Baltimore, Maryland (CNN) - Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey used a Friday news conference for FreedomWorks, his leading conservative grassroots organization, to speak out against talk of friction between Tea Party members and the Republican Party leadership heading into the next Congress.
"For everybody in the press who thinks they've discovered a conflict, I'm sorry you missed the boat. The conflict is on the other side of the aisle," Armey said at the press conference following a two-day FreedomWorks retreat.
(CNN) - A leading conservative grassroots organization that spent millions of dollars helping elect Tea Party backed candidates in the midterm elections is holding a two day retreat in Baltimore, Maryland Thursday and Friday for many of those soon to be congressional lawmakers.
FreedomWorks says the meetings, at a hotel in downtown Baltimore, will focus on what they call a "Tea Party legislators policy agenda for the 112th Congress."
Washington (CNN) - A leading conservative grassroots organization is taking aim at Robert Byrd's old Senate seat.
FreedomWorks announced Monday that they are endorsing Republican businessman John Raese, the GOP Senate nominee in West Virginia. Late last month Raese won the GOP nomination and will face off in a special election on Nov. 2 against the popular two-term Gov. Joe Manchin, the Democratic nominee.
The winner will fill the remaining two years of the term of longtime Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, who died earlier this year.
FreedomWorks says it plans to support the Raese campaign with get-out-the-vote efforts, "including direct mailings, yard sign distribution, volunteer phone banks and neighborhood literature drops leading up to election day," according to a statement.
Lewes, Delaware (CNN) - Christine O'Donnell says "it's a shame" that a major conservative grassroots organization is deciding not to endorse her conservative bid for Delaware's Republican Senate nomination.
Monday two of the top members of FreedomWorks declined to endorse O'Donnell, a conservative commentator who is facing off against moderate Republican Rep. Mike Castle for their party's nomination in Tuesday's primary.
At a Christian Science Monitor Breakfast in Washington DC, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said "we've stayed out of that race because we're not convinced that Christine O'Donnell can win."
And when asked by reporters at the breakfast whether "it's better for Republicans to lose with a Tea Party-backed candidate than to win with a mainstream Republican candidate," FreedomWorks Chairman and former House Minority Leader Dick Armey said "no."
In the year since the FreedomWorks rally on 9/12/2009, Tea Party candidates have tallied big wins in Republican primaries. Joe Miller, Sharron Angle, and Rand Paul, all Tea Party darlings, are on the ballot in their respective congressional elections.
CNN's Kate Bolduan interviewed Matt Kibbe, the President and CEO of FreedomWorks, on the eve of the 9/12/2010 rally. He gave us some pretty intriguing answers as to why he thinks the movement has been successful and what he thinks will happen on November 3rd, the day after the midterm elections.
(CNN) - Five weeks before Colorado's primary, Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck has landed a helpful endorsement.
The conservative candidate announced Tuesday that he's won the backing of FreedomWorks, a nonprofit organization that helps train volunteer activists and has provided some of the organization behind the Tea Party movement.
Buck, the district attorney in Weld county in north-central Colorado, is facing off against former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton for Colorado's GOP Senate nomination.
Washington (CNN) - It emerged in anger and it threatens to split in anger.
One major group in the Tea Party movement - named after the famous Boston Tea Party - is set to host its first convention in February, with former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin as its keynote speaker.
But there are fractures in the movement that threaten its future. And if history's any guide, such movements tend to flame out.
The Tea Party movement erupted on April 15 - tax day - over criticism of President Obama's economic policies and what organizers called big government out of control. The movement, made up of local, state and national groups, continues to protest what it considers fiscally unsound policies.
And the movement is well funded. Action groups like FreedomWorks - chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey - helped organize and fund its April 15 rally in Washington.
Other groups, including Americans for Prosperity, Tea Party Nation and Tea Party Patriots, are also vying for the helm of the movement, and it's creating what some are calling "competitive chaos."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Members of Congress - returning to work after a chaotic August recess - may be welcoming a return to their D.C. offices and a schedule free of visits to town halls, the district-level gatherings that have provided the stage for some of the summer's fiercest faceoffs. But their break is likely to be a short one: Next week, a flood of those town hall protesters are planning to head to the Hill.
Starting Thursday September 10, the day after President Obama delivers an address on health care reform to a joint session of Congress, thousands of opponents of his proposal are slated to swarm congressional offices. The push marks the kickoff of the annual three-day March on Washington organized by former Rep. Dick Armey's FreedomWorks organization. Given its critics' show of strength, predicts FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe, the latest Democratic health care legislation will be "dead on arrival."
The first two days of the event are slated to include workshops on fundraising, "grassroots on the ground" and Web activism. But the centerpiece of the agenda Thursday and Friday are congressional visits: Participants will be given lobbying guidance before being directed to head to the Hill for planned, and unplanned, meetings with legislators - particularly those who support, or are considering support for, President Obama's health care plan. An overwhelming number of the new attendees, and speakers at the weekend's events, are expected to come from the ranks of the Tea Party Patriots, as the group's "Tea Party Express" tour ends in the nation's capital.
Planners say they aren't looking to re-create a town hall atmosphere on Capitol Hill – but admit the prospect is likely. "There'll be some chaos, there'll be some yelling," concedes coordinator Brendan Steinhauser; some individuals visiting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might call her an "evil-monger." But FreedomWorks, which has consistently denied charges it helped organize deliberate disruptions of congressional town halls this summer, continues to claim a hands-off approach, insisting that any aggressive activity won't be directed by them, and that they will be asking participants to take a civil approach. "We do our best to guide (those headed to the Hill)," said Steinhauser Wednesday, a week before the event. "But they're individuals. There's no guarantees."