Mismanagement and Hubris

There’s not a whole lot to add to David Corn’s reporting on the growing revelations that the famous Tea Party organization FreedomWorks was in its absolute heyday run like a rogue fraternity house.

An internal investigation of FreedomWorks—the prominent conservative advocacy group and super-PAC—has focused on president Matt Kibbe’s management of the organization, his use of its resources, and a controversial book deal he signed, according to former FreedomWorks officials who have met with the private lawyers conducting the probe. One potential topic for the inquiry is a promotional video produced last year under the supervision of Adam Brandon, executive vice president of the group and a Kibbe loyalist. The video included a scene in which a female intern wearing a panda suit simulates performing oral sex on Hillary Clinton. [Author’s note: The previous sentence contains no typos.]

Now for all I know obscene Hillary Clinton videos are exactly what FreedomWorks donors wanted their money to pay for. And some may be perfectly happy at the group’s eight million dollar severance contract for former FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey. Why shouldn’t ol’ Dick be able to retire in splendor after his many services to good conservative folk who just want to keep their Medicare benefits and stop those people at the city limits?

But you do have to wonder what other strange incidents will come out with respect to an organization so loosely run that it’s dealing with multiple investigations despite a relatively brief existence. The conclusion of Corn’s piece is ominous:

The ongoing internal investigation, one former staffer notes, could end badly for FreedomWorks, which for years has been a powerhouse organization of the right. “I think the whole thing will implode,” this person says, “and it will be destroyed out of mismanagement and hubris.”

Wait: aren’t “mismanagement and hubris” the twin perils of letting liberals run anything? I smell an infiltrator.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.