|Motto||Lower Taxes. Less Government. More Freedom.|
|Legal status||501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 527|
|Membership||over 1 million|
|President||Matt Kibbe |
|Volunteers||600,000 online activists|
FreedomWorks is a conservative non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., United States. FreedomWorks trains volunteers, assists in campaigns, and encourages them to mobilize, interacting with both fellow citizens and their political representatives.
FreedomWorks originated from a conservative political group called Citizens for a Sound Economy, which split in two in 2004. CSE was set up by businessman David Koch (Koch Industries). Citizens for a Sound Economy merged with Empower America in 2004 and was renamed FreedomWorks, with Dick Armey, Jack Kemp and C. Boyden Gray serving as co-chairmen, Bill Bennett focusing on school choice as a Senior Fellow, and Matt Kibbe as President and CEO.[contradiction] Empower America was founded in 1993 by William Bennett, former Secretary of HUD Jack Kemp, former Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, and former Representative Vin Weber. In December 2006, Steve Forbes joined the board of directors.
On November 30, 2012, Armey resigned as chairman of FreedomWorks. Armey told Mother Jones, "The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life." Armey stipulated that FreedomWorks was to immediately remove his name, image, or signature "from all its letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media." The Associated Press reported that in September 2012, Armey agreed to resign by November 2012 in exchange for $8 million in consulting fees paid in annual $400,000 installments. Prior to his resignation, Armey was paid $500,000 per year and flew first class, along with other FreedomWorks employees, for work travel.
FreedomWorks seeks to identify itself with two schools of thought in terms of effective advertising and marketing: the Austrian School[not in citation given] of economics and public choice theory. Through public choice theory, FreedomWorks legitimizes its mission and models itself after the Austrian School.
Kibbe, a former aide to Republican Representative Dan Miller and a former staffer at the Republican National Committee, said that the group "will encourage Republicans -- and Democrats -- to take positions on issues of individual freedom." Armey said that "Ronald Reagan launched a political and intellectual revolution, and the Contract with America expanded it. Today, it’s time for the next wave. We have a rare window to make the big ideas of individual ownership and economic opportunity a political reality for all Americans. That’s the purpose of FreedomWorks."
Key issues 
FreedomWorks views itself as having eight key issues: Budget and Spending; Health Care Reform; Fundamental Tax Reform, Energy and the Environment; Workplace Freedom; School Choice; RedTape, Hidden Taxes, and Regulation, and Medicare, Social Security and Entitlement Reform. According to the FreedomWorks website, Obamacare (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), is a "multi-trillion-dollar takeover of health care."
In 2009, FreedomWorks responded to the growing number of Tea party protests across the United States, and became one of several groups active in the "Tea Party" tax protests. Among other activities, FreedomWorks runs boot camps for supporters of Republican candidates. FreedomWorks spent over $10 million on the 2010 elections on campaign paraphernalia alone. The required reading list for new employees includes Saul Alinsky, Frédéric Bastiat and Ayn Rand. Rolling Stone and Talking Points Memo allege that FreedomWorks helps run the Tea Party Patriots. Tea Party Patriots denies this claim. According to a 2010 article in the New York Times, FreedomWorks "has done more than any other organization to build the Tea Party movement."
In the 2010 congressional elections, FreedomWorks endorsed a number of candidates, including Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul. In addition to the aforementioned United States Senate candidates, FreedomWorks endorsed 114 candidates for federal office, of whom seventy won election, an independent study performed by Brigham Young University showed that only FreedomWorks's endorsement had a statistically significant impact on the success of a candidate in the General Election (U.S.).[clarification needed]
In 2011, FreedomWorks ran a number of campaigns targeted at corporate rent-seeking behavior. They campaigned against GE CEO Jeff Immelt who they argue has made GE a rent-seeking corporation. FreedomWorks ran a campaign with the goal of getting Duke Energy to fire their CEO Jim Rodgers, accusing Duke Energy of lobbying for a “progressive agenda” to ensure that the company would receive green energy subsidies.
In addition to their anti-rent seeking campaigns, FreedomWorks has also been active in a number of issue campaigns at the state and national levels. One of these campaigns is the school choice SB1 campaign in Pennsylvania. Additionally, FreedomWorks ran an active grassroots campaign in support of Ohio Governor John Kasich's union reforms. FreedomWorks delivered thousands of yard signs, door-hangers, handouts, and registered conservative voters.
In 2011, FreedomWorks launched a Super PAC. The stated purpose of this PAC is to "empower the leaderless, decentralized community of the tea party movement as it continues its hostile takeover of the GOP establishment." FreedomWorks for America endorsed candidates including Don Stenberg, Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, and Richard Mourdock.
FreedomWorks is primarily funded by individual donations. According to the progressive media watchdog group Media Matters for America, FreedomWorks has also received funding from Verizon and SBC (now AT&T). Other FreedomWorks donors have included Philip Morris and foundations controlled by the Scaife family, according to tax filings and other records. FreedomWorks also receives funding through the sale of insurance policies through which policyholders automatically become members of FreedomWorks.
FreedomWorks is closely tied to its founder, corporate lobbyist and former Republican Congressman Dick Armey, whose former lobbying firm DLA Piper from which he resigned in August 2009, represents Bristol Myers Squibb, among other pharmaceutical companies.
On August 14, 2009, after Armey's leadership of FreedomWorks became a problem to his employer, the lobbying and legal firm of DLA Piper, Armey was forced to resign from his job at DLA Piper. DLA Piper chairman Francis Burch responded that the firm serves clients “… who support enactment of effective health care reform this year and encourages responsible national debate."
Armey disagreed with FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe's use of FreedomWorks staff for the research and promotion of Kibbe's book Hostile Takeover, which according to Armey put FreedomWorks’s tax-exempt status in jeopardy. Armey has stated, “what bothered me most … was that [Kibbe] was asking me to lie, and it was a lie that I thought brought the organization in harm’s way”.
-  FreedomWorks. Retrieved: 19 June 2012.
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- Freedomworks Issues School Choice
- Freedomworks’ Issues
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- The Lie Machine : Rolling Stone
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- Tea Party Endorsement Overlap
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- Protesters descend on Duke Energy meeting
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- Freedomworks to Launch SuperPAC Freedomworks for America
- Freedomworks Endorsements
- Common Cause
- Dan Eggen and Philip Rucker, Loose Network of Activists Drives Reform Opposition Washington Post, Aug 16 2009
- Ed Pilkington, Republicans steal Barack Obama's internet campaigning tricks The Guardian, September 20, 2009
- Washington Post, "With Insurance Policy Comes Membership," July 23, 2006
- http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26128_Page2.html#ixzz0ODAQyqUy Politico, Armey leaves firm amid health care flap, Aug 14 2009
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- FreedomWorks official site
- FreedomWorks political contributions from Influence Explorer at the Sunlight Foundation
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- FreedomWorks on Charity Navigator