Stay Classy, Teabaggers!
Dick Army’s group FreedomWorks, which organized last spring’s tea parties, is behind Saturday’s events as well. They claim to model themselves on MoveOn.org, except that MoveOn.org actually is a grassroots group, and not funded by corporate lobbyists like FreedomWorks is. The official website for the event, 912dc.org, is owned by FreedomWorks.
–Armey’s FreedomWorks is actively organizing against health care reform. Indeed, Armey’s lobbying firm represents pharmaceutical companies, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, that oppose comparative effectiveness research in the health reform plan because such a program may cut into revenue for branded drugs.
– Currently, FreedomWorks is focusing their energy activism on supporting the status quo reliance on fossil fuels. In addition to working for various domestic oil companies with a vested interest in opposing change, Armey’s lobbying firm represents Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE, on energy related issues such as maintaining the U.S.-UAE relationship where “U.S companies have played major roles in the development of UAE energy resources, which represent about 10 percent of global oil reserves.”
Saturday’s sponsors have deep ties to GOP lobbyists and interest groups.
– Gold Sponsor Tea Party Patriots is a website run by FreedomWorks staffers. When Tea Party Patriots list serv members objected to the 9/12 march symbol, they were rebuffed and told that all final decisions were made by FreedomWorks.
– Gold Sponsor Our Country Deserves Better is a Republican PAC that also operates the Tea Party Express, a bus tour arriving in DC for the 9/12 march. Our Country Deserves Better/Tea Party Express, which has ran an advertisement comparing Obama to Hitler, is managed by the GOP consulting firm Russo, Marsh & Rogers.
– Bronze Sponsors The Heartland Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute are phony think-tanks dedicated to churning out academic-appearing reports to discredit global warming. Like FreedomWorks, both organizations are funded by David and Charles Koch of the Koch Industries oil empire, one of the largest privately held companies in the world.
– Bronze Sponsor American Conservative Union is run by David Keene, a lobbyist for a firm that represents private health care companies, including the insurer HealthFirst.
– Bronze Sponsor The Senate Conservatives Fund is a Republican Party PAC run by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).