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Dick Armey Quits FreedomWorks in Huff

Dick Armey has resigned as chairman of Tea Party group FreedomWorks over unspecified principles.

Mother Jones (“Exclusive: Dick Armey Quits Tea Party Group in Split Over Direction“):

In a move not publicly announced, former Rep. Dick Armey, the folksy conservative leader, has resigned as chairman of FreedomWorks, one of the main political outfits of the conservative movement and an instrumental force within the tea party.

Armey, the former House majority leader who helped develop and promote the GOP’s Contract with America in the 1990s, tendered his resignation in an memo sent to Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, on November 30. Mother Jones obtained the email on Monday, and Armey has confirmed he sent it. The tone of the memo suggests that this was not an amicable separation. (See Armey’s email below.) Armey demanded that he be paid until his contract ended on December 31; that FreedomWorks remove his name, image, or signature “from all its letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter”; and that FreedomWorks deliver the copy of his official congressional portrait to his home in Texas.

“The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life,” Armey tells Mother Jones. “At this point, I don’t want to get into the details. I just want to go on with my life.”

The Washington Post, POLITICO, New York magazine, and Raw Story all have reports on the story that cannibalize the MoJo report without additional insights. It’ll be interesting to see what led to this. Certainly, Armey has been the face of the organization, and arguably of the entire Tea Party movement, since it came into prominence.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life,”

    So in other words, on a personal level, nothing will really change for Dick Armey?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. C. Clavin says:

    Wow…Dick Armey was the entire tea party…the head bagger as it were.
    Does that mean they will now disappear?
    Did Jan just cease to exist?
    Or is it a disease, a pox on our Nation, that cannot be cured?
    Time will tell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  3. de stijl says:

    Dick Armey has resigned as chairman of Tea Party group FreedomWorks over unspecified principles.

    Those unspecified principles consist of: “This Tea Party grift is pretty much played out and I need to skedaddle before I get too much of the stank on me. Daddy needs to get paid.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  4. Jeremy says:

    Certainly, Armey has been the face of the organization, and arguably of the entire Tea Party movement, since it came into prominence.

    Really? He’s certainly been influential, but I don’t know if he’s gone that far. I’ve barely heard about him in the past 2-1/2 years. I don’t think anybody is really the “face” of the Tea Party movement; it has no face but that of the person screaming their head off at a rally. Andrew Breitbart, when he lived, would have been a better candidate for “face of the Tea Party movement.” Even that, though, would’ve been a stretch.

    That’s the beauty of the Tea Party movement, whether you like it or not–it’s kinda doesn’t have a head. It’s just an amorphous blob of irritated Americans. Certainly, organizations like Freedomworks and Tea Party Express and whatnot have an impact, but they do not control it, and they’re not really the face of it either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  5. C. Clavin says:

    I don’t know if Dick was the face of the tea stain. But he certainly was the man behind the astroturf curtain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. john personna says:

    Suspicious timing:

    Conservative groups rebel against John Boehner

    The Teas are going under the bus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Honestly at a core level I think this really is a WASP thing. Conservative WASPs when they don’t get entirely their own way tend to split apart and then to form smaller groups. It’s just how they roll.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. wr says:

    @Jeremy: “That’s the beauty of the Tea Party movement, whether you like it or not–it’s kinda doesn’t have a head”

    Oh, it has a head. It just doesn’t have a brain inside that head.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  9. Fiona says:

    Dick Armey’s still alive? He’s probably even less relevant these days than Sarah Palin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Jeremy says:

    @wr: Yes, because raising spending and taxes makes so much sense, because they create so much growth…

    …oh wait, they don’t. Almost forgot the last four years there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  11. grumpy realist says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: You mean they’re like Protestants?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. grumpy realist says:

    (Actually one of the funniest episodes I ever ran up against was when two ultra-conservative protestant sects excommunicated each other. Yeah, I know, excommunications is supposedly for Catholics only….)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. MM says:

    He gets a $400,000 salary for the rest of his life, and Freedomworks can’t use his name or his likeness for anything?

    Armey has dirt on something that they are doing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. An Interested Party says:

    Yes, because raising spending and taxes makes so much sense, because they create so much growth…

    …oh wait, they don’t. Almost forgot the last four years there.

    Umm, what raised spending and raised taxes have caused such a decline in growth in the last four years? And while we’re strolling down memory lane, we can review the last 12 years and we’ll see that tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, don’t produce the economic nirvana that the usual incorrect suspects tell us so much about…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0