News Release

Dick Armey’s Forces: On the March for the Nader Campaign

Citizens for a Sound Economy, a national organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R., Texas), is widening its efforts to help presidential candidate Ralph Nader get on the ballot in pivotal states. A recent news release from the corporate-backed group says it plans to pursue those efforts “in key battleground states like Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.”

John Stauber, founder and executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, said today: “The Republican machine is mobilizing for Nader. Major Republican funders are sending checks to Nader, and a far-right industry-funded front group, Citizens for a Sound Economy, is organizing to get Ralph on the November ballot in a number of swing states. Nader, the sworn enemy of corporate power and influence, has become its not-so-secret weapon for the November election.”

JOHN STAUBER
Stauber is co-author of Banana Republicans: How The Far Right is Turning America into a One-Party State. He co-wrote the recent essay “Look Who Has Jumped Into Bed With Ralph Nader”

Stauber commented: “The New York Times recently described Citizens for a Sound Economy as a ‘conservative anti-tax organization.’ Such a description is a little like saying Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are simply Christian ministers. To understand CSE, you have to know a little about their founding benefactors Charles G. and David H. Koch who each has a net worth of $4 billion apiece, earning them separate spots in the Forbes list of the 50 richest people in America. Like their father, Fred Koch, an oil-and-gas entrepreneur who was a founding member of the far-right John Birch Society in 1958, they have used their wealth in concert with a handful of other extraordinarily wealthy individuals to build a political machine that spreads their ideas about law, culture, politics and economics throughout the political and media establishment.”

He added: “Citizens for a Sound Economy describes itself as an organization of ‘grassroots citizens dedicated to free markets and limited government,’ but according to internal documents leaked to the Washington Post in January 2000, the bulk of its revenues ($15.5 million in 1998) came not from its 250,000 members but from contributions of $250,000 and up from large corporations. CSE is co-chaired by former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey and C. Boyden Gray, a Washington attorney who served as counsel to former president George H.W. Bush. The bulk of its income now comes from corporations including Allied Signal, Archer Daniels Midland, DaimlerChrysler, Emerson Electric Company, Enron, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Philip Morris and U.S. West.”
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For more information, contact the Institute for Public Accuracy at (202) 347-0020.