Green Room

Dick Armey leaves FreedomWorks [updated]

posted at 12:29 pm on December 4, 2012 by

This is an eye-popping divorce settlement.  Former Rep. Dick Armey has severed his ties to FreedomWorks, a Tea Party support organization, but he’s not leaving alone.  He’s taking $8 million with him, spread out over 20 years:

A confidential contract obtained by the Associated Press shows that Armey agreed in September to resign from his role as chairman of Washington-based FreedomWorks in exchange for $8 million in consulting fees paid in annual $400,000 installments. The person behind the payout is Richard J. Stephenson, a prominent fundraiser and founder and chairman of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a national cancer treatment network.

Armey confirmed his departure Tuesday, telling The Associated Press that “my differences with FreedomWorks are a matter of principle.” He would not describe his specific concerns.

It’s a shame; I’m a big fan of both Armey and FreedomWorks, which honored me a few years ago as their Blogger of the Year.  Unfortunately, tough losses produce a lot of debate and anger over strategies of the past and future, and this won’t be the last separation we see among conservative groups.  That kind of money sure would be helpful in future organizing, though …

Update: FreedomWorks press secretary Jacki Bodnar e-mailed me a few minutes ago to clarify the story:

Just saw your piece on Armey’s departure from FreedomWorks. I wanted to clarify one thing- that contract is not a FreedomWorks contract, and it is not donor money. The $8 million did not come from any branch of the organization.

Perhaps Dick Armey might explain the contract on his own, then.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

tea party cashout

burserker on December 4, 2012 at 12:36 PM

From the article…

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

What is he hiding or running from? The comments over at GatewayPundit are interesting.

JPeterman on December 4, 2012 at 12:37 PM

$400K payout for 20 years??? Absolutely ridiculous; glad I never handed them any money. Bluntly, it shows that Dick was in it for the wrong reasons, which does NOT surprise me (I knew Dick back when he was an economics prof thinking about the congressional run and I was the local GOP County Chairman. He ran on a flat tax pledge, but after he got into power, principles seemed a whole lot less important to him.)

michaelo on December 4, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I’m a big fan of both Armey and FreedomWorks too. I’d sure be interested to know what’s at the bottom of this falling out.

FreedomWorks is a favorite of mine. Hope this doesn’t signal a move toward the establishment.

petefrt on December 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Oh good grief. He already has a government pension and the perks that go with serving in Congress and he rips off this organization. My conclusion is that they are all thieves.

SC.Charlie on December 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM

How are they going to clean up Washington without their corporate lobbyist founder?

lexhamfox on December 4, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I’m a big fan of both Armey and FreedomWorks too. I’d sure be interested to know what’s at the bottom of this falling out.

FreedomWorks is a favorite of mine. Hope this doesn’t signal a move toward the establishment.

petefrt on December 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Not even going to claim sources, but looking at it from the outside, it looks like a battle between those who wanted to work within the GOP (Armey) and those who wanted to focus on like-minded individuals who may or may not be GOP (those left at FW).

I’m surprised this hadn’t leaked out until now.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I have just lost ALL respect for Mister Armey…

Khun Joe on December 4, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Not even going to claim sources, but looking at it from the outside, it looks like a battle between those who wanted to work within the GOP (Armey) and those who wanted to focus on like-minded individuals who may or may not be GOP (those left at FW).

I’m surprised this hadn’t leaked out until now.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

What a downer. FreedomWorks was/is easily the best of the tea party groups out there. And if you read Eric Erickson’s writeup on GOTV efforts by various groups, FreedomWorks was one of the only ones that didn’t buy into the big nationalization failure (Orca, etc.)… is that part of this? I dunno how much I trust Erickson’s analysis, but I haven’t heard anyone else even talking about this stuff.

Caiwyn on December 4, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Question. Per Wiki….

FreedomWorks is a conservative non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., United States

Non-profit? If so why is Armey walking away with a large profit?

JPeterman on December 4, 2012 at 1:41 PM

I’m sure Dick is going to be doing all kinds of organizing.

Cindy Munford on December 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Well, dang it, I just joined Freedom Works last week. I don’t recall getting an email about this. Maybe this split is a good thing, we’ll see.

Night Owl on December 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Finally I can get some of that Dick Armey money.

DeathtotheSwiss on December 4, 2012 at 1:53 PM

His departure is pretty scorched earth, according to the Dallas Morning News via Mother Jones:

Armey’s Nov. 29 resignation memo, obtained by Mother Jones, reflects serious unhappiness. He demands the group immediately stop using his name in any way, removing him from all “letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter.” He also wants his official congressional portrait delivered.

Ward Cleaver on December 4, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Non-profit? If so why is Armey walking away with a large profit?

JPeterman on December 4, 2012 at 1:41 PM

You don’t know much about “non-profits”, do you?

I forgot to mention a growing partnership between FreedomWorks and Glenn Beck.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:56 PM

petefrt on December 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Armey IS the establishment..

voiceofreason on December 4, 2012 at 1:56 PM

You don’t know much about “non-profits”, do you?

I forgot to mention a growing partnership between FreedomWorks and Glenn Beck.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:56 PM

No I don’t, that is why I asked. Sorry, won’t happen again.

JPeterman on December 4, 2012 at 2:06 PM

JPeterman on December 4, 2012 at 2:06 PM

No sweat. The difference between “non-profit” and “for-profit” is where the profit goes. In a “non-profit”, the profit goes to the management. In a “for-profit”, those who supply the funding get a taste.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Further update via Roll Call – Max Pappas (former VP for public policy/government affairs) and Brendan Steinhauser (director of campaigns) also out, while Matt Kibbe (president/CEO) and Adam Brandon (executive VP) were suspended for several days in September.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Nice work if you can get it.

I’m not quite completely demoralized yet by the endless stream of stories about poseurs on “our side.” Any more feel-good stories in the works?

ConservativeLA on December 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM

FreedomWorks is a conservative non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., United States

Non-profit? If so why is Armey walking away with a large profit?

JPeterman on December 4, 2012 at 1:41 PM

For-profits corporations pay out profits in dividends to shareholders. Not-for-profit corporations pay out profits in salaries and consultant fees to employees. It’s generally a scam.

petefrt on December 4, 2012 at 6:51 PM

I forgot to mention a growing partnership between FreedomWorks and Glenn Beck.

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Also with Rush Limbaugh. MahaRushi joined with FreedomWorks as a sponsor just recently.

petefrt on December 4, 2012 at 6:55 PM

… it looks like a battle between those who wanted to work within the GOP (Armey) and those who wanted to focus on like-minded individuals who may or may not be GOP (those left at FW).

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

And, reading between the lines, it looks also like a disagreement over the FreedomWorks relationship with those of the libertarian persuasion.

petefrt on December 4, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Also, as another commenter noted, the break-up looks ugly. Armey is not a happy camper.

petefrt on December 4, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Armey is establishment but Kibbe is libertarian. And I think Kibbe was close with Armey. So, maybe not an establishment v libertarian rift but more a personal one? Why was Kibbe suspended?

This is disheartening.

boko fittleworth on December 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Why was Kibbe suspended?

boko fittleworth on December 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Don’t think so. Got a link?

petefrt on December 4, 2012 at 9:00 PM