Retirees wearing FreedomWorks t-shirts touting everything from property rights to personal savings accounts were bused into Raleigh Tuesday June 27th as astroturf activists to lobby for corporate and conservative issues. FreedomWorks, a merger of Dick Armey's Citizens for a Sound Economy and Jack Kemp's Empower America, positions itself as the right's answer to MoveOn.org. Last month FreedomWorks actually crashed a MoveOn press conference.
In the last few years FreedomWorks has teamed up with the John Locke Foundation for statewide tours. Speakers Tuesday included Chad Adams of the JLF, a FreedomWorks regular, hawking the "Tax Pledge".
Another speaker was Joyce Krawiec, described as NC Grassroots Coordinator for Freedom Works, is a Winston-Salem real estate developer, who recently started the NC branch of another up another corporate faux grassroots group called Consumers Alliance for Energy Security. Actually it should be called a "gasroots group" as it advocates for gas industry positions, notably, offshore drilling in NC waters.
FreedomWorks supports industry positions on a range of issues including net neutrality, cable franchising, offshore drilling along with the usual right-wing bullets and the mantra of less government and lower taxes.
Common Cause lists FreedomWorks and the Progress and Freedom Foundation as Wolves in Sheep's Clothing:
Telecom Industry Front Groups and Astroturf
Curiously the John Locke Foundation has joined Common Cause in the NC Coalition for Lobbying Reform but has not disavowed the activities of FreedomWorks.