Citizens for a Sound Economy

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Logo of Citizens for a Sound Economy.

Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) (1984–2004) was a conservative political group operating in the United States. In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two new organizations, with Citizens for a Sound Economy being renamed as FreedomWorks, and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation becoming Americans for Prosperity.


Citizens for a Sound Economy described its mission as "to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation."[citation needed]


CSE's former headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) was established in 1984 by David H. Koch and Charles Koch of Koch Industries. Ron Paul was appointed as the first chairman of the organization. Between 1986 and 1990, the Koch family foundations the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation granted a combined $4.8 million to the CSE.[1] In 1989, CSE purchased the financially troubled Tax Foundation and operated it as a subsidiary from CSE's offices until the split in 2004.[2][disputed ]

According to the conservative magazine Weekly Standard, CSE's greatest political success came in 1993 when it opposed Bill Clinton's proposal for a BTU energy tax.[3][4] has no contributions listed to CSE after 2000, when it received a total of about $35,000, none from the Kochs, and zero contributions in 1998.

In 2002, before Tea Party movement politics were widely discussed in the mainstream media, CSE designed and made public the first tea party movement website.[5][6]

In 2003, Dick Armey became the chairman of CSE after retiring from Congress.[7]

Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy was accused in 2004 of encouraging George W. Bush supporters to help get Ralph Nader on the ballot in Oregon.[8]

In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity.[9] Citizens for a Sound Economy was renamed Americans for Prosperity.[10] Dick Armey stayed as chairman of FreedomWorks, while David Koch stayed as chairman of Americans for Prosperity.[citation needed]

On July 23, 2006, the Washington Post reported on the organization's tactics in signing up as members people who did not know about the organization, by enrolling them as members during unrelated insurance transactions in order to boost membership numbers. The group obtained about $638,000 and 16,000 members through the sale of insurance policies in this way, according to the report.[11] When someone signed up for insurance through "Medical Savings Insurance Company", they were also automatically signed up for Citizens for a Sound Economy without their knowledge, the report asserted. Their information is subject to be rented out as the Medical Savings Insurance Company deemed fit, which is not uncommon for many groups who obtain client contact information. Critics suggested the effort as a way for this group to inflate their membership rosters, and more exactly, by taking dues from people with no interest in the groups' politics.[11]


The group produced more than 100 policy papers each year in its run, delivering them to many congressional offices, sending out thousands of pieces of mail, and getting coverage of its viewpoints in thousands of news articles around the United States. The group's representatives appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows and published hundreds op-ed articles arguing that "environmental conservation requires a commonsense approach that limits the scope of government," acid rain is a "so-called threat [that] is largely nonexistent," and global warming is "a verdict in search of evidence."[citation needed]

CSE was a member organization of the Cooler Heads Coalition which seeks to "expos(e)ng flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis" with regard to Global warming.[12]


  1. ^ Draffan, George. The Elite Consensus. Apex. ISBN 1-891843-14-1. 
  2. ^ Crenshaw, Albert B. (October 9, 1989). "Research Group Buys Troubled Tax Foundation". 
  3. ^ Continetti, Matthew,“The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics,” The Weekly Standard, April 4, 2011. Accessed at Last accessed April 13, 2011.
  4. ^ Citizens for a Sound Economy 2000 contributions
  5. ^ Fallin, Amanda; Grana, Rachel; Glantz, Stanton A. (February 8, 2013). "‘To quarterback behind the scenes, third-party efforts’: the tobacco industry and the Tea Party". Tobacco Control. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ DeMelle, Brendan (February 11, 2013). "Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Dick Armey to lead Citizens for a Sound Economy". January 8, 2003. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Group: Bush allies illegally helping Nader in Oregon". CNN. 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  9. ^ Pilkington, Ed (September 18, 2009). "Republicans steal Barack Obama's internet campaigning tricks". The Guardian. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ Fang, Lee (2013). The Machine: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right. New York: The New Press. p. 105. ISBN 9781595586391. 
  11. ^ a b Weisman, Jonathan (July 23, 2006). "With Insurance Policy Comes Membership". Washington Post. p. A05. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  12. ^ Statement of purpose for Cooler Heads Coalition

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