On Freedom Works’ website, they announced that 1,000s were expected to their “New Fair Deal” protest at the U.S. Capitol on Tax Day (April 15th), which would be the “next phase of the Freedom Movement.” They hyped it as their “Get Out the Vote” machine. They had a slew of Republican representatives speaking as bait.
The “next phase” of the freedom movement might be dead on arrival, as only dozens attending according to NBC News:
Yesterday, Tea Party groups held events tied to this year’s Tax Day. The group FreedomWorks, for example, organized an “action day” at the U.S. Capitol (which took place before the Boston bombings).
But judged by its sparse attendance — dozens, not thousands, attended the FreedomWorks rally — the Tea Party is no longer a national force shaking American politics, although it has continued to influence today’s Republican Party.
On Freedom Works connection site, they promoted car pools and bus rides, along side a lonely announcement of the three RSVP’s, “Mrs. **** **** and 2 other people are attending The New Fair Deal Action Day in Washington, DC.”
Scheduled to speak at much-hyped “The New Fair Deal” protest were Republican Representatives Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo, Tom Price, and Justin Amash, along with Dan Bongino, Deneen Borelli, CL Bryant, Julie Borowski, Ana Puig, and Adam Brandon. They had almost as many speakers as attendees.
Here’s the PR push from Freedom Works:
Senator Mike Lee (UT) was officially added to the speaker’s agenda for “The New Fair Deal Action Day,” where he will address over 1,000 FreedomWorks activists at the US Capitol to launch The New Fair Deal. The New Fair Deal is a bold legislative package that addresses four main concerns of grassroots activists across the country: ending corporate handouts, crafting a flatter tax code, passing real spending reform, and empowering individuals with the choice to opt out of government-run entitlement programs.
Senator Lee will share the stage with Rep. Justin Amash, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Rep. Mike Pompeo, Rep. Tom Price, Reverend C.L Bryant, Deneen Borelli, Dan Bongino, Julie Borowski and Ana Puig. Following the speeches, activists will split up and visit targeted Congressional offices to urge Members to support the bills and The New Fair Deal agenda.
WHEN: Tax Day, Monday April 15th, 2013 from 12:00-3:00pm ET.
WHERE: Upper Senate Park of the US Capitol. The event will be live tweeted at the hashtag #NFD.
WHY: The New Fair Deal Action Day is much more than “just another rally.” Activists will gather at Upper Senate Park to listen to the speaker lineup, and then branch out into groups afterwards to head up to the hill and urge Members of Congress to support the NFD legislative agenda. It’s ideas put into action.
The New Fair Deal is the next phase of the Freedom Movement. What began as a series of protest rallies has evolved into a “Get out the Vote” machine, and now moves forward as a grassroots-fueled effort to work with 11 Congressmen to write legislation and put real solutions on the table. It’s the proactive, uniting and principled agenda that the RNC’s Growth and Opportunity Project has been looking for.
Apparently Freedom Works/Tea Party has surrendered the pretense of being separate from the Republican Party. That’s probably for the best, since Matt Kibbe is the president and CEO of Freedom Works, and he is a former staffer for the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Freedom Works runs “boot camps” for supporters of Republican candidates. Back when Freedom Works was “Citizens for a Sound Economy”, they used to trick people into signing up as members by selling them insurance policies that required their membership.
Freedom Work’s goal with the new legislation is allegedly getting “the debt under control and ending big government’s collusion with big business”. This is an irony, since Freedom Works embodies government’s collusion with big business, having been established by David H. Koch (of Koch Industries) himself in 1984. After much poking around on their site, I found an explanation of just which big businesses they oppose, and it’s not big oil, one of the largest beneficiaries of subsidies, but rather green energy and high-speed rail. They are, of course, pushing Keystone XL.
1. The first, introduced by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC-5) is the New Fair Deal: Consolidating and Eliminating Outdated Subsidies (CEO’s) Act. This bill would eliminate many direct federal subsidies, such as the infamous sugar subsidy and high-speed rail.
2. The second bill is the New Fair Deal: Busting America’s Rigid, Outdated, and Needless Subsidies (BARONS) Act”, introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-4). This bill would eliminate many federal credits and subsidies which favor selected companies and industries through the tax code. The bill primarily targets energy companies which recieve taxpayer dollars to develop special fuels and green energy.
Maybe the fact that they aren’t really taking aim at the source of government’s collusion with big business is the reason Freedom Works didn’t deem it necessary to release the actual legislation until the protesters were already at the event.
Still, only “dozens” attended. Perhaps now the Tea Party can go back to being what it once was, long before it got co-opted by the greedy corporatists behind Freedom Works, who find their most natural habitat within the Republican Party. It’s too bad the Tea Party wasn’t what it claimed to be, because we could use a real movement to cut the puppet strings with which big money and big business operate our legislators.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.