreedomWorks is an influential conservative advocacy organization that has been a key backer of the Tea Party movement. Although the group has claimed on its website to have originally been created in 1984, the current manifestation of FreedomWorks appears to have emerged in 2004 as the result of a merger between Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), a rightist pro-free market organization, and Empower America, a neoconservative-aligned pressure group founded in 1993 ...
and this from The New Yorker:
"Ideas don't happen on their own," Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, a Tea Party advocacy group, told me. "Throughout history, ideas need patrons." The Koch brothers, after helping to create Cato and Mercatus, concluded that think tanks alone were not enough to effect change. They needed a mechanism to deliver those ideas to the street, and to attract the public's support. In 1984, David Koch and Richard Fink created yet another organization, and Kibbe joined them. The group, Citizens for a Sound Economy, seemed like a grassroots movement, but according to the Center for Public Integrity it was sponsored principally by the Kochs, who provided $7.9 million between 1986 and 1993. Its mission, Kibbe said, "was to take these heavy ideas and translate them for mass America..."
And this from Source Watch...
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.
And then there's this from Crooks & Liars from this: "Koch Industries denies funding tea parties, but official filings say otherwise."
Regardless, Bodnar attests that there's no link between FreedomWorks now and the Kochs, and we regret our misunderstanding of the long and various organizational ties between these groups, and have adjusted the following post. In our defense, remember the old saying "all cats are gray in the dark." Speaking of which, here's another interesting read from Mother Jones: "Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement."
The corrected post is after the jump:
We'd basically forgotten about Battleground Texas, that voter-registration effort by former Obama campaigners trying to turn the state blue. Despair will do funny things to the brain, and despite all the talk of shifting demographics this and majority-minority that, we don't see Texas becoming a people's republic anytime in the next 30 centuries.
"But what about Senator Wendy Davis' filibuster over abortion rights and the thousands of people at the grrl power rallies in Austin?" you ask, lacing up your new pink Mizunos. Well sure, that was nice, but call us when the Legislature's vote is in. If there are more than four abortion clinics left when this is finished, maybe we'll celebrate.
In Texas, progressives hold rallies. Conservatives hold power. And unless you really like clever T-shirts and yelling, power is better.
Still, hope lives on like a tiny mustard seed, ready to sprout at the oddest times. So when Politico revealed last week that FreedomWorks, the conservative,
Koch Bros.-founded, Tea Party-bankrolling PAC, was preparing to spend $8 million to counter Battleground Texas, we found the news cheering. If FreedomWorks thinks it needs to spend its money in Texas of all places, maybe Battleground Texas is doing something right after all.
Also delightful, in a schadenfreude-y kinda way: Eight million bucks is roughly what FreedomWorks reportedly paid former Texas representative and conservative stalwart Dick Armey in going-away money during a highly publicized bit of infighting last year. Plus, the name of FreedomWorks' project is "Come and Take It," a slogan borrowed from Texas' split from Mexico. One imagines hearing angry white conservative Texans say "come and take it" will do wonders for the GOP's Latino voter outreach. "Hey, immigrant! Come and take it! Our campaign literature, we mean."
Jackie Bodnar, communications director for FreedomWorks, told us that fear of Battleground's possible success isn't exactly what prompted her group's new effort. "Come and Take It" is a community-building effort, she said. It came about because small-government-loving Texans asked for support in spreading the conservative gospel. It's a bottoms-up effort of native Texans, unlike those Battleground Texas carpetbaggers.
Bodnar, by the way, is described as a "proud New Jersey native" on the FreedomWorks website, but that's cool. Every
Koch right-wing dollar spent here isn't going to be spent elsewhere, and Texas' economy could use the dough. So, like Lyle sang: "That's right, you're not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway."
Well, not you, per se, but your money will do nicely.