FreedomWorks and FreedomWorks Foundation recruit, educate, train and mobilize millions of volunteer activists to fight for lower taxes, less government and more freedom.
Vol 2 l Iss 2 l SPRING 2012
The Quarterly Newsletter of the FreedomWorks Community
On The Cover
FreedomWorks Leads Fight to End ObamaCare in 2012
“The law, which creates 159 new agencies and grants the HHS Secretary 1,968 new powers and authorities, will force every American to purchase government-controlled health care…” • 1
Educate & Promote FreedomWorks Foundation Shares an Inspiring Documentary • 3
Taking Action We Increase the Pressure for School Choice in South Carolina • 4
Introducing the Tea Party Budget See What We Cut and What You Save • 8
Meet Adam Puff What Freedom Means to Him • 11
On March 23rd, progressives across America celebrated the two year anniversary of ObamaCare and FreedomWorks activists recommitted themselves in our national effort to repeal this radical law. We’re now waging the battle for patient-centered health care on all fronts: in Congress, in the Supreme Court, and in state battles across the country. This is a must-win battle for the future of freedom. Here’s a report from the front lines on our national campaign to End ObamaCare Now.
Two Years Ago It was two years ago this March that Congress passed the 2,801-page health care “reform” bill by the slimmest of margins, after a grueling debate. The law, which creates 159 new agencies and grants the HHS Secretary 1,968 new powers and authorities, will force every American to purchase governmentcontrolled health care and creates new tools for bureaucrats to deny medical care to the elderly and disabled. The tumultuous year before passage was marked by parliamentary shenanigans, angry town hall meetings Obama’s radical health care law turned flooded by FreedomWorks members, and corruption two in March, galvanizing conservatives (remember all those infamous earmarks, like the to push harder for repeal. “Louisiana Purchase” and the “Cornhusker Kickback?”). And don’t forget the astonishing arrogance: “We need to pass the bill, so you can find out what is in it.” Well, President Obama signed the controversial bill into law two years ago — and sure enough, we are finding out what’s in it! That day, two years ago, the initial phase of the health care war ended — with freedom thrown back on its heels. But a new phase was just beginning, and Freedom has come back, swinging.
A New Hope Election night 2010! The biggest wave election since 1938! Dozens of big-government politicians left unemployed! The Washington establishment, shell-shocked! When the voting was over, Republicans had picked up 6 seats in the Senate and 60 in the House, giving them control of the latter after four years in the political wilderness.
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FreedomWorks Board of Directors
A Letter from the President
The Honorable Dick Armey Chairman, Former House Majority Leader
When I meet with gatherings of FreedomWorks members around the country, one goal for 2012 is always on the front of everyone’s mind: defeating the radical Obama agenda. Of course, it’s imperative that we succeed in this endeavor but how exactly do we do it? It’s not by just saying “no.” It’s not by compromising our principles. And it’s not by staying in our comfort zones. In order to defeat the Obama agenda in 2012, we must continue to offer fiscallyconservative policy alternatives, stand with elected officials who defend our values, and reach new audiences to grow this grassroots movement. That’s exactly what we’ve been up to at FreedomWorks over these last few months. As you may recall from the previous issue of Human Action, our Tea Party Debt Commission has reported its findings and we’ve converted their proposal into the Tea Party Budget. We’ve rallied hundreds of local groups to endorse the Tea Party Budget and have now turned to principled legislators to introduce our recommendations on Capitol Hill. Outside the Beltway, our grassroots team has already traveled to 18 states to train FreedomWorks members and spread our message. A particularly interesting fight is in South Carolina, we are mobilizing activists to support a school choice bill. Don’t forget to check out Campaigns Coordinator David Spielman’s update on this campaign on page 4. We’re also engaging new audiences by hosting two screenings of a powerful documentary about race, politics, and individual liberty entitled Runaway Slave. Projects like Runaway Slave are a critical part of our outreach effort designed to introduce more African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Jewish Americans, and young people to our community. You can read about all of these projects and more within these pages, which never would be possible without your dedicated support. So let me close by saying thank you and welcome again to another issue of Human Action.
The Honorable James H. Burnley Venable LLP Matt Kibbe FreedomWorks Thomas Knudsen Thomas Publishing Company Richard J Stephenson Cancer Treatment Centers of America Mary Albaugh
FreedomWorks Foundation Board of Directors The Honorable Dick Armey Co-Chairman Former House Majority Leader The Honorable C. Boyden Gray Co-Chairman Former Ambassador to the EU Steve Forbes Vice Chairman Forbes, Inc. Matt Kibbe President and CEO FreedomWorks Ted Abram American Institute for Full Employment Robert T.E. Lansing The Westminster Funds Frank M. Sands, Sr. Sands Capital Management
Matt Kibbe, President and CEO
Senior Staff Adam Brandon Vice President, Communications Wayne T. Brough, Ph.D. Chief Economist & Vice President, Research David Kirby Vice President, Development Dean Clancy Legislative Counsel and Vice President, Health Care Policy Max Pappas Vice President, Public Policy Russ Walker National Political Director Brendan Steinhauser Federal and State Campaigns Director Lucas Blanchard Director of Operations
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FreedomWorks Foundation Promotes Powerful Documentary Film victim mentality that hurts the AfricanAmerican community. The theme of Runaway Slave is compelling: while the African-American community has triumphed over the scourge of physical slavery, many still suffer from a Director Pritchett Cotten takes an interview at the FreedomWorks mental slavery — to Foundation sneak peek of the documentary in L.A. government. And Dr. Alveda King, Economist Thomas what emerges from this posit is an Sowell, Florida Congressman Allen authentic and honest discussion of West, Presidential Candidate Herman race in America, a discussion Cain, author Star Parker and talk show Americans need to have together. host David Webb. Attending our sold out Founder of the Frederick Douglass screenings were some of the most Foundation, Timothy Johnson, proprominent African-Americans vides perhaps the most commanding in the conservative movement moment in the film, declaring that he including former presidential sees himself as more than an Africancandidate Herman Cain, talk American: “I am an American.” show host David Webb, political humorist AlfonZo Rachel, and “No matter where you place yourself author Star Parker. on the political spectrum, this film is worth viewing. It offers insights into “There is a 50-year-old lie that Former Presidential candidate Herman Cain poses the last fifty years of the American has caused an entire people to bewith the star of Runaway Slave, C.L. Bryant. experience that are valuable to any come harlots to the political idea citizen,” wrote a film critic after one that government knows what is best,” Movement. Runaway Slave also exposes of the screenings. “The conclusion of declares Bryant in the film. the NAACP as a mouthpiece of the the film is extremely powerful and will Democratic Party, and the NAACP’s Committed to destroying that lie by be moving for anyone who loves the leaders as the ultimate “race hustlers” creating a “new Underground RailUnited States of America.” who perpetuate — and profit — from a road”, Bryant interviews visionaries like As part of our new audience outreach program DiverseTea, FreedomWorks Foundation hosted two screenings of a powerful documentary film about race, politics, and individual liberty entitled Runaway Slave. Held in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., our screenings have helped the film gain valuable media exposure as executive producer Luke Livingston now looks to expand into other venues. The documentary follows Rev. C.L. Bryant as he interviews African-American politicians, holds meetings with community activists, and discovers the unknown history of the Civil Rights
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FreedomWorks Activists Lead Aggressive School Choice Campaign in South Carolina
ince FreedomWorks launched our school choice “ ... word has gotten around the state campaign in South Carolina capitol that FreedomWorks activists are earlier this year, activists have running the most aggressive campaign for worked tirelessly on the ground to school choice in the state’s history.” advance fundamental education reform in the Palmetto State. Our vast grassroots network is currently running a GOTV-style campaign, using FreedomWorks materials and guidance to advocate for school choice in a way never seen before. Historically school choice campaigns are run on the “inside”; using the power of lobbyists to drive the decisions of lawmakers — and these camCampaigns Coordinator David Spielman, Chairman Dick paigns generally fail. What we’re Armey, and Southeast Director Allen Page pose at a school doing in South Carolina is creatchoice rally in Spartanburg, SC. ing pressure from the “outside” and mobilizing our massive grassroots FreedomWorks has hosted education army to advocate as constituents. forums across South Carolina, including Using this strategy, FreedomWorks a packed rally in Spartanburg co-hosted has made it virtually impossible for the with the Spartanburg Tea Party in elected officials to hide from the voters. February that drew over 450 people. Our aggressive, GOTV-style techniques Concerned citizens, local media outlets, include door-to-door literature drops, and many key elected officials attended yard sign blitzing, and floods of direct the rally to hear from speakers like mail targeting those lawmakers who South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad refuse to empower parents and children Connelly, FreedomWorks Chairman with viable education choices. Instead Dick Armey, and myself. The message we of cutting backroom deals, our activists sent to the legislators in attendance that are bringing the fight to the lawmakers night was clear: “you are with us, or you where it hurts most: out in the public. are against us.” 4 / FreedomWorks H HUMAN ACTION
Building on our success with our grassroots field events and education forums, FreedomWorks has just dropped a mail piece to 37,000 voters in Spartanburg and Greenville targeting those known as the “Spartanburg Six”, legislators who are major opponents to school choice. This mail piece is just another example of the in-your-face campaigning FreedomWorks is using to help pass this important reform. In total, we’ve distributed over 20,000 door hangers, 1,000 yard signs, 5,000 bumper magnets, and 2,000 t-shirts to support school choice in South Carolina. Thus far these methods are paying off, as word has gotten around the state capitol that FreedomWorks activists are running the most aggressive campaign for school choice in the state’s history. We’re aggressive because we’re not in South Carolina to make buddies in the legislator — we’re here to win. With all this hard work I am confident we will pass a great school choice bill. The one being worked on right now is H4576, a bill we support, and we hear another school choice bill will be delivered for vote in the not-to-distant future. FreedomWorks activists are continuing our efforts and will not rest until the bill is passed. For more updates please stay tuned. By David Spielman — Campaigns Coordinator
Interested in starting a School Choice campaign in your state? Email David at dspielman@ freedomworks.org
Activists in the Trenches for School Choice in South Carolina
FreedomWorks President Plans
Signs and handouts, letters to the editor, calls to our state representatives, these are the everyday things that now take over our hours and days, say Linda Ensor and Jeff and June Reuer of the Charleston, South Carolina area. Promoting school choice has become a top priority for the three, who are all active in their respective local groups: the LowCountry 9/12 Project in Summerville and the Goose Creek 9/12 Project. During a recent visit from North Carolina volunteers, handouts were put under windshield wipers in several shopping centers, and door hangers were hung in a nearly neighborhood. “It only took an hour to get about 500 of them into the community,” Ensor said. “Most of the people they have talked to say they would support school choice.” They have also talked with the State Representative who blocked school choice in the House when it was brought to a vote a year ago, as well as invited her to their local Tea Party meeting to find out where she disagrees with school choice. “People still have some questions, particularly concerning busing, which need to be addressed,” Ensor said. “I hope our Representative will come to a meeting and let us find common ground so our state education has a better chance of success.”
In August of 2010, FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey and I took to the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal to call for a bold, grassroots coup in the GOP:
By Allen Page, FreedomWorks Southeast Director
HOSTILE TAKEOVER “The tea party movement is not seeking a junior partnership with the Republican Party, but a hostile takeover of it.” –Matt Kibbe and Dick Armey, August 17, 2010 The establishment laughed at us…the media laughed at us… and the lobbyists laughed at us. But then the 2010 midterm elections happened — the largest electoral landslide since 1938 — driven not by some “centralized party apparatus” but by real grassroots, tea party conservatives. It’s what I like to call “the democratization of our political process”, and it’s breaking up the two party system’s monopoly on power and money. It’s a grassroots revolution I’ve documented in my exciting new book, Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America. The book is available online and in bookstores across the country for preorder and will officially go on sale on June 19th. In Hostile Takeover I reveal how the centralized bureaucracy of government is eroding our hard-fought freedoms and how the tea party movement can return America to the decentralized vision of our Founders. Whether it’s economic systems, private companies, or government, the principle of centralized control — a principle engrained in liberal philosophy — always fails. But it’s up to us to dismantle central planning and embrace freedom.
We are offered those two choices, freedom or central planning, just as Ronald Reagan famously questioned in his A Time for Choosing speech: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. I hope you’ll order a copy of Hostile Takeover and share it with family, friends, and neighbors. The more people we expose to the values we hold dear, the more people we recruit to join this decentralized army for freedom.
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Making 2012 Obamacare’s Last Year… continued from page 1
The decisive factor? Health care! Pollsters found Obamacare was the number one issue on the electorate’s mind, with a majority of voters and 90% of tea party supporters favoring repeal. 72 of the winning candidates ran on the Contract from America, the unofficial, grassrootsgenerated platform of the tea party movement, with its Plank 7: “Defund, repeal, and replace government-run health care.”
“Now We Must Govern” January 2011: By now, the grassroots had evolved into something more than a protest movement. It was time for us to govern. Last year, we forced votes on the full repeal of ObamaCare, and on defunding it. Alas, we didn’t prevail — due to obstruction by Harry Reid and his Democrat-controlled Senate. But we did get all Members of Congress on record. And we also secured the repeal of one small piece of the law, its most onerous tax, the so-called 1099 reporting mandate on small business.
ObamaCare creates 159 new agencies and grants 1,968 new powers and authorities to Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
buy government controlled insurance. Republicans remain solidly united against the law. Clearly, we’ve won the debate. So, how do we pass the legislation? How do we carry this fight through to victory? Here’s how.
The leadership of the House Democrats just before they held the final vote on ObamaCare in 2010.
As part of our efforts, we generated more than 15,000 letters and calls to Congress, advised the top Senators and Congressmen on strategy, and conducted countless dozens of press interviews to help educate the public. We can take pride that, at its second birthday, ObamaCare continues to be opposed by a majority of the public, a majority of the states, a majority of the House, and a (soon-to-be) majority of the Senate. Two-thirds of Americans oppose the “individual mandate” to 6 / FreedomWorks H HUMAN ACTION
Our vision — the purpose of all our efforts — is a patient-centered health care system. To realize that vision, we must repeal and replace ObamaCare with reforms that shift power from bureaucrats to patients. And because ObamaCare starts in 2014, we must do those things by sometime next year. Our strategy is to continue educating the public on the law’s harms and dangers, keep ObamaCare’s supporters on the defensive in Congress, and fight the law in the Supreme Court. We want to do all of this, while rallying Republican reformers around new ideas for a better system.
Defending Freedom of Conscience You may have heard about the new HHS rule that requires churches, in the name of promoting
“reproductive health,” to act against their own conscience? It’s just the tip of the despotic iceberg. Many, many more such infringements of our rights and freedoms are coming, as this massive law is slowly implemented. Issue-specific “fixes” for each new affront won’t solve the problem. Only full repeal can avert the impending danger.
Exposing the Cover-Ups Have you heard about the scandal known as the CLASS Act Cover-Up? More Americans need to. It turns out that top HHS officials hid from Congress critical information about the true costs of the CLASS program, a nursing-home entitlement that Democrats added to ObamaCare as a budget gimmick. Had Congress known the truth about CLASS, we believe ObamaCare would probably not have become law. Newly revealed emails, disclosed by congressional investigators, show the staff of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius intentionally hid this information from Congress. Now the public deserves to be told: What did the White House know? And when did they know it?
Fighting in the Courts This summer, the Supreme Court will rule in the historic ObamaCare litigation — and last month, as its first official act, our new Constitution Defense Fund, which fights for constitutionally limited government, filed a friend-of-the-court legal brief in the case. The Court has a once-in-a-generation chance to draw clear limits around federal power. At stake is nothing less than the
The appointment of Elena Kagan, Obama’s former Solicitor General, to the Supreme Court raises numerous ethics questions as the Court might ultimately decide the fate of ObamaCare.
future of American freedom. After all, if Congress can make us all buy health insurance for our own good, why can’t they also make us eat broccoli and run three miles a day on a treadmill? Where does it end? Ours is the only brief that explains how the health care mandate burdens individual liberty and thus exceeds congressional authority. In it, we present new actuarial evidence showing the law’s mandates and regulations will effectively eliminate affordable health coverage options, such as Health Savings Accounts and highdeductible, consumer-driven health plans. As the brief concludes: The [health care law represents a] giant leap for governmental power over the life and health of every American. Its real consequence for individuals making health care decisions is sharply restricted personal choice and a substantial infringement of individual liberty.
in the Obama Administration, to recuse herself from taking part in the case. Having helped enact the law at issue, she cannot be impartial.
Our Vision: Patient-Centered Care On top of all these efforts, we’re now working closely with Hill conservatives on a comprehensive bill to replace ObamaCare with a patient-centered system — to be unveiled soon. A bill that will reduce health costs, empower patients, improve access to care, and stop the government from getting in the way. Stay tuned. Exciting times for liberty-lovers! Help us make this the last year of ObamaCare. Go to www.EndObamaCareNow.com to join the campaign right now! By Dean Clancy — Legislative Counsel and Vice President, Health Care Policy
Additionally, we are calling on Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, a former official
To sign the petition, visit www.EndObamaCareNow.com FreedomWorks H HUMAN ACTION / 7
The Tea Party’s Bold Plan for
What if we made a budget plan by actually asking Americans what they want? America needs bold action, that much is clear. Strong, aggressive policies are the only way to restore the American economy. While some of the Republican primary candidates have put forth a courageous plan here or taken an audacious stance there, it’s clear the American people demand a comprehensive plan that pulls no punches and protects no sacred cows, even when that means taking a serious look at defense spending. The sentiment is reflected clearly in the findings of the Nov. 17, 2011, Tea Party Debt Commission report, a bold plan to get Washington’s rampant spending under control. The Commission consisted of 12 volunteer members from all over the country, mirroring the structure of the Congressional Super Committee. Unlike the Super Committee — the bipartisan group created by Congress with a goal of slashing the budget by at least $1.2 trillion — the Tea Party Debt Commission actually accomplished its goal, slashing an amazing $9 trillion and balancing the budget in 10 years. The Tea Party budget proposal was created to provide a grassroots solution to the budget crisis — using the novel approach of actually finding out what the people wanted. Results were gathered through an online crowdsourcing survey that asked voters to choose between specific cuts they would like to see in the budget. Field hearings were also held across the country to gather direct input from the grassroots on budget cuts, entitlement reform, 8 / FreedomWorks H HUMAN ACTION
and economic freedom. This plan puts everything on the table, including the traditional Republican sacred cow of defense.
Necessity Doesn’t Justify Excess Establishment Republicans have become entangled with a massive defense contracting network muddled by lobbying and plenty of campaign cash. For too long they’ve received a pass because national security, unlike so many of the pet programs of the left, is a clear responsibility of the federal government. Irresponsible spending has been justified by claiming that cuts to the defense budget are unpatriotic or would weaken America’s strong, global military presence. It’s true that we must protect our freedoms and all of the functions of government, not hurt them. But the debate was falsely framed as a choice between cutting military spending or keeping America’s national security strong. However, you don’t have to be a pacifist to see, as many in the Tea Party do, that spending across the board has gone out of control and must be reined in. The Tea Party Debt Commission report acknowledges the importance of balancing responsible spending with keeping America safe. It reflects Americans’ recognition that there is an incredible amount of waste in the defense budget that must be eliminated. About $1 trillion of the Debt Commission’s savings come from defense cuts but focusing on three approaches: 1) cut wasteful spending, such as duplicative purchases of Pentagon supplies; 2) eliminate or move from the Pentagon’s budget all programs that have nothing to do with national defense; and 3) prefer specific cuts over across-theboard reductions or sequesters. The sequester instated by the Congressional Super Committee’s failure to reach a compromise requires across-
“...you don’t have to be a pacifist to see that spending across the board has gone out of control and must be reined in.” the-board cuts, including defense. This act of Congress is a “meat-ax” approach to spending cuts that could severely weaken our defense to a dangerously unacceptable level. The Tea Party Budget Commission looked deeper and found where the cuts in defense are needed, saving the strength, size, and development of our military without compromising on fiscal responsibility.
The Sagging Social Safety Net But the Tea Party’s proposed budget doesn’t focus exclusively on defense spending. Of course, comprehensive budget reform must include significant entitlement reforms, and the Tea Party Debt Commission showed that Americans expect our elected officials to grab the third rail with both hands to begin breaking down the Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and ObamaCare behemoths. Progressivism has ushered Americans into an entitlement mindset, making programs like Social Security incredibly touchy subjects, even among so-called conservatives. However, we can no longer afford for politicians to dance around the issue. In 1936, the government made a promise to American workers:
“Beginning November 24, 1936, the United States government will set up a Social Security account for you... The checks will come to you as a right.” In spite of that promise, the future looks grim for young people who will be supporting the Baby Boomer generation. The Heritage Foundation estimates that by 2017 Social Security will pay out more in benefits than payroll taxes bring in. In 1940, 42 taxpayers supported each retiree. Now, it’s only 3.3 taxpayers per retiree. That means Washington will have to raise taxes for the working class to support retiring Baby Boomers. In fact, 25 years from now Social Security will only have enough funds to pay for 75 percent of promised benefits. Even more daunting are the future costs of the program. Social Security has upwards of 60 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities — numbers that Washington doesn’t share with the American people. The Tea Party budget supports a private account approach that has previously been implemented by Chile and many counties in Texas. Chile adopted a private account system in the early 1980s and the results were phenomenal: people were given the freedom to shop around for a program Continued on page 10 FreedomWorks H HUMAN ACTION / 9
Budget Reform ... continued from page 9
that best fit their needs, chose their own retirement age, and received higher retirement payments than the public system. Also, the effect on the economy was enormous. GDP growth was explosive and unemployment fell below 5 percent. The Tea Party’s budget proposal adopts a modified approach to Jeff Flake’s SMART Act. This plan allows new workers born after 1981 to invest one-half of their payroll taxes in a SMART account. These accounts build on compound interest. The funds generated to provide for retirement and health care are expected to be much greater than the current public system. This plan provides people with more control over their own accounts, provides an increase in benefits through the power of compound interest, and does not touch the retirement age. However, the option of staying in the current system is still available. Medicare, the second-largest government program, representing 13 percent of the budget, is also on the block for reform under the Tea Party budget proposal. The program is growing at an unsustainable rate of 7 percent a year, presenting itself as one of the biggest road blocks to a future balanced budget. The program is too bureaucratic, topdown and government-centric. Patients do not have the freedom of choice or control over their benefits. Rather than focusing efforts on patient benefits and preventing fraud, the bureaucracy focuses
on controlling medical costs—and fails to do either. Medicare has also been used as a piggy bank to create ObamaCare — another unsustainable government-provided entitlement program. President Obama’s
plan is to take money from Medicare and reduce reimbursement rates to doctors, hospitals, and other health service providers. The meat-ax policy reduces access to care, decreases efficiency, and increases growth in underlying costs. The Tea Party budget provides an answer that stops Medicare’s unsustainable growth without limiting patients’ access to care or stifling medical progress and innovation. After 2013, Americans will have the choice to stay in the current program or to opt into the successful Federal Employees Health Benefit Program — the same program enjoyed by current and former members of Congress. By relying on private, competitive insurance companies, waste and fraud problems will be eliminated — saving $450 billion in the annual budget alone. This approach also makes the system more patient-centered, giving individuals more options at lower costs. Medicaid, the third-largest federal
Meet Our Staff
program, which provides health care to the poor, is leading the states to bankruptcy. The system has transformed into a middle-class entitlement program that provides low-quality care to poor families. In fact, the system is so unstable that around 40 percent of physicians will not take new Medicaid patients. The Tea Party’s proposal relieves the financial and medical burden by issuing blockgrants to the states. The allocation of scarce resources gives the States the incentive to determine who truly needs help.
Not-So-Super Congress The professional legislators on the Congressional Super Committee failed to come up with a relatively paltry $1.2 trillion in budget cuts. The across-the-board cuts in defense and non-defense discretionary spending that are impending as a result of their failure don’t even begin to address the underlying issues of our budget crisis, and don’t put us on the right track toward reform. In making it clear that there are no longer any sacred cows and finding $9 trillion in budget cuts, the Tea Party has once again shown the politicians of the Washington establishment how do their jobs. More importantly, it provides Washington with a clear and bold plan for getting our finances back in order and putting us on the path to recovery.
David Kirby joined FreedomWorks in November of 2010 as our Vice President of Development. Prior to joining FreedomWorks, David served as campaign executive director for the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University, and as executive director of America’s Future Foundation. An acclaimed writer, David has contributed as a policy analyst for the Cato Institute. He holds a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s from Bates College. In his free time, David enjoys sailing and competing in triathlons. 10 / FreedomWorks H HUMAN ACTION
Investor Spotlight Adam Puff— Columbus, New Jersey Adam is a happily married 30 year-old who has spent his life in New Jersey. He runs his own successful financial planning business in the same town he grew up where he quickly found out that to make prudent investments decisions for his clients — politics matters more than any other metric used to gauge the market. FW: Why are you involved with FreedomWorks?
Adam: I am involved in FreedomWorks because I believe it is the single most important thing happening in this country. I am lucky enough to have a fantastic family and support network. One of my uncles first turned me on to FreedomWorks and I have been thankful ever since. I used to have many different concerns about the government, but they really do all boil down to one ideal: That ideal is freedom. Freedom fixes everything, freedom can handle anything. Restricting freedom inevitably ends poorly, a problem that is rampant in our government and in our nation. I recently received a report from my Alma Mater that in 66 concise pages explains all the ways it makes students choices for them; since as they see it, they are not smart enough to make these choices for themselves. Freedom allows you to grow, learn, and succeed at life. Restricting these freedoms, in this instance, is dooming these students to be unprepared for employment and inevitably life. It is time to take the reins back from the intellectual elite who believe people are too stupid to make their own decisions. If you make a poor decision you suffer the consequences and grow to become a better person from it. If you never get to make the decision and are never held accountable you end up occupying Wall Street. FW: You participated in the 9/12 March on Washington. What was that experience like?
Adam: I participated in the second 9/12 March on Washington, but unfortunately missed the first one. It was still an amazing experience. I had never seen so many Americans in one place fighting for such a noble cause. I met people from all over the country, some from so far away I couldn’t
believe they were there. The speakers blew me away, but the most interesting thing I noticed was the joy on everyone’s face. Everyone was there because they were mad and to fight for a cause. These same people though were thrilled to be there, excited to meet one another, and joyful to be part of this great nation. I think many people have missed that very important part of the equation. We as a group are excited about this undertaking and nobody’s going to quit until we get the job done. FW: What is your personal philosophy on economic freedom and limited government? And when were you first exposed to it?
Adam: Mind your own business and unless you are hurting someone else or attacking my country I’ll mind my own business too. (I think Matt says it better, but this works for me). FW: Why are you involved in the freedom and limited government movement? What are the issues that you’re most passionate about?
Adam: The biggest issue now is the size and scope of our government. It needs to be shrunk dramatically. There is so much rampant waste. I believe the whole country actually believes that the government is too big, everyone would like a more effective and efficient government. Most people just have different ways they want to go about it. I’d like to do it with a machete in one fell swoop. FW: What excites you most about the Tea Party Movement?
Adam: Probably just that it exists at all!! How can you not be excited about it? Let’s get back to all the things that made this country great. Where did that belief in Manifest Destiny go? America is an awesome country. FW: Who is your favorite economist? Which elected official do you most admire?
Adam: Either Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams, they should both be required
readings in school. They are easy to read and very concise. Any of the new crop of Republicans deserves some admiration, they are working very hard against a tidal wave of opposition and hate. I did get to spend some time with Ted Cruz who is running in Texas and he was fantastic to talk with. FW: The mainstream media continues to report that interest and momentum in the Tea Party is waning – what are your thoughts on this?
Adam: Let’s wait and see in 2012. The writing is already on the wall for the social left. Barney Frank has tossed it in, he knows what’s coming. The media can say whatever they want, the people with brains don’t listen to them anyway. FW: What would you tell someone who is considering working with or donating to FreedomWorks?
Adam: This is a cause that will help every other cause in existence. Helping FreedomWorks achieve their goal will help every person on this planet grow and prosper. It will lead to more money and time being available for every other charity out there, but we have to take care of this first. FW: Are there any additional anecdotes or stories that you would like to tell us about FreedomWorks and/or the fight for limited government?
Adam: FreedomWorks is made up of some of the most amazing and determined people I have had the opportunity to meet. Their headquarters is an inspiring place. I can’t wait until we take America back.
~ Special thanks to Mr. Puff for the interview and his time. FreedomWorks H HUMAN ACTION / 11
400 North Capitol Street, NW Suite 765 Washington, DC 20001 www.FreedomWorks.org
Reaching Millions With Our Message ... “I hope that the impact of this film will be to strengthen the resolve of the black community, not to be taken for granted by those who have used them to secure elected office over the last 50 years. There is a 50-year-old lie that caused an entire people to become slaves to the political idea that
the government knows best. I hope the impact of this film will be to put these words in the mouths of black Americans: ‘Never again will we be co-opted and used by those who make money from our vote.’” — Runaway Slave star Cl Bryant In Human Events
“The young people were there with FreedomWorks, an organization that serves as a resource for grass-roots campaigns to get fiscal and smallgovernment conservatives elected. It was the organization’s first trip to San Angelo at the request of the local Tea Party. The intergenerational political unity encouraged the older Tea Party members. ‘These kids, they’re the ones going to save America,’ said Roy Dean, a Tea Party member at the meeting.” – San Angelo Standard-Times
Conservatives also have cited [Saul] Alinksy as an influence, in technique if not in substance… “What I think of Alinksy is that he was very good at what he did, but what he did was not good.” — Dick Armey on CNN “We are not interested in getting Republicans elected. We’re interested in getting fiscal conservatives elected.” — Matt Kibbe in The New York Times
“When I talk with activists, it is clear the enthusiasm is more in the upcoming Senate and House fights. No matter who is president next fall, they want to expand the majorities in the House and have a small-government supporting Senate.” — Dick Armey on CNBC “Rebuild, further build and reinforce the conservative majority in the House and capture a working conservative majority in the Senate,” Armey said of the faction’s plans Fox News Tuesday morning. “When we accomplish these objectives, whoever is in the White House will have a legislative fence built around them. The president can’t sign anything but what he gets from the legislative process.” — The Hill
“Twenty-seven Republican lawmakers who strongly opposed net neutrality are strangely co-sponsors of SOPA in the House or PIPA in the Senate. Yet, the proposed online piracy laws are equally as bad or perhaps even worse than net neutrality. SOPA and PIPA would disrupt the growth of technology and infringe on free speech. Any individual interested in preserving the freedom of the Internet should not support either version of this dangerous bill.” – Julie Borowski in the Daily Caller
FreedomWorks, which estimates it will spend between $500,000 and $1 million this year in a statewide school choice campaign… FreedomWorks is using its money to pay for grass-roots training, voter education events and promotional materials in the run-up to the General Assembly’s vote on the new tax credits bill. The group says it has distribution centers statewide armed with “tens of thousands” of door hangers, yard signs, district-targeted palm cards,T-shirts and bumper stickers. Spielman confirmed some of the materials highlight votes of the six Spartanburg House members. — Spartanburg Herald-Journal FreedomWorks’ Dick Armey, Matt Kibbe, Julie Borowski, and FreedomWorks Fellow C.L. Bryant were recently quoted or featured by various media outlets. Above is just a sampling from recent weeks.