Mother Jones has a revealing look inside the leading tea party group’s internal memos. Included is the revelation that the supposed “grassroots” organization is funded almost entirely by a small number of ultra-rich donors, as well as their mission to make austerity and corporate tax breaks “cool” and youth-friendly:
In 2013, FreedomWorks plans to spend between $25 million and $30 million, according to the board book. Favored causes projects include the annual Blog-Con convention, the right’s answer to Netroots Nation; fly-ins for activists to lobby members of Congress; briefings with lawmakers; and the recently launched FreedomWorks University. FreedomWorks also plans to continue its financial support for Glenn Beck’s media enterprise.
The board book is chock full of strategy talk by the FreedomWorks’ brass. CEO Kibbe acknowledged that his group’s plan to help flip control of the US Senate to the GOP failed miserably (“We take our lumps with humility”), and he insisted that it’s time to replace the aging image of the conservative movement with “younger, more diverse, more substantive voices for freedom in America.” Kibbe asked: “Can liberty, personal responsibility, and doing things for yourself be the new ‘cool’?”
Such a makeover, Kibbe wrote, can begin if FreedomWorks courts so-called “Ron Paul Millennials,” the loud, loyal twentysomethings who in 2008 and 2012 followed the GOP libertarian presidential candidate from one stump speech to the next. Kibbe noted that FreedomWorks plans to reach out to blacks and Hispanics with a new “Black and Brown” tour, starring a Brazilian immigrant and tea party activist named Ana Puig.
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