Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dick Armey's Literal Armed Coup at FreedomWorks ~ Updated


From Washington Post

The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall.

Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.

. . . “This was two weeks after there had been a shooting at the Family Research Council,” said one junior staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. “So when a man with a gun who didn’t identify himself to me or other people on staff, and a woman I’d never seen before said there was an announcement, my first gut was, ‘Is FreedomWorks in danger?’ It was bizarre.’ ”

From Mother Jones about "Armey's Hostile Takeover"
On December 12, James Burnley IV and C. Boyden Gray, two FreedomWorks board members (and allies of Armey), sent Kibbe a letter informing him that they had received "allegations of wrongdoing by the organization or its employees."
. . . Shortly after receiving the December 12 letter, Kibbe wrote a memo outlining his beef with Armey, Burnley, and Gray....
. . . (From Kibbe's Memo:)
Our favorite "Armey's Axiom" goes something like this: "Every argument in Washington, like in a marriage, is really about something else." So it goes with the attempted hostile takeover of FreedomWorks by three Republican insiders from the old guard. Is it about a book contract, or a pilfered appearance on CNBC? No, it is not. As it turns out, the fight for lower taxes, less government and more freedom is all well and good until it is Republicans—"old friends"— that are the ones needing to be held to account. It is our sense that the irresponsible acts of the so-called Trustees of FreedomWorks—Dick Armey, C. Boyden Gray, and James C. Burnley—on September 4th, and their continued hostile acts today, are all about retribution for our willingness to take a strictly nonpartisan approach to politics, our willingness to hold both Republicans and Democrats to the standards set out by our freedom philosophy and the clear limits on government power delineated in our U.S. Constitution.


Dick Armey agreed to quit FreedomWorks back in September in exchange for $8 million.
Holy grassroots, Batman. It was worth $8 million to FreedomWorks to make Dick Armey go away.
For Mr. Armey`s part, he says that really his departure from FreedomWorks is just a matter of principle. That was the quote from him.
"My differences with FreedomWorks are a matter of principle." Which means on the $8 million check that you write to me, please put principle in the memo line, because that`s why I`m leaving -- principle.
The right seems to be imploding since the election, which we expected. It turns out though that the unexpected thing is that the implosion is going to happen very, very slowly, day by day by day, with new acrimonious details dripping out in every news cycle.
~ Transcript of Rachel Maddow Show, December 4, 2012

The republicans and the Tea Party are like a bowl of guppies, all swimming around, eating each other AND their young.
I love it. For so long they attacked teachers, fire fighters, police, unions, the American worker, education, and science. Now they get to eat each other, and maybe it will give them indigestion.
~ comment by Clemans on Mother Jones

FreedomWorks: another oxymoron.
~ comment by dennycrane on RawStory

So let me get this straight. If this had been a Joe Nobody, he would have been sent to prison. Yet, because this guy is wealthy and connected, it's viewed as "just" a bizarre act by an eccentric old man? And he extorted a half mil a year for the next 20 years?
~ comment by Christopher O. on Gawker

So Dick nearly unloaded on an army of teabaggers? Fitting.
~ comment by Gadzodilo on Gawker

[military-themed dick joke]
~ comment by NotevaluatedbytheFDA on Gawker

If you put this in script form and took it to Hollywood, they would throw you out of their offices for come up with something totally unbelievable. Unfortunately, nowadays, in order for something about the GOP in Washington to be believed, it must be unbelievable.
~ comment by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Daily Kos

Ah, the Banana Republic of FreedomWorks.
It's how they want to run everything, isn't it?
Bizarre, truly bizarre.
~ comment by Onomastic on Daily Kos

UPDATE: Mother Jones Reveals Gunman's Identity
Armey tells Mother Jones that this episode has been hyped up by his FreedomWorks foes, and he says the not-so-mysterious gun-touting assistant was a former Capitol Hill police officer named Beau Singleton, who used to be part of Armey's congressional security detail and who has volunteered his security services to Armey and FreedomWorks for years.

"He was well-known to the people at FreedomWorks," Armey says. "He has provided me personal security on many occasions when I was in Washington." Singleton also oversaw security for FreedomWorks in September 2009 when it organized a large rally in Washington. Singleton, Armey says, is authorized to carry a gun, but he does so in a back holster that cannot be seen by an onlooker. "I was unaware he had a gun [at the meeting]," Armey maintains. "He kept it under his coat in the back....But the news looks like Armey came in there like John Dillinger, all guns a-blazing. That was false."

Armey says that his wife, Susan, and his assistant, Jean Campbell, were concerned about a FreedomWorks official losing his temper at this meeting and suggested that Singleton join Armey and the two of them on this trip to the group's office. But he insists there was nothing odd with him showing up at FreedomWorks with Singleton by his side.

Singleton, 56, confirms Armey's account. He says that he has known Kibbe and Brandon for years and that he had often "been around" at FreedomWorks. He adds that during the meeting between Armey and Kibbe, he "just observed. I was just kind of there....I can't see why they would act like I was menacing."


UPDATE: Hardball ~ December 26, 2012

David Corn of Mother Jones: It's become very bitter. . . . That story obviously came out because people favorable to Kibbe wanted it out and wanted to make Dick Armey look like a complete madman.
But the Post didn't report who the gunman was. Just an hour ago before coming on the show I spoke to Dick Armey and I spoke to the guy with the gun! He's a former Capitol Hill police officer who Dick Armey has used time and time again as a private security guy when he's in Washington. The guy volunteers his services.
Chris Matthews: Why did he need him in that moment?
Corn: What happened was, they knew it was going to be a contentious meeting.
Matthews: So bring a guy with a gun?
Corn: His wife and his assistant said 'bring Beau along just in case the FreedomeWorks guys go ballistic. And the thing is - Beau Singleton, that's the name of the guy--
Matthews: What was he going to do with the gun?!
Corn: He's done private security at FreedomWorks to begin with. So they knew him. It wasn't like they didn't know who he was. To me a big mystery is why the Washington Post didn't just say who this guy was? They made it sound like a guy in a hoodie brought in off the street. It was a guy who did security at FreedomWorks and he was brought in and it wasn't as menacing as it sounds. But this indicates how bad the blood is between these two sides and there is now people allied with Dick Armey . . .

Joan Walsh: It's the right versus the far right - they're all a bunch of grifters. I love you (Matthews) and David (Corn) to death, but you're both being way too nice to Dick Armey.
Matthews: You're calling Dick Armey a 'grifter'?
Joan Walsh: Yes, I am.
Matthews: Meaning he's stealing money?
Walsh: He walked with - grifting isn't stealing, necessarily. He walked away with 8 million dollars and he's mad at Matt Kibbe because he (Kibbe) got 50 thousand dollars?
. . . and David, for you to say it's not a big deal because they walked in with a guy with a gun and say they supposedly knew the guy. I mean, they're all crazy! A pox on all of their houses!
What's going on you guys? . . . (the guy with the gun) scared some people, and I once sat here while Dick Armey said he was glad he wouldn't have to be married to me. He's a grifter. He's not an attractive or decent guy. . . . I don't have a dog in the fight but I came on TV to talk about politics and I was insulted. I think he's a jerk. I think his wife came with him and she's a big jerk. And I say a pox on all their houses. I'm glad they're shooting at each other and not at the rest of America.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

No comments:

Post a Comment