wie o 25 years’ and spending his leisure time ‘reading Hayek or Rand,watching
The Big Lebowski
or listening to a killer Grateul Dead show.’Yet as Armey himsel had put it, ‘sometimes you’re the windshield andsometimes you’re the bug.’
Although he had support rom powerul backers, including ormerWhite House counsellor C. Boyden Gray, Armey’s delusional dictator-ship over Tea Party Central lasted less than a week. In conerence callswith sta and supporters he denounced Kibbe or using the organiza-tion or sel-publicity and personal prot (especially in the publicationo his new book
Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s
Stranglehold on America
) while keeping
—chairman and historicalicon—out o the media limelight. Armey was also critical o the million-dollar annual ee that FreedomWorks pays Glenn Beck or publicity andundraising (Rush Limbaugh reportedly has a similar deal).
In addi-tion, Armey accused Kibbe’s team o ailing to rally behind the doomedSenate campaign o Todd Akin, the Missouri ignoramus whose remarksabout ‘legitimate rape’ had led Romney and other outraged party lead-ers to demand his withdrawal rom the race. According to one staerinterviewed by the
, ‘It was clear that under Armey’s leadership, theorganization as we knew it was going to be driven into the ground.’
In the end, one o FreedomWorks’ major donors, Richard J. Stephenson,an Ayn Rand an who operates a controversial but hugely protablechain o private cancer treatment centres, oered Armey $8 million ininstalments to go back to his ranch in Texas. Kibbe resumed control over400 North Capitol Street
, but Armey supporters continue to spreadrumours about sta wrongdoing. Tea Party blogs, in turn, have accused
FreedomWorks and FreedomWorks Foundation—a tax law duality—emergedrom a split in Citizens or a Sound Economy, reputedly because Armey reusedto take orders rom Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who undedit. (See ‘Funny Kochs News’, LewRockwell.com, 16 April 2010.) Americans orProsperity, whose board is chaired by David Koch, remains the amily subsidiary,also heavily involved in selling Tea Party astrotur.
Amy Gardner, ‘FreedomWorks Tea Party Group Nearly Falls Apart in Fightbetween Old and New Guard’,
, 25 December 2012.
Quoted in Sandy Hume, ‘Armey o One’,
, September 1997.
Todd Gillman, ‘Dick Armey cites ethical lapses at FreedomWorks’,
,5 December 2012; Joe Strupp, ‘Dick Armey Dishes on FreedomWorks’ Deals withBeck and Limbaugh’,
Media Matters or America
blog, 4 January 2013.
Gardner, ‘FreedomWorks Tea Party Group Nearly Falls Apart’.