The Dallas Morning News reports on Dick Armey's self-described "curious model" -- heading conservative free-market group Freedom Works while simultaneously pulling in six-figure paychecks as a Washington lobbyist.
As a high-powered lobbyist for the firm DLA Group, the former GOP leader often lobbied in favor of legislation that FreedomWorks opposed. In fact, he earned up to $750,000 a year pressing lawmakers on behalf of banks, alternative energy groups and companies vying for a slice of the stimulus package that FreedomWorks so adamantly opposes.
So while FreedomWorks urged politicians to stop seeking earmarks, Armey's firm represented the clients seeking them.
Potential conflict of interest? Not so, said Armey.
From the Dallas Morning News:
"This is always a problem, and people have struggled with it in Washington," the former North Texas representative said. "Few have mastered it as I have."
Armey resigned from DLA in August amid heavy criticism of FreedomWorks' involvement in contentious town hall meetings across the country, Politico reported. He gave up his lofty DLA salary, but his pay from FreedomWorks topped $550,000 in 2008.
Just before his August resignation, Armey lobbied on behalf of alternative energy company Cape Wind Inc. to the tune of $60,000 this year, according to lobbying disclosure reports. He also served as a lobbyist for alternative energy company Green Hunter Inc. in 2008.
That doesn't quite fall in line with FreedomWorks' stance on energy issues, according to the group's website:
Reliance on failed, big-government schemes to promote so-called "renewable" energy sources, and policies that do nothing to help increase production of traditional energy resources, are responsible for the uncertain state of America's energy security.
Just before the 2008 government financial bailout, Armey lobbied for Citizens Financial -- a brand name of the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland -- for a total of $160,000 in the first two quarters of the year.
Meanwhile, FreedomWorks has mobilized a conservative movement disdainful of the government's financial intervention.
FreedomWorks, the national grassroots advocacy organization, today announced it opposes the unprecedented $700 billion intervention to bail out Wall Street banks under hasty consideration on Capitol Hill.
Armey left the House of Representatives in 2003 after eight years in office to pursue grassroots advocacy and lobbying.
"That sort of exposes the contradiction of him being a high-priced, high-powered lobbyist at the same time he's positioned himself and FreedomWorks as the representatives of the angry, anti-Washington populism," said Peter Montgomery, senior fellow at the liberal group People for the American Way.
Check out Armey plugging FreedWorks' populist-friendly stance on tax issues here:
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