Dick Armey, the former Congressman who helped build and eventually chair the Tea Party group FreedomWorks, resigned from the group amid an internal clash, according to multiple reports.Armey will receive an $8 million buyout to step down from the non-profit organisation, according to The Associated Press.
Politico reports that the fight came between Armey and FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe. Armey made the decision to step down in August, but he was reportedly persuaded to hold off announcing the news until after the Nov. 6 election.
“The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life,” Armey told Mother Jones, which broke the news. “At this point, I don’t want to get into the details. I just want to go on with my life.”
The AP has more details on Armey’s buyout:
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 organisation, 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 centres of America, a national cancer treatment network. Stephenson is on the board of directors of FreedomWorks.
Armey’s resignation brings more post-election turmoil to the GOP and Tea Party, at a time when FreedomWorks and others are trying to keep pressure on Congressional Republicans on the fiscal cliff talks. On Tuesday, Kibbe appeared on CNN to slam House Speaker John Boehner and his initial counteroffer.
FreedomWorks found success in the 2010 election, but its endorsed candidates took a hit this year — Senate candidates Josh Mandel in Ohio, Connie Mack in Florida and Richard Mourdock in Indiana all lost, along with Rep. Allen West.