Citizens for a Sound Economy
Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) (1984–2004) was a conservative political group operating in the United States, whose self-described mission was "to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation." 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 (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. "CSE received almost $5 million from various Koch foundations between 1986 and 1990, and David Koch and several Koch Industries employees serve[d] as directors of CSE and the CSE Foundation." In 1989, CSE purchased the financially troubled Tax Foundation and operated it as a subsidiary from CSE's offices until the split in 2004.[disputed ] In 2003, Dick Armey became the chairman of CSE after retiring from Congress. In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into FreedomWorks, for 501c4 advocacy activity, and Americans for Prosperity Foundation. Dick Armey stayed as chairman of FreedomWorks, while David Koch stayed as Chairman of Americans for Prosperity Foundation.
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."
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. 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.
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- "Dick Armey to lead Citizens for a Sound Economy". January 8, 2003.
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- Matthew, Continetti,“The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics,” The Weekly Standard, April 4, 2011. Accessed at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/paranoid-style-liberal-politics_555525.html?page=2. Last accessed April 13, 2011.
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- Weisman, Jonathan (July 23, 2006). "With Insurance Policy Comes Membership". Washington Post. p. A05. Retrieved 2007-05-15.