Junious Ricardo Stanton
The Truth About The Tea Party Movement
“Koch Industries has denied specifically funding Freedomworks or tea parties directly, however. The company's director of communications wrote ‘Koch companies value free speech and believe it is good to have more Americans engaged in key policy issues. That said, Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch and David Koch have no ties to and have never given money to FreedomWorks. In addition, no funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties.’ Koch's director of communications did affirm, however, that the company funds Americans for Prosperity (AFP). TPM's Lee Fang reports that ‘AFP was founded in part by the company's Executive Vice President, David Koch. He is currently the chairman of the board of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.’ Media Matters also lists the Sarah Scaife Foundation as having given a total of $2.96 million in funding to FreedomWorks. The Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation is financed by the Mellon industrial, oil, and banking fortune. The Claude R. Lambe Foundation, also controlled by the Koch family, has donated more than $3 million to Americans for Prosperity” Tea Party Funding http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tea_Party_movement_funding
A little over a year or so ago I started getting E-mail messages from Dick Armey who was calling for rallies and demonstrations against the policies of Barack Obama. How he got my E-mail address I’ll never know. However I noticed the masthead on his literature was called Freedomworks and after receiving more announcements about upcoming marches and demonstrations I did a little Internet research on Armey and Freedomworks. For those of you not familiar with him, Dick Armey was a former US Congressman who rose to the rank of Majority Leader when the Republicans took control of the House during the 90's. He eventually left Congress and took on the role as Chairman of Freedomworks an organization dedicated according to it Website to: lower taxes, less government and more freedom. Looking at their Website www.freedomworks.org/issues you see they profess to be against government regulation and for tax and tort reform, school choice, privatization of Social Security and reform of Medicare.
So while their Website appears benign and ideologically non- threatening, the tip off that they are not libertarians is the fact that nowhere on their Website do they take a stand against the ongoing wars that are draining this country dry; nor do they mention the bailouts of the insurance, banking and Hedge Fund industries by the same government they want to shrink. So it was not surprising to me when it came to light that Freedomwokrs is a front for the Koch Brothers, two energy industry billionaires who have their own aggressive right wing agenda. According to SourceWatch a group that, “profiles the activities of front groups, PR spinners, industry-friendly experts, industry-funded organizations, and think tanks trying to manipulate public opinion on behalf of corporations or government.”, the Tea Party is being funded by super wealthy right wingers to promote their own conservative agenda.
“ Reports indicate that the Tea Party Movement benefits from millions of dollars from conservative foundations that are derived from wealthy U.S. families and their business interests. Is appears that money to organize and implement the Movement flows primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. In an April 9, 2009 article on ThinkProgress.org, Lee Fang reports that the principal organizers of Tea Party events are Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works, two ‘lobbyist-run think tanks’ that are ‘well funded’ and that provide the logistics and organizing for the Tea Party movement from coast to coast. Media Matters reported that David Koch of Koch Industries was a co-founder of Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), the predecessor of FreedomWorks. David Koch was chairman of the board of directors of CSE. CSE received substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, which is the largest privately-held energy company in the country, and the conservative Koch Family Foundations, which make substantial annual donations to conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, etc. Media Matters reported that the Koch family has given more than $12 million to CSE (predecessor of FreedomWorks) between 1985 and 2002" http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.p
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the Tea Party movement isn’t a spontaneous grass roots movement after all. Disaffected whites are being manipulated by some very cunning Republican right wingers who are exploiting the fears, frustrations and angst of white folks who see their net worth and standard of living deteriorating at a rapid pace. These white folks are looking for someone to blame because they mindlessly drank the Kool-Aid about their house always appreciating in value, believing they could keep using it like an ATM machine ad infinitum. Now they are facing default, unemployment and homelessness; they are angry and frightened. While their frustrations are real and justified, the so called spontaneity of the Tea Party movement is not. Yes people are upset but like me many of them received E-mails and letters from Dick Armey and Freedomworks urging them to attend town meetings, rallies and demonstrations against Obama’s Healthcare Bill and other domestic policy issues. Armey and the Republican Party recruited Glen Beck and Sarah Palin to be their celebrity spokespersons and Fox News a bastion of fascist propaganda anyway, readily jumped on board to support the movement. Don’t be mad at the Tea Baggers, they are being duped and used by the right wingers for their agenda.
The left-right divide is used by the ruling elites to cunningly keep the masses duped, distracted, disorganized and discombobulated. This way the people won’t come together to figure out how the banksters, military industrial complex war mongers, the multi-national corporations their political puppets and stooges are ripping us off. Both sides of the political aisle are bought and paid for. It’s not just the Tea Party, it’s the left too. Don’t you ever wonder who funds the NAACP or how Al Shaprton flies all over the country to attend “grass roots” rallies? If you want to see who is funding most of the organizations on both the left and right go to www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=338 which is a right wing Website by the way; and peruse their Funding The Left and Right page. Click on the various spreadsheets they provide and look at the names of the foundations putting out money to fund supposedly grass roots movements.
I have nothing against philanthropy but when money is used as a means for clandestine political manipulation that’s a different story. The ruling elites have mastered funding both sides in a dispute, that way no matter who wins, they come out on top and the “winners” owe them. They do it in political campaigns and war. Don’t fall for the okey-doke and flim-flam. The Tea Party is being used by right wingers to further their own agenda, just like some so called progressive organizations are funded by the left to promote their agenda.