FreedomWorks, an offshoot of the Tea Party, is under fire this morning after David Corn of Mother Jones reported on a fake sex video that depicts former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton engaging in sexual acts with a giant panda.
The video depicts a giant panda performing oral sex on Clinton in someone’s dream. That someone was Adam Brandon, the executive vice president of FreedomWorks who was responsible for the creation and content of the video. Apparently, the panda represents, "progressive pandering." The panda suit had been used before at other FreedomWorks events.
As if depicting Hillary Clinton engaging in bestiality isn’t enough, the video utilized two female interns for the leading roles. Prior to the video’s airing at the FreePac conference in July of 2012, it was screened for staff, much to their horror. A former FreedomWorks official said of the video:
“How was that not some form of sexual harassment? And there were going to be thousands of Christian conservatives at this thing. This was a terrible lack of judgment."
Reports of the video surfaced during an internal investigation into the running of the organization. The investigation began in December after the very public and messy resignation of former House majority leader Dick Armey. The feud between Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe began during the release of Kibbe’s second book, Hostile Takeover. Armey alleged that Kibbe used FreedomWorks funds and resources to create the book for which Kibbe retained sole credit of, which might affect the organizations tax exempt status.
After Armey left following the November election-with an $8 million dollar pay out- two FreedomWorks board members sent a letter to Kibbe informing him they had retained legal counsel and would be conducting an internal review to look at how the organization was being managed.
FreedomWorks is flush with money, but there appears to be little direction on how to utilize that money effectively. For many, the creation of the panda video is further proof of the organization's poor management.
Kibbe’s personal profit and use of the organizations resources for self-promotion has caused some conservatives to distance themselves from FreedomWorks. More than Kibbe’s use of the organization for personal gain, it is more likely that the waining political power of the organization will be its undoing.
“They’re chasing the movement rather than leading it,” according to Chris Littleton of the Ohio Liberty Coalition.
Despite receiving several large donations from the president of Cancer Treatment Centers for the 2012 election, and pouring money into races like that of tea-party favorite Joe Walsh in Illinois, there were few victories to celebrate this year.
The mounting failures of FreedomWorks and its severe lack of judgement in the creation of the panda-Clinton video, call into question the overall efficacy of conservative grassroots organizations.