Empower America

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Group.png Empower America  
(NGOPowerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
MottoLower Taxes. Less Government. More Freedom.
HeadquartersWashington D.C.
InterestsTea Party
Sponsored byKoch family foundations
US libertarian advocacy group. Funded by the Koch brothers.

FreedomWorks is a conservative and libertarian advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. FreedomWorks trains volunteers, assists in campaigns, and encourages them to mobilize, interacting with both fellow citizens and their political representatives. It was widely associated with the Tea Party movement[1][2][3][4] before firmly aligning with Donald Trump.[5] The Koch brothers have been a major source of the organization's funding.[4]


Together with Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks played an important role in generating a significant part of the Tea Party movement and encouraging it to lay a focus on opposition to the climate change agenda.[6] In 2009, FreedomWorks responded to the growing number of Tea party protests across the United States, and became one of several groups active in the "Tea Party" tax protests.[2] Three national conservative groups, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, and DontGo led the tea party movement in April 2009, according to The Atlantic magazine.[2]

FreedomWorks was a lead organizer of the September 12, 2009, Taxpayer March on Washington, also known as the 9/12 Tea Party.[7][8][9] In February 2010, FreedomWorks, the FreedomWorks Foundation, and the FreedomWorks Political Action Committee were among the twelve most influential groups in the Tea Party movement, according to the National Journal.[10] In September 2010, FreedomWorks was one of the top five most influential organizations in the Tea Party movement, according to The Washington Post.[11]

In 2009, FreedomWorks advocated for the defeat of Democratic-sponsored climate change legislation.[12] In 2010, FreedomWorks helped organize Tea Party protests and passed fliers opposing national climate policy.[13] FreedomWorks promoted the Contract from America, a Tea Party manifesto, which included planks in opposition to the Obama administration's initiatives on health care reform and cap and trade.[14][3] FreedomWorks sponsored campaigns to block climate legislation as well as Obama's broader agenda.

Among other activities, FreedomWorks runs boot camps for supporters of Republican candidates. FreedomWorks spent over $10 million on the 2010 elections on campaign paraphernalia alone. The required reading list for new employees includes Saul Alinsky,[15] Frédéric Bastiat and Ayn Rand.[1]

In the 2010 congressional elections, FreedomWorks endorsed a number of candidates, including Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul.[16] In addition to the aforementioned United States Senate candidates, FreedomWorks endorsed 114 candidates for federal office, of whom seventy won election.[17] An independent study performed by Brigham Young University showed that only FreedomWorks's endorsement had a statistically significant impact on the success of a candidate in the election.[18]

In 2011, FreedomWorks ran a number of campaigns targeted at corporate rent-seeking behavior. FreedomWorks ran a campaign with the goal of getting Duke Energy to fire their CEO Jim Rodgers, accusing Duke Energy of lobbying for a "progressive agenda" to ensure that the company would receive green energy subsidies.[19]

In addition to their anti-rent seeking campaigns, FreedomWorks has also been active in a number of issue campaigns at the state and national levels. One of these campaigns is the school choice SB1 campaign in Pennsylvania.[20] Additionally, FreedomWorks ran an active grassroots campaign in support of Ohio Governor John Kasich's union reforms. FreedomWorks delivered thousands of yard signs, door-hangers, handouts, and registered conservative voters.[21]

In 2011, FreedomWorks launched a Super PAC called FreedomWorks for America.[22] The stated purpose of this PAC is to "empower the leaderless, decentralized community of the tea party movement as it continues its hostile takeover of the GOP establishment".[22] Its endorsed candidates included Don Stenberg, Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake, and Richard Mourdock.[23]

In September 2013, FreedomWorks opposed legislation to attack Syria over the government's alleged use of chemical weapons (these were false flag attacks).[24] This was the first time FreedomWorks took an official stance on foreign policy.[25]

On February 12, 2014, FreedomWorks joined with Rand Paul as co-plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Obama Administration concerning reports of NSA domestic wiretapping. The lawsuit names President Obama, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander. Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is representing Paul and FreedomWorks in the case.[26]

Some of FreedomWorks' campaigns have been called "astroturfing", and some claim that they project a false impression of grassroots organizing.[27][28][29]

During the 2020 election campaign, FreedomWorks warned against mail-in-voting[5]


Koch family foundationsControlled by the billionaire Koch brothers, who finance the 'right' in US politics when they say the right things.


  1. a b Shaping Tea Party Passion Into Campaign Force, Kate Zernike, The New York Times, August 25, 2010
  2. a b c https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/04/the-tea-party-movement-whos-in-charge/13041/
  3. a b http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wentk/9780190262037.001.0001
  4. a b https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-tea-party-and-the-remaking-of-republican-conservatism-9780190633660?cc=us&lang=en&
  5. a b https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/disinformation-campaign-stokes-fears-about-mail-voting-using-lebron-james-image-and-boosted-by-trump-aligned-group/2020/08/20/fcadf382-e2e2-11ea-8181-606e603bb1c4_story.html
  6. Riley E. Dunlap, Aaron M. McCright: Organized Climate Change Denial. In: John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, David Schlosberg (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. Oxford University Press, 2011, pp 144–160, p. 154.
  7. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/12/AR2009091200971.html
  8. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/13/barack-obama-denounced-washington-march
  9. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27070.html
  10. http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/12-tea-party-players-to-watch-2010020
  11. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2010/09/26/GR2010092600175.html
  12. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/15/AR2009081502696.html
  13. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/us/politics/21climate.html
  14. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704407804575425061553154540
  15. https://web.archive.org/web/20101018120733/http://washingtonindependent.com/54554/conservatives-find-town-hall-strategy-in-leftist-text
  16. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/01/a-tea-party-target-list-freedomworks-releases-its-races-for-2010/34129/
  17. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/tea-party-endorsement-results/
  18. https://web.archive.org/web/20120119023839/http://contractfromamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/symposium_teatimeamerica_cfa.pdf
  19. http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/power_city/2011/05/protestors-descend-on-duke-energy.html?page=all%7C
  20. http://www.politicspa.com/conservative-tv-radio-ads-target-vance-yaw/28536/%7C
  21. http://business-journal.com/kasich-to-rally-state-issue-supporters-p20296-1.htm
  22. a b https://web.archive.org/web/20120129125127/http://www.freedomworksforamerica.org/press-releases/freedomworks-to-launch-super-pac-freedomworks-for-america-at-cpac-florida
  23. https://web.archive.org/web/20120108101714/http://www.freedomworksforamerica.org/endorsements
  24. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/freedomworks-syria-resolution-96352.html
  25. http://yearreview.fwsites.org/
  26. http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/198206-paul-sues-obama-to-halt-nsa-surveillance-of-phone-data
  27. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB121090164137297527
  28. {https://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/opinion/13krugman.html
  29. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90517606