FreedomWorks was created in 2004 as a merger between Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Empower America. While CSE was founded by the Koch brothers in 1984 as special interest group promoting deregulation and was originally affiliated with Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation (CSEF), Koch do not appear active in FreedomWorks itself. Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation (CSEF) later split off to become Americans for Prosperity. FreedomWorks’s 2013 tax forms list Citizens for a Sound Economy as “Dormant,” with FreedomWorks retaining 100% ownership of the organization.1FreedomWorks. (2013) Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (OMB No 154500047). Retrieved from Scribd. 

According to their website, FreedomWorks was founded as Citizens for a Sound Economy in 1984 to “fight for liberty” and since then expanded “from a free-market think tank to a service center for the grassroots freedom movement across the whole country.”2About FreedomWorks,” FreedomWorks. Archived August 21, 2015. 

Past FreedomWorks leadership has included former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey who served as chairman, and Matt Kibbe as President.3About FreedomWorks: Board of Directors,” FreedomWorks. Archived January 5, 2011. 

FreedomWorks is “one of the main political outfits of the conservative movement and an instrumental force within the tea party,” according to a 2012 article in Mother Jones.4David Corn and Andy Kroll. “Exclusive: Dick Armey Quits Tea Party Group in Split Over Direction (UPDATED),” Mother Jones, December 3, 2012. Archived August 21, 2015. In 2009, the investigative magazine also rated FreedomWorks as one of their ”Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial.”5Josh Harkinson. “The Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial: No. 9: Freedomworks,” Mother Jones, December 4, 2009. Archived August 21, 2015. 

FreedomWorks has portrayed itself as a “grassroots” organization that fights for small government and lower taxes. FreedomWorks “recruits, educates, trains and mobilizes millions of volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes, and more freedom.” In addition to the training, rallies, and other events it organizes, FreedomWorks’ website allows people to “take action” on a variety of conservative priorities by signing online petitions and contacting their member of Congress.6About FreedomWorks,” FreedomWorks website. Archived October 4, 2012.

In 2009 and 2010, FreedomWorks had a key role in promoting the Tea Party by training activists, leading rallies and promoting candidates. According to IRS filings (PDF), FreedomWorks spent $5.7 million of the $9 million it raised in 2010 on program expenses, with just under $600,000 going to “grassroots mobilization” and the larger portions spent on public affairs including media outreach and advertising, and on “research, education and advocacy on federal and state issues and policies.”7The Tea Party Movement: Who’s In Charge?”, The Atlantic, April 13, 2009. 8Kate Zernike. “Shaping Tea Party Passion Into Campaign Force,” The New York Times, August 25, 2010.

Stance on Climate Change

While FreedomWorks does not have an official statement on climate change, they regularly publish articles on their website questioning the existence of man-made climate change. 

For example, an article in the FreedomWorks blog reads “as the data show, the planet hasn’t warmed since about 1998 and has cooled since 2002.  Sea levels are barely rising…to the tiny extent they are rising, it is much slower than in prior history. Also, ‘hurricane intensity is at its lowest since satellite monitoring began’ and there is no evidence that droughts have been getting worse.  In fact, in recent years, the planet has been getter greener, not dryer.”9GLOBAL WARMING: IF YOU DON’T HAVE GOOD SCIENCE, LOSE THE SCIENCE YOU HAVE,” FreedomWorks (blog), September 29, 2009. Archived November 5, 2009.

Stephen Kruiswer writes on the FreedomWorks blog: “Much of what has passed for established climate science in the past couple of decades has actually been based on projections and computer models, not on any empirically obtained data. In fact, it’s been almost anti-science, with presumptions being treated as fact before being proven.”10Stephen Kruiser. “Unsettling The Settled Climate Science,” FreedomWorks (blog), September 23, 2013. Archived August 21, 2015.

The closely-related Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) claim that climate scientists are skeptical of global warming. “In the end, it’s the opinion of climatologists that matter in the global warming debate, and the polls clearly show that the experts are skeptical,” said CSE President Paul Beckner.11No Consensus View on Climate Change Science: AGU Statement on Global Warming Disputed,” Freedomworks, February 1, 1999. Archived August 21, 2015.  This statement contradicts the 97% consensus reported by NASA and 18 scientific associations.12Scientific consensus: Earth’s climate is warming,” 


FreedomWorks for America PAC

The below data is compiled from data compiled by the Conservative Transparency Project and publicly available 990 forms. Note that not all individual valus have been verified by DeSmog. 13FreedomWorks,” Conservative Transparency. April 27, 2018. 14FreedomWorks Foundation,” Conservative Transparency. April 27, 2018. 15FreedomWorks” (search results), Conservative Transparency. Data retrieved July 5, 2016.

View the attached spreadsheet for additional information on FreedomWorks, FreedomWorks Foundation, and FreedomWorks for America PAC funding by year (.xlsx)

Note: In 2011, FreedomWorks set up a PAC titled FreedomWorks for America which shared an office with the existing FreedomWorks 501(c)(4), FreedomWorks Foundation 501(c)(3), and FreedomWorks political action committee.  

FreedomWorks is the single largest donor for their PAC, which allows them to flow millions of dollars from undisclosed donors to a group with few electioneering restrictions. has also compiled expenditures for FreedomWorks for America (PAC, committee ID C00353227). Original reports are available at the Federal Election Committee.16FreedomWorks,” Profile at Accessed August, 2015. 

Donor & YearFreedomWorksFreedomWorks for AmericaFreedomWorks FoundationCSE/FoundationGrand Total
David H. Koch Charitable Foundation   $6,206,853$6,206,853
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation   $5,700,375$5,700,375
Sarah Scaife Foundation  $2,310,000$1,100,000$3,410,000
DonorsTrust  $3,397,413 $3,397,413
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation$100,000 $940,000 $1,040,000
Dunn’s Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking  $1,032,000 $1,032,000
DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative$100,000 $755,000 $855,000
John Templeton Foundation  $816,589 $816,589
Donors Capital Fund  $684,000 $684,000
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation   $674,484$674,484
The Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation   $420,000$420,000
Searle Freedom Trust  $420,000 $420,000
ExxonMobil   $350,250$350,250
John M Olin Foundation   $270,000$270,000
Armstrong Foundation$30,000 $220,000 $250,000
JP Humphreys Foundation   $250,000$250,000
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation$193,063 $20,000$30,000$243,063
Jewish Communal Fund  $195,536 $195,536
Diana Davis Spencer Foundation  $190,000 $190,000
JM Foundation$141,500  $40,000$181,500
Philip M. McKenna Foundation  $80,000$68,000$148,000
American Petroleum Institute$130,000   $130,000
FM Kirby Foundation   $122,500$122,500
Anschutz Foundation  $80,000$22,500$102,500
Thomas W Smith Foundation  $100,000 $100,000
Foster Friess $100,000  $100,000
The Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation  $75,000$22,000$97,000
Chase Foundation of Virginia$90,000  $5,000$95,000
The Challenge Foundation  $80,000 $80,000
Stiles-Nicholson Foundation$75,000  $2,500$77,500
Castle Rock Foundation  $25,000$40,000$65,000
The Rodney Fund$5,000 $59,000 $64,000
Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation  $50,000 $50,000
Jaquelin Hume Foundation   $50,000$50,000
Newton D. & Rochelle F. Becker Foundation  $50,000 $50,000
National Christian Charitable Foundation  $45,200 $45,200
Padden Family Foundation   $45,000$45,000
Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust  $45,000 $45,000
Adolph Coors Foundation  $40,000 $40,000
Earhart Foundation   $35,000$35,000
Reams Foundation  $25,000 $25,000
Allied Education Foundation$25,000   $25,000
Robert P. Rotella Foundation$5,000 $20,000 $25,000
The Rauner Family Foundation  $25,000 $25,000
Lowndes Foundation  $23,500 $23,500
Wodecroft Foundation  $23,000 $23,000
National Philanthropic Trust  $21,000 $21,000
Deramus Foundation  $20,000 $20,000
The Randolph Foundation  $20,000 $20,000
Eric Javits Family Foundation  $16,500 $16,500
Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation  $15,000 $15,000
Whitehead Foundation   $13,500$13,500
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation   $10,000$10,000$10,000   $10,000
The McWethy Foundation$9,000   $9,000
The Weiler Foundation  $5,000 $5,000
Dodge Jones Foundation  $5,000 $5,000
Kickapoo Springs Foundation  $5,000 $5,000
Charles and Anne Johnson Foundation  $4,000 $4,000
The Roe Foundation$4,000   $4,000
Tepper Family Foundation$2,200 $500 $2,700
Arthur N. Rupe Foundation$2,000   $2,000
Achelis Foundation  $1,000 $1,000
Leadership Institute$500   $500
Bodman Foundation   $500$500
Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation   $200$200
Grand Total$922,263$100,000$11,939,238$15,478,662$28,440,163

FreedomWorks as Donor

RecipientFreedomWorksFreedomWorks FoundationGrand Total
FreedomWorks Foundation$900,000 $900,000
Ground Floor $128,000$128,000
Advance America $70,000$70,000
Indiana Right to Life$30,000$20,000$50,000
United States Justice Foundation $5,000$5,000
Grand Total$930,000$223,000$1,153,000

Murray Energy Funding

Murray Energy bankruptcy filings in 2019 revealed FreedomWorks received $50,000 from the energy company owned by climate change denier Robert Murray.17Lee Fang. “COAL GIANT PROVIDED SECRET FINANCING TO GROUP CHALLENGING CLIMATE LAWSUITS,”The Intercept, December 17, 2019. URL: The filings revealed a wide range of creditors with deep ties to climate change denial including the Heartland Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Government Accountability and Oversight, and the International Climate Science Coalition. Robert Murray was known for being a major Trump donor, and giving officials a wish list of proposed actions to help the coal industry. See related reporting from The InterceptEnergy and Environment News, and The New York Times.18Scott Waldman. “Murray Energy a major funder of climate denial groups,” E&E News, December 17, 2019. Archived December 20, 2019. URL: 19Lisa Friedman. “A Coal Baron Funded Climate Denial as His Company Spiraled Into Bankruptcy,” The New York Times, December 17, 2019. Archived December 20, 2019. URL:

Other groups funded by Murray Energy included the Cato Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and Judicial Watch. As The New York Times noted, Murray continued to fund climate change denial even as his company was going bankrupt. 

Tobacco Industry Funding

According to The Guardian, FreedomWorks has also received money from the tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris.20Republicans steal Barack Obama’s internet campaigning tricks,” The Guardian, September 18, 2009. Archived August 22, 2015. 

Other Funding and Expenditures

DeSmogBlog reported that in October 2012, FreedomWorks accepted a $5.7 million donation from a single donor—a Knoxville, Tennessee company that proved difficult to trace.21Anne Landman. “FreedomWorks Continues Dick Armey’s Defense of Big Tobacco,” DeSmogBlog, January 25, 2013.  Some of that money went to purchase $1.5 million worth of TV ads attacking Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who was running as a Democrat for an Illinois House seat.22Keenan Steiner. “FreedomWorks makes rare TV buy against Duckworth,” Sunlight Foundation, October 26, 2012. Archived August 22, 2015.

It was later revealed that FreedomWorks had paid Glenn Beck $1 million and Rush Limbaugh over $400,000 to speak favourably of FreedomWorks on their radio talk shows, ostensibly as a way to help the group raise more money.23Anne Landman. “FreedomWorks Continues Dick Armey’s Defense of Big Tobacco,” DeSmogBlog, January 25, 2013. 

CSE/Freedomworks Koch Funding

According to data collected by Greenpeace USA, the Citizens for a Sound Economy/Freedomworks has received $6,510,375 in combined donations from Koch-related foundations between 1997 and 2002.24Citizens for a Sound Economy (disbanded – now FreedomWorks): Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace USA. Archived March 14, 2017. URL:

*Original tax forms prior to 1997 are no longer available for verification. If you include these values, the grand total jumps to $12,331,712 in Koch funding from 1986 to 2002.25Citizens for a Sound Economy (disbanded – now FreedomWorks): Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group,” Greenpeace USA. Archived March 14, 2017. URL:

YearCharles Koch FoundationClaude R. Lambe Charitable FoundationDavid H. Koch Charitable FoundationGrand Total
*1986 $340,000$455,000$795,000
*1987 $300,000$500,000$800,000
*1988 $300,000$625,000$925,000
*1989$200,000 $776,853$976,853
*1990 $200,000 $200,000
*1991 $300,000 $300,000
*1992 $150,000 $150,000
*1993 $150,000 $150,000
*1995$24,484 $600,000$624,484
*1996 $400,000$500,000$900,000
1997 $645,375$750,000$1,395,375
1998 $665,000 $665,000
1999 $600,000$1,000,000$1,600,000
2000 $700,000$750,000$1,450,000
2001$450,000$250,000 $700,000
2002 $700,000 $700,000
Grand Total$674,484$5,700,375$5,956,853$12,331,712

FreedomWorks 990 Forms

FreedomWorks Foundation 990 Forms

Key People

Board of Directors

As of August, 2015, the following Board Members were listed on the FreedomWorks website:26FreedomWorks Board,” Archived August 21, 2015.

FreedomWorks Board

  • Robert T.E. Lansing — Chairman, FreedomWorks
  • Mary E. Albaugh — Vice-Chairman, FreedomWorks
  • Adam Brandon — President and CEO, FreedomWorks
  • Ted AbramAmerican Institute for Full Employment
  • Thomas Knudsen — Thomas Publishing Company
  • Frank M. Sands, Sr. — Sands Capital Management
  • Richard J Stephenson — Cancer Treatment Centers of America

FreedomWorks Foundation Board

Board of Directors (2012)

As of October, 2012, FreedomWorks and FreedomWorks Foundation Board Members included the following:27FreedomWorks Board,” Archived October 10, 2012.

FreedomWorks Board

  • Dick Armey — Chairman.
  • James G. Burnley
  • Matt Kibbe — President and CEO.
  • Thomas Knudsen
  • Richard J. Stephenson
  • Bill Jaeger (Emeritus)

FreedomWorks Foundation Board

  • Dick Armey — Co-Chairman
  • Ted Abram
  • Steve Forbes — Vice-Chairman
  • C. Boyden Gray — Co-Chairman
  • Matt Kibbe
  • Robert T.E. Lansing
  • Frank M. Sands, Sr.

Dick Armey’s Departure

In a December, 3, 2012 article in Mother Jones magazine, Dick Armey announced he was departing FreedomWorks, and that as part of the separation Armey had demanded the group stop using his name and likeness on its promotional materials.28David Corn and Andy Kroll. “Exclusive: Dick Armey Quits Tea Party Group in Split Over Direction (UPDATED),” Mother Jones, December 3, 2012. Archived August 22, 2015. 

It was later revealed that Armey was offered an $8 million “consulting” deal ($400,000 a year for the next 20 years) to leave the organization. The donor who supplied the $8 million was Richard J. Stephenson, a FreedomWorks board member and founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, who had been an ally of FreedomWorks president – and Armey’s rival – tea partier Matt Kibbe, who had quietly been battling Armey for control of FreedomWorks.29David Corn. “The “Smoking Gun” Memo That Triggered the FreedomWorks Feud,” Mother Jones, January 7, 2013. 

In a December 13, 2012 article in Nonprofit Quarterly, Armey initially maintained that he left FreedomWorks because he disliked the increasing lack of transparency involved in the donations the group was taking in from businesses.30Rick Cohen. “Go Armey! Former Tea Party Leader Decries Campaign Donor Secrecy,” Nonprofit Quarterly, December 13, 2012. Archived August 22, 2015.

In a tell-all interview with Media Matters after he split with FreedomWorks, Armey told how he had become increasingly alienated from the group. According to Armey, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe had conducted activities behind Armey’s back and had started withholding key information from him about the group and its operations, including information about the payments made to Beck and Limbaugh for promoting FreedomWorks on the radio.31Joe Strupp. “EXCLUSIVE: Dick Armey Dishes On FreedomWorks’ Deals With Beck & Limbaugh,” Media Matters, January 4, 2013. Archived August 22, 2015.  


April 6, 2020

FreedomWorks, represented by Adam Brandon, was signatory to an American Energy Alliance letter to President Donald Trump supporting the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule which would scrap federal fuel economy mandates under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. 32CAFE-Coaliton-to-Trump-April-2020-9 (PDF)American Energy Alliance.

Describing CAFE, the letter contends: “Those families and individuals who prefer or need trucks, SUVs, and crossovers pay more to subsidize those who buy smaller vehicles or electric vehicles under the existing mandate. This significant, needless, and unjust cost is a very real regressive tax on American families that has made our country worse off.”33CAFE-Coaliton-to-Trump-April-2020-9 (PDF)American Energy Alliance.

March 23, 2020

As reported at DeSmog, Life:Powered sent a letter to Congress critical of the COVID-19 stimulus package for including “tax incentives and spending for unreliable ‘green’ energy
programs.”34Dana Drugmand. “Under Cover of Pandemic, Fossil Fuel Interests Unleash Lobbying Frenzy,” DeSmog, April 2, 2020. 35Coronavirus Stimulus Letter, Life:Powered, March 23, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The letter, to which Freedomworks is a signatory, concludes:36Coronavirus Stimulus Letter, Life:Powered, March 23, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“This is no time for political games. Climate change is not an immediate threat to humanity. Climate-related deaths have declined 98.9% in the last century, and humanity is growing more and more resilient thanks to the availability of affordable, reliable energy. On behalf of all Americans, we urge you to oppose any stimulus proposals that carve out special treatment for or bail out any energy companies and focus instead on stopping COVID-19.”

The full list of signatories is below:37Coronavirus Stimulus Letter, Life:Powered, March 23, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Jason IsaacSenior Manager & Distinguished FellowLife:Powered/Texas Public Policy Foundation
Myron EbellDirector, Center for Energy and EnvironmentCompetitive Enterprise Institute
Bette GrandeCEORoughrider Policy Center
Ellen WeaverPresident & CEOPalmetto Promise Institute
Isaac OrrPolicy FellowCenter of the American Experiment
Bethany MarcumExecutive DirectorAlaska Policy Forum
David T. StevensonDirector, Center for Energy and EnvironmentCaesar Rodney Institute
Donald van der VaartSenior FellowJohn Locke Foundation
Jason HayesDirector of Environmental PolicyMackinac Center for Public Policy
John Droz, Jr.FounderAlliance for Wise Energy Decisions
George K. Rasley, Jr.Managing
Becky Norton DunlopFormer Secretary of Natural ResourcesCommonwealth of Virginia
James L. MartinFounder/Chairman60 Plus Association
Saulius “Saul” AnuzisPresident60 Plus Association
Ken BlackwellSenior FellowFamily Research Council
Eunie SmithPresidentEagle Forum
Jenny Beth MartinHonorary ChairmanTea Party Patriots Action
Jon CaldaraPresidentIndependence Institute
L. Brent Bozell, IIIFounder and PresidentMedia Research Center
Jason PyeVice President of Legislative AffairsFreedomWorks
Jameson TaylorVice President for PolicyMississippi Center for Public Policy
Carol Platt LiebauPresidentYankee Institute
Mike StenhouseCEORhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Daniel ErspamerCEOPelican Institute for Public Policy
Christian N. BraunlichPresidentThomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy
Todd MyersEnvironmental DirectorWashington Policy Center

May 9, 2019

FreedomWorks, represented by Jason Pye, signed on to an open letter organized by the American Energy Alliance designed to fight against an electric vehicle tax credit.38Dear Senator Grassley, Senator Wyden, Representative Neal and Representative Brady:” May 9, 2019. Retrieved from The Daily Caller.

“The American Energy Alliance has organized a coalition to proclaim in one unified voice that there should be no expansion of the misguided electric vehicle tax credit,” Thomas Pyle wrote in a statement, quoted at The Daily Caller. There is no question that the electric vehicle tax credit distorts the auto market to no gain.”39Christ White. “CONSERVATIVES WARN LAWMAKERS: TESLA’S TAX CREDITS ‘OVERWHELMINGLY BENEFIT THE RICH’,”The Daily Caller, May 9, 2019. Archived May 9, 2019. URL:

According to Pyle and others who signed the letter, electric vehicle tax credits “overwhelmingly benefit the rich.” DeSmog’s Koch vs. Clean project has systematically debunked this, among other well-rehearsed talking points and misinformation put forward by industry about electric vehicles.40Christ White. “CONSERVATIVES WARN LAWMAKERS: TESLA’S TAX CREDITS ‘OVERWHELMINGLY BENEFIT THE RICH’,”The Daily Caller, May 9, 2019. Archived May 9, 2019. URL:

The letter cites research by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a group that has received over $600,000 from ExxonMobil and millions from “dark money” groups DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund

July 18, 2018

FreedomWorks, represented by Jason Pye, was among signatories of a letter supporting an anti-carbon tax resolution from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.4141 Conservative Groups Support Scalise/McKinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution,” Americans for Tax Reform, July 18, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog

“We oppose any carbon tax. We oppose a carbon tax because it would lead to less income and fewer jobs for American families,” the letter read. “We support the House Concurrent Resolution in opposition to a job-killing carbon tax and urge members to co-sponsor and support this effort.”4241 Conservative Groups Support Scalise/McKinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution,” Americans for Tax Reform, July 18, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog

The resolution would call a carbon tax “detrimental to the United States economy.”E&E News reported it was similar to a measure that passed the House in 2016. Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, co-chairman of the Climate Solutions Caucus, said he would not vote for the resolution.43Nick Sobczyk. “House voting on anti-carbon-tax measure: ‘Pass the popcorn’,” E&E News, July 16, 2018. Archived Aug 2, 2018. URL:

“Protecting our environment and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” he said in a statement. “The resolution presents a false choice.”

The Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) issued a point-by-point rebuttal of the measure when it was first introduced.44Teaching opportunities from House Concurrent Resolution 119 (H.Con.Res.119)” (PDF), Citizens’ Climate Lobby, April 30, 2018.

April 2018

The Washington Examiner reported FreedomWorks was behind an effort to defend EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt amidst his wide range of ethics controversies. FreedomWorks tweeted under the hashtag “#StandWithScottPruitt”:45FreedomWorks launches effort to save EPA’s Scott Pruitt,” Washington Examiner, April 6, 2018. Archived April 19, 2018. URL:

“Scott Pruitt has worked hard to return the EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment as directed by Congress; instead of the rogue assault on the rule of law, freedom, and the economy that we saw in the prior administration,” said Freedomworks President Adam Brandon.

February 12, 2018

FreedomWorks was one of several organizations to join Americans for Prosperity (AfP) in a coalition opposing a federal gas tax increase.46Americans For Prosperity Leads Coalition Against Gas Tax Hike,” Americans for Prosperity, February 12, 2018. Archived February 20, 2018. URL:

“Raising the gas tax is a bad idea. It will make the burden of government on families and businesses heavier,” the coalition’s open letter read.47Americans For Prosperity Leads Coalition Against Gas Tax Hike,” Americans for Prosperity, February 12, 2018. Archived February 20, 2018. URL:

Signatories include:48“Dear Representative:” (PDF), Americans for Prosperity, February 12, 2018.

Brent Wm. GardnerChief Government Affairs OfficerAmer
Michael A. NeedhamCEOHeritage Action for America
Grover NorquistPresidentAmericans for Tax Reform
David McIntoshPresidentClub for Growth
Nathan NascimentoExecutive Vice PresidentFreedom Partners Chamber of Commerce
Mark ScribnerSenior FellowCompetitive Enterprise Institute
Jason PyeVice President of Legislative AffairsFreedomWorks
Tom SchatzPresidentCitizens Against Government Waste
Pete SeppPresidentNational Taxpayers Union
Phil KerpenPresidentAmerican Commitment
Mario H. LopezPresidentHispanic Leadership Fund
Daniel GarzaPresidentThe Libre Initiative
Carrie L. LukasPresidentIndependent Women’s Forum
Heather R. HigginsPresident and CEOIndependent Women’s Voice
Harry C. AlfordPresident and CEONational Black Chamber of Commerce
Jeffrey MazellaPresidentCenter for Individual Freedom
Donald BrysonPresidentCivitas Action
David BarnesPolicy DirectorGeneration Opportunity
Norm SingletonPresidentCampaign for Liberty
Judson PhillipsFounderTea Party Nation
Seton MotleyPresidentLess Government
Kim Crockett, Esq.Vice President, Senior Fellow and General CounselCenter of the American Experiment
Tom Brinkman, Jr.ChairmanCoalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST)
Matthew KandrachPresidentConsumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE)
Katie McAulliffeExecutive DirectorDigital Liberty
Brett HealyPresidentJohn K. MacIver Institute
Sean NoblePresidentAmerican Encore
Annette MeeksCEOFreedom Foundation of Minnesota
Andrew F. QuinlanPresidentCenter for Freedom and Prosperity

January 12, 2017

President Adam Brandon was a signatory to a January 12, 2017 official letter of support (PDF) for Scott Pruitt, in which numerous groups, including The Heartland InstituteAmerican Energy Alliance (AEA), and others, declared that the Senate should “swiftly approve his nomination” for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 Other signatories of the letter included:49“Dear Senators,” (PDF)Competitive Enterprise Institute, January 12, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

February 22–25, 2017

FreedomWorks was a Contributing Sponsor of the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), among a range of other conservative and pro-industry groups.50CPAC 2017 Sponsors,” Archived March 6, 2017. URL:

October 8, 2015

FreedomWorks supported bill H.R. 702, introduced by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) which included lifting the ban on exporting American crude oil. 

“Please contact your representative and ask that they support lifting the ban on crude oil exports, while demanding that the cost savings not be passed on to special interest lobbies and Big Labor,” FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon wrote.51FreedomWorks Supports Lifting the Oil Export Ban without Handouts,” FreedomWorks, October 8, 2015. Archived October 12, 2015. WebCite URL:

September 11, 2015

Freedomworks CEO, Adam Brandon, encouraged people to urge their local representative to “support and co-sponsor H.Res. 417 to bring Gina McCarthy to task for violating the trust of the American people.”

House Resolution 417 was brought forward by Rep. Gosar, Paul A. (R-AZ-4), and seeks to impeach EPA Administrator Regina McCarthy for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and accuses her of perjury52.Adam Brandon. “Tell Your Representative: Support Rep. Gosar’s Resolution to Impeach EPA Director Gina McCarthy,” FreedomWorks, September 11, 2015. Archived October 12, 2015. Archive URL:

An EPA spokeswoman, in response, said Gosar’s resolution “has zero merit and is nothing more than political theater.” She added that “Protecting public health and the environment for all Americans should not be a political issue.”53GOP lawmaker moves to impeach EPA chief McCarthy,”, September 15, 2015. Archived October 12, 2015. Archive URL:

April 16, 2015

FreedomWorks launched a new political action committee (PAC), suggesting it “intends to be a major player backing Tea Party-aligned candidates in the 2016 cycle,” reports The Hill.54Jonathan Easley. “FreedomWorks launches PAC ahead of 2016,” The Hill, April 16, 2015. Archived August 22, 2015.

The PAC will provide resources to the Senate and House candidates it believes are “true defenders of freedom and are committed to the core FreedomWorks principles of limited government and more freedom,” FreedomWorks said in a statement.

October 10, 2014

FreedomWorks’s outreach coordinator, Deneel Borelli, told The Daily Caller that the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan is “the green movement’s new Jim Crow law.” Borelli said, “These harmful regulations are going to drive blacks into government dependency. By harming the fossil fuel industry, you’re harming hard-working Americans.”

Borelli also discounts benefits to shutting coal-fired power plants:

“I see them as selling out black Americans,” Borelli said. “These are the elites, they can afford energy at any cost. They are harming those who can’t afford to pay for energy at any price.”55Michael Bastasch. “Report: EPA’s Clean Power Plan To Hit African-American Families Hardest,” The Daily Caller, October 7, 2014. Archived August 22, 2015. 

July, 2012

FreedomWorks released a report titled “Free Markets, or Government Knows Best?” by Wesley Coopersmith which suggested that taxpayer-funded energy subsidies and loans to renewable energy companies are a waste of of resources, while non-renewable energy is a smarter investment. It purported to break down the amount of money that the federal government has allocated to renewable energy projects, per the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and compared the amount of money given to the number of permanent jobs created by each company.56Free Markets, or Government Knows Best?” FreedomWorks. Archived August 22, 2015.

Coopersmith said:

“Under the 1705 loan program, taking up half of the funding form the Loan Guarantee Program, 2,378 permanent jobs were claimed to be created. If you do the math right, this works out to costing the taxpayer $6.7 million per job created. I don’t know about you, but if it takes the government $6.7 million to create one permanent job, something is wrong.

“The combined amount of money given to alternative energy companies, through the 1705 and 1703 Loan Programs, totals around $19.2 billion. According to the US DOE, 3,498 jobs have been or will be created because of these loans. This comes out to almost $5.5 million in cost per one permanent job created.

“Unfortunately, these projected permanent jobs created are an overestimation, if you take away the jobs lost due to six of these companies going bankrupt. Solar Millennium Inc., LSP Energy LP, Ener1 Inc., Beacon Power Corp, Abound Solar, and Solyndra LLC combined have received over $3.5 billion from the Logan Program yet have produced zero jobs and hurt the fragile U.S. economy.”

DeSmogBlog reports how “The problem with Coopersmith’s analysis is that he omitted several important numbers in his calculations. For example, he only lists the permanent jobs created by each company, failing to add in the number of construction jobs that would be created by each project. He also used the total amount of money that had been allocated to each company, not the amount that had actually been paid.”57Farron Cousins. “FreedomWorks Fails Basic Math And Economics To Smear Renewable Energy Investments,” DeSmog, July 6, 2012. 

May, 2012

FreedomWorks launched a new website and advertising campaign suggesting that the Obama administration and the EPA are attempting to destroy American jobs. Their website, “” supports the stance of climate change skeptic Senator James Inhofe who has created a “resolution of disapproval” in attempt to overturn the EPA’s Utility MACT Rule which would reduce the emissions of mercury and other toxins from coal power plants.

The downloaded materials section summarizes FreedomWorks’ stance on the EPA with a number of talking points:

 1. New taxes that will impact thousands of businesses—large and small…By increasing complicated regulatory standards, the EPA is hitting American businesses with a brand new tax. Facilities ranging from factories to churches that can’t afford to upgrade their equipment would be forced to close!

2. Massive new regulatory taxes on electricity…Expensive new standards targeting coal fired power plants—the source of most of the nation’s electricity—would raise costs for consumers and businesses. Billions in new costs would be passed on to energy consumers and the energy security of millions of Americans would be put in serious jeopardy!

3. Costly new regulations on cement plants…Our nation’s cement plants are perhaps in the most precarious position due to the EPA’s aggressive new regulatory agenda. A recent Southern Methodist University study estimated in excess of 15% of plants would be forced to close, costing thousands of jobs, raising costs, and dramatically hurting investments in U.S. infrastructure.

4. New restrictions effecting common household products and materials…The EPA wants to re-define coal ash as a hazardous material. In doing so, they will eliminate the use of this product in the making of many things we rely on including building materials like cement and drywall – in turn, driving up the cost of these products!

5. New regulations on emissions that would force many communities to impose costly new restrictions on consumers and small businesses…New ozone standards would put many out of reach, triggering extensive new regulations that would have sweeping and devastating new economic consequences affecting virtually all consumers and businesses, with new standards for everything from car tailpipes to factory smokestacks—and everything in between.

DeSmogBlog noted that “these points provide no specific examples, no sources, and no links to help illustrate or back up their points. And there’s a reason for that – these talking points can’t be backed up.”58Farron Cousins. “FreedomWorks Creates Error-Filled Site To Accuse EPA Of ‘Killing Jobs’,” DeSmog, May 15, 2012.


FreedomWorks was a vocal opponent of proposals by U.S. President Barack Obama including the reformation of the U.S. healthcare system, the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill to address global warming, and of state proposals to raise taxes.

Their website featured a “take action” page looking to recruit grassroots volunteers to “Fight the Left,” and also offered options for volunteers to contact congress to oppose tax increases on everything from internet gambling to cigarette taxes.59TAKE ACTION,” Archived February 4, 2009.

September 2009

FreedomWorks supported the Contract from America initiative, launched on September 1, 2009, which has opposed Cap and Trade legislation.

According to the Contract from America website:

“Adam Brandon, Max Pappas, and Tabitha Hale of FreedomWorks have been instrumental in helping organize and unite a broad-based coalition of grassroots organizations, new media outlets, and public policy experts behind the Contract from America, as have Adam Radman with Americans for Tax Reform, Andrew Moylan with National Taxpayers’ Union, Ginni Thomas with Liberty Central, Adam Waldeck with American Solutions, and Lori Roman with Regular Folks United.”60About Us,” Contract from America. Archived August 22, 2015.

August 2009

FreedomWorks was responsible for organizing the original “Tea Party protests” in April of 2009. While the later anti-healthcare, anti-government, anti-tax tea party rallies that occurred in April of 2009 were supposedly orchestrated by the group named the Tea Party Patriots (TPP), internal TPP correspondence revealed that FreedomWorks was directing this group’s activities as well.61Tim Dickinson. “The Lie Machine,” Rolling Stone, September 23, 2009. Archived Oct 10, 2009.

TPP described its mission as to “restore America’s founding principles of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.” According to their website, the TPP are “100% grassroots, 100% of the time.”62About Tea Party Patriots,” Archived October 20, 2012.

ThinkProgress summarized some of the ways that FreedomWorks influences the Tea Party Movement:63Lee Fang. “Spontaneous Uprising? Corporate Lobbyists Helping To Orchestrate Radical Anti-Obama Tea Party Protests,” ThinkProgress, April 9, 2009. Archived August 22, 2015.

  • Freedom Works staffers coordinate conference calls among protesters, contacting conservative activists to give them “sign ideas, sample press releases, and a map of events around the country.”
  • Freedom Works staffers apparently moved to “take over” the planning of local events in Florida.
  • Freedom Works provides how-to guides for delivering a “clear message” to the public and media.
  • Freedom Works has several domain addresses — some of them made to look like they were set up by amateurs — to promote the protests.
  • Americans for Prosperity is writing press releases and planning the events in New Jersey, Arizona, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, and several other states.

May 2008 

Dick Armey and FreedomWorks were revealed as being behind a website called The Wall Street Journal described as looking “a bit like a digital ransom note, with irregular fonts, exclamation points and big red arrows.”64Michael M. Phillips. “Mortgage Bailout Infuriates Tenants (And Steve Forbes),” The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2008. Archived August 22, 2015. 

The site claimed to represent “millions of renters standing up for our rights!” and visitors were led to sign an anti-bailout petition. According to the Wall Street Journal, the site was “designed to look underdoggy and grass-rootsy, with a heavy dose of aw-shucks innocence.” failed to disclose was that it was created not by an actual group of “angry renters,” but by Steve Forbes, who worked through FreedomWorks to create it. FreedomWorks put its copyright on the site, but buried it deep on the back pages.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) pointed out that while Armey was portraying himself as a representative of the tenant class, as of May, 2008 he “earned $100,833 a year for four hours a week working for FreedomWorks Inc., the organization’s advocacy arm, and an additional $403,333 for 32 hours a week working for FreedomWorks Foundation, its tax-deductible, educational wing, according to federal tax filings. Mr. Armey also owns a house on 78.5 acres in Denton County, Texas, north of Dallas. In response to a public-information request, local authorities revealed that the land and house are worth a combined $1.7 million.”

WSJ also pointed out that Forbes, the chairman and CEO of Forbes and a FreedomWorks board member, owned a 7,966 square foot house on 9.5 acres in New Jersey, assessed at $2.78 million, and at least a half a dozen other properties nearby, and that Forbes also owned a chateau in France.

July 2006

The Washington Post revealed a scheme in which people signing up for high-deductible health insurance plans were told they could also get get tax-free medical savings accounts if they signed a separate, nondescript application form.65Jonathan Weisman. “With Insurance Policy Comes Membership,” The Washington Post, July 23, 2006.

Applicants later discovered they had been unwittingly tricked into becoming members of Citizens for a Sound Economy to get the low group rate they had been promised. Their insurance certificates failed to disclose the name of CSE, the group to which the application form was linked.

The forced-membership scheme netted CSE/FreedomWorks about 16,000 new members and over $638,000, but led to a class-action lawsuit against the insurance company by people who were tricked into joining CSE as part of their insurance policy application process.

Freedomworks Contact & Location

FreedomWorks Inc.FreedomWorks Foundation, and Citizens for a Sound Economy are all located at the same address, according to publicly-available tax records:66FREEDOMWORKS INC,” GuideStar profile. Accessed August, 2015.  67Freedomworks Foundation,” GuideStar Profile. Accessed August, 2015.

400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 765
Washington, DC 20001

Social Media

Other Resources


Related Profiles

Ken Cuccinelli Credentials J.D., George Mason University School of Law (now Antonin Scalia Law School).“The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli,” FreedomWorks. Archived July 27, 2018. URL: ...
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE) Background Consumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE) is an advocacy group that describes itself as “the nation's foremost non-profit, non-p...
Energy Equality Coalition (EEC) Related Profiles Energy Equality Coalition at Background The Energy Equality Coalition (EEC) was launched in December ...
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Background Americans for Prosperity was founded by David Koch and Richard Fink in 2003 out of the remains of Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE). Like...