Green Room

An armed coup at FreedomWorks?

posted at 11:43 am on December 26, 2012 by

Today’s must-read comes from WaPo, which claims to have spoken to more than two dozen “associates” of the group about the details of Dick Armey’s acrimonious split.

How acrimonious? Dude:

The partnership came to a crashing end when Armey marched into FreedomWorks’s office Sept. 4 with his wife, Susan, executive assistant Jean Campbell and the unidentified man with the gun at his waist — who promptly escorted Kibbe and Brandon out of the building.

“This was two weeks after there had been a shooting at the Family Research Council,” said one junior staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. “So when a man with a gun who didn’t identify himself to me or other people on staff, and a woman I’d never seen before said there was an announcement, my first gut was, ‘Is FreedomWorks in danger?’ It was bizarre.’ ”

By nearly all accounts, including from those loyal to him, Armey handled his attempted coup badly. Armey says he was stepping in because of ethical breaches by Kibbe and Brandon, accusing them of improperly using FreedomWorks staff resources to produce a book — ironically, named “Hostile Takeover” — for which Kibbe claimed sole credit and was collecting royalties. The use of internal resources for Kibbe’s benefit could jeopardize the group’s nonprofit tax status; the group denies any impropriety…

Armey appeared out of touch and unsure of how FreedomWorks operated when he took over that Tuesday morning, according to interviews with more than a dozen employees on both sides who witnessed the takeover. Sitting in a glass-walled conference room visible to much of the staff, he placed three young female employees on administrative leave, then reversed himself when they burst into tears; his wife lamented aloud that maybe they had “jumped the gun.”

One of Armey’s big ideas between the time of the coup and his departure six days later was, allegedly, to have the group throw more of its weight behind … Todd Akin.

Obligatory exit question in light of the David Gregory investigation: Did the unidentified “aide” who accompanied Armey have a permit to carry that gun? D.C. law allows you to carry at your place of business if you’ve registered the weapon with the city. Did he?

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Interesting. Very interesting.

TKindred on December 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM

For cryin’ out loud! Armey has been disappointing me for quite some time now. Not that he’s the only one…

4Grace on December 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM

The story of the split came out two days after I joined. Now I don’t know what to do. Is the organization honest or not? I have not sent them any money because of this news, but I haven’t been able to find out much more. It sounds like Kibbe did do something wrong, but he ended up staying and Armey is gone. On the other hand, it sounds like Armey is taking $8 million out of a supposed non-profit. I’m confused.

Night Owl on December 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM

He got his $8 million in “consulting fees” so it wasn’t all that fruitless of a coup.

lester on December 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM

He got his $8 million in “consulting fees” so it wasn’t all that fruitless of a coup.

lester on December 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Please note that at least we care what is going on. The left has absolutely no interest in whether the organizations and elected officials they support are honest, as long as you get what you want from them. Please don’t come here and pretend you have the moral high ground. You don’t. On anything.

Night Owl on December 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I read an account of this story from Mother Jones. It didn’t mention anything about a gun or Armey’s wife, but it did give details about allegations from Kibbe about Armey using Freedom Works influence to advance Republicans during the election, where Kibbe wanted to stand on principle and stay independent of the Republican Party.

lea on December 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM

It has always been my belief that Mr. Armey is a Dick. His brother was associated with the Rams football team (Charlie) and should have had the same first name. He was/is a 2 bit back stabber.

Vince on December 26, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Armey morphed into an establishment Republican over the last 15-20-years. His conservatism gave way to Beltway politics and we can see he received a serious amount of cash from his brief association with Freedom Works. Stinks of the corrupt activities of the Beltway Gang….no exclusions!

tomshup on December 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM

When Armey became a barnacle on the Tea Party movement awhile ago I knew the organization was not for me.

Rush and Beck better re-think their relationship to this group.

That being said, the Washington Post is crapola and can’t be trusted either.

Keep your money, and donate to individual candidates you believe have the same values. The RNC and other orgs can use someone elses’ money. When I heard SarahPAC gave $5,000 to Linda Murkowski and her re-elect bid a few years ago that was it for me. No more money to any polticians’ piggy bank.

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/09/for-every-money-in-politics-rule-th.html

PappyD61 on December 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

i’m sick of all the popcorn tbf

sesquipedalian on December 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Please note that at least we care what is going on. The left has absolutely no interest in whether the organizations and elected officials they support are honest, as long as you get what you want from them. Please don’t come here and pretend you have the moral high ground. You don’t. On anything.

Night Owl on December 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Obviously all the caring missed Dick Armey because he was after all a new figure in politics and it took a few years to really figure out what he stands for. He managed to “fool” conservatives.

lester on December 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Obviously all the caring missed Dick Armey because he was after all a new figure in politics and it took a few years to really figure out what he stands for. He managed to “fool” conservatives.

lester on December 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM

armey wasn’t new. He’s been around and has always matched his first name. What was new was a whole crop of citizens waking up for the first time and trying to get involved. armey tried to co-op the Tea Party and took advantage of newly active conservatives who didn’t know him or what a jerk he is.

Pappy described him perfectly. A barnacle on the Tea Party movement.

Lost in Jersey on December 26, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Did the unidentified “aide” who accompanied Armey have a permit to carry that gun? D.C. law allows you to carry at your place of business if you’ve registered the weapon with the city. Did he?

Who cares? Considering that the Second Amendment is probably being violated by DC laws.

Conservative4Ever on December 26, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Good to see us all come together in the wake of November’s defeat.

Sigh.

ConservativeLA on December 26, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I’m pretty sure that 90% of D.C. is sociopaths.

When it all comes crashing down should be interesting.

grahsco on December 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

GOPe will has betrayed you.

davidk on December 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Whatever… time to shuffle out the Republican (Whig) Party…

Khun Joe on December 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Dick is all about the dollars.

lexhamfox on December 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Although the exact reasons why were never discussed publicly, it has been fairly common knowledge that G.W.Bush and Dick Armey loathed and despised each other, going back to George’s days as Governor here in Texas. The two of them would go to great lengths to make sure that they *never* appeared at the same function together, even when they were trying to put forth the image of a happy, united party.

Given that GWB is said by all to be a pretty easy person to get along with, I have always taken that to mean that Armey must be a peculiarly toxic form of a-hole.

Tom Servo on December 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Let’s just say that FW ran a real mud slinging campaign in a Louisiana Congressional race between two GOP incumbents. One was slightly less conservative by most “scorecards.” They backed the “more” conservative guy, a real loudmouth, who also had amended the USCG Reauthorization Act with a new regulation for offshore oil/gas production which would have cost Billions of $ to the industry, but lined the pockets of a few with $100′s of millions.

Thankfully the FW backed guy got his behind handed to him 60-40. The other guy was able to stop the new regulations in conference committee, since he’s a Boehner guy.

Kermit on December 26, 2012 at 5:13 PM

i knew before I looked at the full article and author that this was posted by the “dog.”

RoyalFlush on December 26, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Wont give a dime to any of these organizations. The conservative groups especially are filled with self serving leeches who couldnt care less about principals……its about their own pockets.

rickyricardo on December 26, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Wont give a dime to any of these organizations. The conservative groups especially are filled with self serving leeches who couldnt care less about principals……its about their own pockets.

rickyricardo on December 26, 2012 at 7:27 PM

What about vice principals and/or assistant principals?

steebo77 on December 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Conservatives go to DC and turn into satires…

Kakalak Pundit on December 27, 2012 at 2:29 AM

Dick Armey had his place. When he exceeded it, chaos ensued. It got handled and it’s over.

By the way, tea party does not mean FreedomWorks and neither mean Tea Party Patriots. And I burst out laughing to see “astroturfer” used to describe FreedomWorks. That word is what Axelrod is famous for. It merely describes community organizing on a specific covert mission. Several tea parties (in the beginning) were astroturf operations set up to pre-empt genuine tea parties being formed. Once in place, the faux tea party would end up with internal squabbles that seemingly came out of nowhere and which were designed to demoralize individuals by spawning distrust between members.

It’s use here by the Washington ComPost is an effort to restart the 2009 Axlerod counter-insurgency. It will fail because there is no tea party internal disagreement on conservatism being the solution to America’s woes.

And you shouldn’t believe that any tea partier would actually talk to the Post. That is the funniest thing I’ve heard since the election.

platypus on December 27, 2012 at 2:42 AM

i’m sick of all the popcorn tbf

sesquipedalian on December 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I’m sick of your juvenile writing style. Grow up and capitalize to start off with. And not that I eat popcorn, but the things that go on with your herd that the media doesn’t cover well makes this stuff look positively tame.

I envy your sides command of the message through a “Free Press”.

Senators not paying their hos? No big deal.
Dead Mexicans with Fast and Furious? No big deal.
Dead Ambassadors? No big deal.
A ROE that benefits the enemy over our soldiers. No big deal.
Syria rebels killing Christians and spreading Sharia? No big deal.
Jesse Jackson Jr. No big deal.
The worst economy in my lifetime. No big deal.

I could go on all day but it’s never covered by the media.

You should eat a lot of popcorn. Butter and salt heavily. And please, stop any foolish exercising you may do.

hawkdriver on December 27, 2012 at 5:56 AM

I could go on all day but it’s never covered by the media.

You should eat a lot of popcorn. Butter and salt heavily. And please, stop any foolish exercising you may do.

hawkdriver on December 27, 2012 at 5:56 AM

let’s face it, with trouble brewing in the breitbart zoo and the dick army, and the full retreat of the conservative agenda on all fronts, the holiday season is going well so far.

sesquipedalian on December 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I envy your sides command of the message through a “Free Press”.

hawkdriver on December 27, 2012 at 5:56 AM

i’m sorry that nobody’s taking seriously the ‘scandals’ you’re so busy trying to manufacture. it’s almost like people don’t give a damn about the evil that is jesse jackson… and for some reason, people still refuse to blame obama for the syrian killings, which is just stupefying. better luck next year!

sesquipedalian on December 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

What about vice principals and/or assistant principals?

The principal is my PAL.

Mr Galt on December 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I have never liked the idea of a national Tea Party. Do we need any more power hungry schmucks? I personally think we have more than our quota.

Cindy Munford on December 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I envy your sides command of the message through a “Free Press”.

hawkdriver on December 27, 2012 at 5:56 AM
i’m sorry that nobody’s taking seriously the ‘scandals’ you’re so busy trying to manufacture. it’s almost like people don’t give a damn about the evil that is jesse jackson… and for some reason, people still refuse to blame obama for the syrian killings, which is just stupefying. better luck next year!

sesquipedalian on December 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Again, liberals held George Bush responsible for every misstep of the entire GWOT. But I’ve already conceded you own the press. Joe Goebbels is proud of your command of the media too.

BTW, in a previous discussion about what the US was responsible for overseas …

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, we want self-determination, but a realistic, holistic self-determination legitimized by free elections and secret ballots

which enables us to claim the moral high ground and torture people. sweet.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2009 at 3:13 PM

What about Syria with the obama backed rebels executing prisoners? Nothing? Hypocrite. Oh, sorry. According to you and the US press, “made-up scandals”.

hawkdriver on December 27, 2012 at 5:28 PM

i’m sorry that nobody’s taking seriously the ‘scandals’ you’re so busy trying to manufacture. it’s almost like people don’t give a damn about the evil that is jesse jackson… and for some reason, people still refuse to blame obama for the syrian killings, which is just stupefying. better luck next year!

sesquipedalian on December 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

So, you are alleging that hawkdriver manufactured the Fast & Furious scandal?

You are alleging that hawkdriver manufactured the death of our ambassador?

He manufactured the idiotic Rules of Engagement? The Obameconomy?

You have reached a new level of truth-denying nonsensical bullshit.

Congratulations.

hillbillyjim on December 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM

The anonymous junior staff member quoted in the article sounds like a pu$$y. I’m taking Armey’s side; he walked in like John Wayne, and was there on behalf of Todd Akin, which shows he stands on principle, unlike Rove and other moderates that gave us Romneycare Romney (who couldn’t even convince Latinos to vote for him despite his Mexican heritage and a son that’s fluent in Spanish).

Good to know that I ought NOT to support FreedomWorks now that Armey has left the building.

TXJenny on December 27, 2012 at 9:20 PM

i’m sorry that nobody’s taking seriously the ‘scandals’ you’re so busy trying to manufacture. it’s almost like people don’t give a damn about the evil that is jesse jackson… and for some reason, people still refuse to blame obama for the syrian killings, which is just stupefying. better luck next year!

So, we have you on record as saying that Libs are uninformed? Good to know, in the unlikely event your piss-poor grasp of grammar, punctuation and syntax was not enough of a giveaway.

Are you gainfully employed or do the good taxpayers support you as you favor us with your pearls of wisdom from the comfort of Mommy’s basement?

Maddie on December 28, 2012 at 12:20 AM

I have never liked the idea of a national Tea Party. Do we need any more power hungry schmucks? I personally think we have more than our quota.

Agreed, which is why there’s no such thing as one single “national tea party,” nor should there be, in favor of a loose coalition, lest the very concept play into the hands of the mainstream media. This entire episode, for whatever reason it occurred (probably a bad one), only lends more credence to those who claim that FreedomWorks is just another front group propped up by establishment Republicans to appropriate the “tea party” label.

Not that any of us could ever imagine that happening … eh?

manwithblackhat on December 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM

When you are finished this morning, not reading the New York Times, and the Boston Globe, remember not to read the Washington Post, too.

Fleuries on December 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM