As the right wing continues to eat each other alive over the 2012 elections, Dick Armey has bailed out on FreedomWorks, the Koch Brothers’ astroturfing outfit that booted the Tea Party into national prominence three years ago. And what a payout he’s getting to go away.
A confidential contract obtained by The Associated Press shows that Armey agreed in September to resign from his role as chairman of Washington-based FreedomWorks in exchange for $8 million in consulting fees paid in annual $400,000 installments. Dated Sept. 24, the contract specifies that Armey would resign his position at both FreedomWorks and its sister organization, the FreedomWorks Foundation, by the end of November. According to the contract, Armey’s consulting fees will be paid by Richard J. Stephenson, a prominent fundraiser and founder and chairman of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a national cancer treatment network. Stephenson is on the board of directors of FreedomWorks. Armey’s departure comes as a new sign of acrimony in conservative and Republican ranks as the party’s bruised leadership struggles with its November electoral losses and uncertainty over how to recast its principles and issues to compete with an ascendant Democratic party.
Armey helped found FreedomWorks in 2004.