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.

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