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MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — In a meeting room of the Embassy Suites next to the Pittsburgh airport, Richard K. Armey, the chairman of leading tea party organizer FreedomWorks, spent a recent evening chatting up 300 or so activists.
Armey had flown in from his Dallas home not to talk about debts or deficits or even President Obama, but rather to extol a proposal in the Pennsylvania legislature that would allow children to use vouchers to pay for private-school. In their usual attire of tea party t-shirts, “Don’t Tread on Me” pins and American flag scarves and hats, the 300 or so activists promised Armey that they would back the school choice bill.
Six months after helping tea party-backed candidates sweep to power in the House on a single-minded platform of cutting government spending, FreedomWorks has shifted its focus to the states, where the group is using its considerable clout to push a fresh crop of Republican lawmakers to back a number of long-sought conservative causes.
The goal for FreedomWorks is two-fold: to keep activists engaged enough to enter 2012 with a grassroots network at least as strong as the one that played so dramatic a role last year; and to use that network right now to push newly elected conservatives to accomplish something while in power.
In addition to the school-choice bill in Pennsylvania, FreedomWorks has helped push for dramatic curtailments of collective bargaining rights for unions in a number of states , including Ohio and Wisconsin.
A Washington-based free-market advocacy group that’s been around for more than a quarter-century, FreedomWorks was one of the first national groups to recognize the potential power of the tea party in early 2009 — and to jump at the chance to help shape it into a political force.
Today, not only do a small crop of freshmen lawmakers in Washington owe much of their political success to FreedomWorks, but so do a vast army of activists across the country whom FreedomWorks courted, trained and supplied with campaign materials throughout 2010. Keeping both groups intact and engaged is the priority now.
To help FreedomWorks keep up these efforts please donate now.
Read more at The Washington Post