FreedomWorks is an astroturf conservative tea party group financed in large part by the Koch Brothers and Big Tobacco. Elements of the tea party may have started on the grassroots level, but that didn’t last for long when rich conservatives saw the movement as an opportunity to capitalize on the tea party’s energy. Enter FreedomWorks.
The investigation into FreedomWorks management is ongoing but today’s report in Mother Jones contained this gem (emphasis mine):
An internal investigation of FreedomWorks—the prominent conservative advocacy group and super-PAC—has focused on president Matt Kibbe’s management of the organization, his use of its resources, and a controversial book deal he signed, according to former FreedomWorks officials who have met with the private lawyers conducting the probe. One potential topic for the inquiry is a promotional video produced last year under the supervision of Adam Brandon, executive vice president of the group and a Kibbe loyalist. The video included a scene in which a female intern wearing a panda suit simulates performing oral sex on Hillary Clinton. [Author's note: The previous sentence contains no typos.]
In December, after months of bitter in-fighting, two members of FreedomWorks’ board of trustees—C. Boyden Gray, the White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush, and James Burnley IV, a secretary of transportation during the Reagan years—notified Kibbe that they had received “allegations of wrongdoing by the organization or its employees” and had hired two lawyers, Alfred Regnery and David Martin, to investigate. Soon after, Regnery and Martin began interviewing past and present FreedomWorks employees and officials. This list included Dick Armey, the former House majority leader who in November resigned as chairman of the group (and pocketed an $8 million payout), citing concerns about the management of the organization. The investigating lawyers, Armey says, “picked my brain. I told them a forensic audit would be imperative because so much is hidden there.”
So let me get this straight: FreedomWorks had two interns dress up, one as Hillary Clinton and the other as a panda and they made a fake sex tape? What kind of weird, creepy, misogynist operation was Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe running? Okay, I know that question is rhetorical.
It seems to me that this might be the tip of the iceberg in terms of questionable judgment on the part of FreedomWorks. It’s no surprise that this tea party group is so misogynist, because these are the same folks that oppose the passage of the Violence Against Women Act.
Talking Points Memo discovered the conservative super-PAC and advocacy group has been behind the push against VAWA. You don’t have to dig very deep to discover that their reasons are blunt force misogyny:
In a blog post, FreedomWorks criticized the cost of the legislation — $660 million — and pointed out that domestic violence is “already illegal in all 50 states.” It added: “Supporters of the VAWA portray women as helpless victims – this is the kind of attitude that is setting women back.”
So to sum up: FreedomWorks was largely financed by the Koch Brothers, they produced a fake sex tape with a fake Hillary Clinton and a fake panda, and oppose the Violence Against Women Act because it sets women back.