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DRAIN THE SWAMP 2017 YEAR IN REVIEW
W A SH
D .C .
IS BETTER THAN
President’s Overview PAGE 4
2017 Highlights PAGE 6
FreedomWorks, Inc. 2017 Report PAGE 8
FreedomWorks Foundation PAGE 22
FreedomWorks PAC and FreedomWorks for America Ready for 2018 PAGE 33
Make Your Voice Heard PAGE 36
Fundraising PAGE 37
Organized for Liberty
Leadership and Board of Directors PAGE 39
PR ES ID EN T ’S OV ERV IE W
DRAINING THE SWAMP IN 2017
FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon joking with activists while making signs in support of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
What a crazy year 2017 was.
up with four major goals for 2017, including:
No, we didn’t get everything we wanted.
1. Passing a pro-growth tax cut; 2. Rolling back harmful regulations; 3. Confirming liberty-minded judges and appointees to key administration positions; 4. Finally repealing ObamaCare.
GOP infighting and “Swamp” apologists derailed legislative victories for months. Media elites worked constantly to poison the political environment, openly cheerleading for a Democrat takeover of Congress – if not the outright impeachment of the president. Despite all of those headwinds, there’s no denying your support helped us make some tremendous progress Draining the Swamp in 2017. Immediately following the 2016 elections, I came
On tax reform, I’m proud to say, we got the job done, and America is already seeing the economic benefits. There’s no denying our efforts played a vital role. As far as regulations are concerned, the Regulatory Action Center (RAC) had a stellar year in 2017. With allies in places of power in key government agencies – and a president who
On behalf of everyone at FreedomWorks, thank you for all you enabled us to accomplish over the past year. And I hope I can count on your continued support in the future.
wants to act – 1,600 regulations have so far been delayed, withdrawn or repealed, including the major victory at the FCC to repeal “net neutrality.” We haven’t seen anything like this ever from a new presidential administration. And not only did Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch get to the bench, but 12 others have been confirmed to the Federal Court of Appeals and several allies have been confirmed to leadership positions within the administration – including longtime ally and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt who now leads the EPA. With important victories at the state level on pension reform, civil asset forfeiture and criminal justice reform, we made some significant waves there too. The one frustrating disappointment, of course, is that the Washington, D.C. “Swamp” successfully circled their wagons around ObamaCare, and this monstrosity will remain on the books for the near future. But while the “Swamp” may have won that battle, you and I have won many victories ourselves – and we’re seeing the results. As the economy grows and the impact is felt in pocketbooks across the country and particularly in the industrial heartland, optimism over the economy could energize our base. And if the Left is campaigning on repealing the tax cuts and crippling the economy, it’ll likely be their political funeral. Despite media elites who tell us Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are destined to rule Congress after November, 2018 hasn’t yet been decided.
And your support for all of FreedomWorks’ work to “Drain the Swamp” in 2017 has helped put us on firm political ground for 2018 – as volatile and unpredictable as this year is likely to be. I could see the possibility that the economy booms at over 4 percent growth and Republicans hold the House and pile up a half-dozen seats in the Senate. Just as easily, I could see a motivated progressive voter base turn out in record numbers and take 60 or more seats in the House and seize the majority in the Senate by a slim margin. Only time will tell what happens. But if we continue fighting like never before, I’m convinced we’ll have many more victories to celebrate. On behalf of everyone at FreedomWorks, thank you for all you enabled us to accomplish over the past year. And I hope I can count on your continued support in the future.
2017 HIGHLIGHTS F REED OM WORKS, I N C .
Launched the Axes to Taxes Tour holding events in 15 states Sponsored 270 events in 28 states reaching 37,500 activists
Launched the Activism Modernization Plan (AMP), earning the rank of third most influential hashtag in Washington, D.C. during the tax reform battle
Attracted 1,000 activists to Storm Congress to build pressure for ObamaCare repeal, tax reform, regulatory reform and criminal justice reform
Drove 52,390 total actions to confirm Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency Drove 65,737 total actions to confirm Mick Mulvaney to lead the Office of Management and Budget Drove 367,724 total actions to Congress in support of ObamaCare Repeal Drove 361,486 total actions to Congress in support of tax reform
Made 50 radio and TV appearances Published 155 op-eds by FreedomWorks staff
Drove 406,061 actions to state lawmakers resulting in numerous victories – including pension reform in Michigan and Pennsylvania, civil asset forfeiture reform in Arizona and Ohio and justice reform in Kentucky
F REED OM WORKS FO U NDAT IO N
TRAINED THOUSANDS OF ACTIVISTS
at 15 Regulatory Action Center Events in 10 States
CONDUCTED OVER THIRTY
“Facebook Lives,” Reaching Over 600,000 Views John Tamny speaks on his “Not Fake News” segment on FreedomWorks’ Facebook page.
GENERATED OVER 51,000 Unique and Substantive Public Comments to Cut Red Tape
REVERSED OBAMA-ERA NET NEUTRALITY RULES to end the Obama administration’s takeover of the Internet FCC Chairman Ajit PAi announced the notice of public rulemaking at a FreedomWorks Foundationhosted event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
LAUNCHED THE CENTER FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM to Make the Moral Case for Capitalism
REACHED 1.4 MILLION
Grassroots Activists Through Our Understanding Freedom Video Series and the Liberty Minute videos
PURCHASED A SIX-FIGURE AD BUY FreedomWorks Foundation’s Ken Cuccinelli speaks about the Regulatory Action Center at Young Americans for Liberty’s annual conference.
With the Coalition to Unleash Prosperity In Support of Tax Reform
F REED O M WORKS, INC . 2 01 7 R E P O RT
With a grassroots army standing behind its name, FreedomWorks, Inc. is a force multiplier, mobilizing an activist community to support constitutionally limited government, free markets, and personal freedom. As a 501(c)(4) organization, FreedomWorks, Inc. focuses primarily on mobilizing the grassroots to help pass or defeat legislation at the state and federal level and sounding the alarm about politicians’ legislative records.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) speaks to FreedomWorks activists on the Axes to Taxes Tour in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In 2017, FreedomWorks certainly had its hands full working to force Washington, D.C. to deliver on its 2016 campaign promises to “Drain the Swamp.” While there remains more work to be done in many areas in 2018, there’s no denying we had many exciting victories that will pay dividends for years to come.
FEDERAL POLICY INITIATIVES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2017 was a rollercoaster ride of policy battles, intra-party debates, occasional setbacks and big wins on Capitol Hill. Thankfully, it ended on a high note with unity between congressional Republicans and fiscal conservatives with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But that victory was no easy one. For much of the year, there was concern that Congress was running out of time to deliver the big policy wins conservatives across the country were counting on.
FREEDOMWORKS LAUNCHES FULL COURT PRESS
OP-ED: “Tell Senate Democrats that Neil Gorsuch is a Great Fit for Scalia’s Seat,” by Jason Pye 1/31/17 OP-ED: “On Neil Gorsuch’s Confirmation, Give Grassroots Credit. Not Elites,” by Adam Brandon 4/7/17
Confirming Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court At the very top of many conservatives’ lists was confirming a constitutionalist to take the place of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. With President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch, the strategy of blocking President Obama’s nominee to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia proved wise.
GRASSROOTS ACTION BREAKDOWN
STOP MERRICK GARLAND:
CONFIRM NEIL GORSUCH:
Confirming Allies to Administration Appointments Personnel is policy. Often presidential administrations’ policy goals are determined by the quality of their presidential appointments.
The good news is, several of President Trump’s appointments have been stellar. Those include but were not limited to Scott Pruitt who served as Oklahoma’s Attorney General and now leads the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mick Mulvaney who was a member of the House Freedom Caucus and now leads the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Because these two allies’ confirmations were no sure thing, FreedomWorks mobilized our grassroots activists to ensure they were confirmed, and we’ve enjoyed open lines of communication with them since.
REPORT: “Conservative Group to Target McCain Over Mulvaney Grilling” 1/27/17 “The tea party-aligned group FreedomWorks is launching a six-figure attack ad campaign against Sen. John McCain over his tough questioning of President Donald Trump’s nominee for budget chief.”
DROVE 52,390 ACTIONS to the Environment and Public Works Committee and the U.S. Senate in support of Pruitt’s confirmation
DROVE 65,737 ACTIONS to the Senate Budget Committee in support of Mulvaney’s confirmation
Battling ObamaCare Next up was ObamaCare repeal, and fiscal conservatives had high hopes. After all, congressional Republicans had campaigned on ObamaCare repeal for more than seven years and even passed repeal of some of the worst parts of the law under reconciliation in 2015 only to have it vetoed by President Obama.
Although the Senate improved the Medicaid reforms – slowing the rate of growth in the program – ObamaCare’s individual health insurance architecture was largely left in place. What’s more, moderate Republican senators, including Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona, sank the effort in dramatic fashion in July.
This was supposed to serve as a trial run where Republicans showed voters the legislative path they would pursue if a GOP Congress and president emerged from the 2016 elections.
While media elites cheered, it’s highly uncertain ObamaCare will remain on the books as-is for years to come – especially after Congress removed the hated individual mandate in the recent battle over tax reform.
Once voters rewarded Republicans with this power, however, they chose a different path. After months of deal-making and debate, the House passed the American Health Care Act, which was an improvement over ObamaCare, but certainly not full repeal.
Not only that, but grassroots pressure to repeal ObamaCare will still remain white hot. Those on the wrong side of this battle have been exposed. FreedomWorks will continue fighting to ensure they’re held accountable.
OBAMACARE FIGHT HEATS UP REPORT:
“FreedomWorks Activists Storm Congress to Urge Lawmakers to Repeal ObamaCare” 3/15/17
“Conservatives Rally Against AHCA, but Some Think it Can Be Bent Their Way.” 3/15/17
“Tea Party Groups Rally on Capitol Hill for ObamaCare Repeal.” 3/15/17
“Exclusive—FreedomWorks’ Jason Pye on Delivering FreedomFraud Awards: ‘Some Republicans Like ObamaCare’” 7/28/17
DRIVING ACTIONS ON TAX REFORM
After the failure on health insurance reform, congressional Republican and fiscal conservatives, including FreedomWorks, turned their attention to fundamental tax reform.
FreedomWorks laid the groundwork on tax reform early in 2017, meeting with House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). We began communicating with our allies on the Hill, including the members of the Freedom Caucus, to learn their priorities. We also ensured that we kept the lines of communication open with Republican leadership to ensure our concerns were heard.
It paid off.
With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – easily the biggest tax reform package passed by Congress since President Reagan – 2017 ended with a sweet, hard-earned victory that is already reaping economic benefits.
19 AXES TO TAXES
EVENTS IN THE SUMMER AND EARLY FALL WITH NEARLY 2,000 PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE
the biggest grassroots influence on tax reform of any organization on the right in 2017.
PRESSING FOR TAX REFORM OP-ED: “Tax Cuts Will Spur Economic Growth” by Adam Brandon, 4/26/17 REPORT: “EXCLUSIVE—Stephen Moore is Taking FreedomWorks’ ‘Axes to Taxes’ Tour to Tennessee” 7/24/17 REPORT: “Paul Ryan Meets With D.C. Powerhouses Amid Tax Reform Concerns” 7/31/17 REPORT: “Conservative Groups Band Together for Tax Reform,” 8/9/17 [A]fter health care, conservative activists are pining for a win, said Noah Wall, vice president of advocacy at FreedomWorks. “I think from our activists’ perspective, they’re anxious — very anxious — for a win,” Mr. Wall said. “I think it’s something that we can realistically get a bill passed that would give us a win that would really, I think, motivate our grass-roots activists going into 2018.” REPORT: “The Senate GOP’s Corporate-Tax-Cut Delay: A Recipe for Recession” 11/15/17 “The GOP Should Put Tax-Loving Democrats on a No-SALT Diet” 12/1/17 REPORT: “FreedomWorks: ‘Unacceptable’ to Delay Corporate Tax Cut” 11/9/17 “House Conservatives Won’t Back Spending Bill With ObamaCare Payments” 11/30/17 REPORT: “An Open Letter to Congress From Over 100 Economists: Pass Tax Reform and Watch the Economy Roar” 11/29/17 REPORT: “Freedomworks Warns Of ‘Crash Into Demographic Crisis’ if GOP Fails On Tax Reform” 9/22/17 REPORT: “Outside Groups Hold Fire on Tax Bill Ahead of First Vote” 11/15/17 REPORT: “40 Conservative Groups Rally Behind House GOP Tax Bill” 11/9/17
STATE POLICY INITIATIVES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS While our national media focused almost solely on the day-to-day in Washington, D.C., throughout 2017 FreedomWorks was also busy working to turn historic GOP majorities at the state level into limited government victories. In total, FreedomWorks engaged in over 18 state-level legislative battles in a dozen states, driving our activists to send emails, calls, and Tweets to their legislators.
OP-ED: “While Congress Stalls, Conservatives Are Scoring Big Wins at the State Level” by Noah Wall 4/25/17
Our activists were able to send an incredible 400,000+ actions in support of pro-freedom legislation – seven of which are now law as you can read about in the following paragraphs.
ARIZONA (H.B. 2477) CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE In Arizona, FreedomWorks engaged on civil asset forfeiture reform, a tool that turns due process and the presumption of innocence on its head. H.B. 2477 increased the evidentiary standard in Arizona’s forfeiture law to “clear and convincing,” the highest level in civil court, and put the burden of proof on the government, where it belongs. After FreedomWorks drove 9,200 grassroots contacts pushing this legislation, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed the bill into law on April 12, 2017.
IOWA (S.F. 404) RIGHT TO TRY In Iowa, FreedomWorks partnered with the Goldwater Institute to support S.F. 404, which allows Iowans facing terminal illness access to medicines that have passed Phase I of the FDA’s approval process but are not yet on pharmacy shelves. Thanks to the hundreds of positive messages sent to targeted legislators, this legislation passed both chambers unanimously and was signed into law on May 11, 2017. FreedomWorks activists are what drive our regulatory and legislative victories at the state and federal levels.
KENTUCKY (S.B. 120) JUSTICE REFORM FreedomWorks heavily supported S.B. 120 in Kentucky, which reformed the state’s bail system to require risk assessments of those who interact with the pretrial system. The goal was to lessen the use of cash bail for those who aren’t flight risks, as many don’t have the means to pay, and increase appearance rates. We drove more than 4,000 contacts to state legislators in support of S.B. 120. The bill passed and was signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin (R) on April 10, 2017.
MICHIGAN (S.B. 401) PENSION REFORM The 2017 Michigan legislative session saw an important first step in pension reform pass by narrow margins of 21-17 in the Senate and 55-52 in the House. S.B. 401, which moves public school teachers from a pension plan to a more stable 401(k) retirement system, was signed into law on September 6, 2017. FreedomWorks will continue to work with state legislators and state think tanks in Michigan to continue pension reforms in the state.
OHIO (H.B. 347) CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE Getting H.B. 347 signed into law on January 4, 2017 was a long and intensive grassroots effort that involved the work of thousands of activists across the state of Ohio. FreedomWorks engaged in every aspect of H.B. 347, from speaking in support of the effort at the press conference in which state Reps. McColley and Brinkman introduced the bill to committee testimony to driving nearly 60,000 messages to state senators. We also worked alongside our partners, the U.S. Justice Action Network and Buckeye Institute to bring this effort to fruition.
OKLAHOMA (S.B. 579) DONOR PRIVACY Almost every year, Oklahoma legislators introduce legislation that would force groups – 501(c)(3)s and 501(c)(4)s included – to disclose their donor list if they engage in advocacy or even education on state legislation and in 2017 they introduced S.B. 579. Fortunately, FreedomWorks activists sent over 4,500 messages to state legislators in opposition to this legislation and were able to kill the bill in committee.
PENNSYLVANIA (S.B. 1) PENSION REFORM The highlight of the 2017 state legislative cycle was pressuring Gov. Tom Wolf (D) to sign S.B. 1 into law on June 12, 2017. This legislation represented the largest pension reform in our country’s history and could not have been accomplished without the 81,000 messages FreedomWorks activists sent to state legislators and the governor urging their support. This legislation will save Pennsylvania $5-$20 billion over the next two decades and will stabilize their failing pension system, protecting millions of current and former state employees.
LEGISLATOR OF THE WEEK PROGRAM In 2017, FreedomWorks and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) launched the co-branded “Legislator of the Week” program to promote the work of conservative state lawmakers and raise their profiles within the FreedomWorks community and in their home states. Over the past year, FreedomWorks has promoted 40 state legislators by linking to an ALEC written blog post through our weekly newsletter. In addition to the legislator’s blurb within the newsletter, we send out a weekly email to help share their successes to our community within their home state. To date, our community has written our Legislator of the Week winners over 43,000 thank you messages to encourage them to keep up the fight.
2017 LEGISLATORS OF THE WEEK
REP. MIKE LA ROSA FLORIDA
REP. JAMES EARL WHITE TEXAS
SEN. DEBBIE LESKO ARIZONA
REP. HEATH VANNATTER INDIANA
SEN. JIM BUCK INDIANA
SEN. RICH ALLOWAY PENNSYLVANIA
SEN. BOB ONDER MISSOURI
SEN. LEAH VUKMIR WISCONSIN
SEN. ANDRE CUSHING MAINE
SEN. GAIL GRIFFIN ARIZONA
REP. YVETTE HERRELL NEW MEXICO
SEN. BILL KETRON TENNESSEE
SEN. MICHAEL HOUGH MARYLAND
REP. SHAMED DOGAN MISSOURI
SPEAKER LINDA UPMEYER IOWA
REP. ELIJAH HAAHR MISSOURI
REP. PHIL KING TEXAS
REP. CHRISTINA HAGAN OHIO
REP. MIKE NEARMAN OREGON
REP. LORI SAINE COLORADO
SEN. KRIS LANGER SOUTH DAKOTA
REP. KIM COLEMAN UTAH
SPEAKER PHIL GUNN MISSISSIPPI
REP. MATTHEW HARPER CALIFORNIA
SEN. KIM THATCHER OREGON
SEN. KEN IVORY UTAH
SEN. JOSHUA MCKOON GEORGIA
SEN. DENNY HOSKINS MISSOURI
REP. BILL TAYLOR SOUTH CAROLINA
SEN. NATHAN DAHM OKLAHOMA
REP. ROB MCCOLLY OHIO
SEN. DON HUFFINES TEXAS
SEN. JOHN EICHELBERGER PENNSYLVANIA
SEN. MATT HUFFMAN OHIO
SEN. EDWARD JACKSON TENNESSEE
SEN. JOHN REAGAN NEW HAMPSHIRE
REP. BRIAN GREENE UTAH
SEN. PHIL PAVLOV MICHIGAN
REP. NICK FREITAS VIRGINIA
REP. SUSAN BECKMAN COLORADO
AMP’ING UP GRASSROOTS ACTIVISM Lawmakers are increasingly relying on social media for constituent feedback on legislation considered in Congress. A Getty Images photographer captured three Congressional Black Caucus members on their phones while Donald Trump delivered his high-stakes State of the Union speech. Photo Credit Daily Mail
What do most congressmen and senators do while they are waiting for votes to happen or during speeches on the floor? They look at Twitter and Facebook. There is a new game in town, one that the Left has been dominating for years now, using social media to affect policy and influence legislators. But in 2017, FreedomWorks began laying groundwork to ultimately lead the charge on the Right to ensure we keep “Draining the Swamp” in Washington, D.C. The good news is, FreedomWorks is now well on our way to creating an online juggernaut with almost five million Facebook fans and over a quarter of a million Twitter followers. And it’s not by accident. Last year, a progressive group called The Indivisible Project announced it would train 5,800 local groups (at least two in every congressional district) on the most effective ways to use social media to “defeat the Trump
agenda, elect progressive leaders, and realize bold progressive policies.” With many conservative organizations focusing their efforts elsewhere and having funding problems, FreedomWorks launched the Activism Modernization Plan (AMP) as a challenge to Indivisible. As an organization focused on traditional grassroots activism across the country, the AMP program is a logical next step for FreedomWorks. Online activism will play a bigger and bigger role in the future. Fully implementing our AMP program will require both growing our online footprint and training activists on how to communicate effectively online with their elected representatives, members of the media, and other grassroots patriots. Studies show that Members of Congress are paying less attention to letters to the editor and other forms of communication to their offices. Instead, they’re glued to their phones.
Between votes, they’re on Facebook and Twitter – sometimes even directly engaging with their constituents. Social media is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. Studies show that 81% of Americans now have a social media profile.1 A CQ/Roll Call survey revealed that 75% of Capitol Hill staff believes between one and 30 comments on Facebook and Twitter are enough to “grab their attention on an issue.” 2 Social media is a real-time barometer of feelings from the people who voted them into office, and it is often their best tool for getting their position out to the public and the media. It is an incredibly powerful tool for the members – and for those looking to share their opinions with politicians. Rational 360, a third party communications firm, ranked the five most influential hashtags in Washington, D.C. in November – only a month after AMP got off the ground. Our hashtag, #ampFW, was the third most influential hashtag in Washington. With a broad online footprint, we’re also able to distribute material in which we collaborate with other conservative groups. One of our activities that gets the most eyeballs is our livestreams. We’re also organizing in-person AMP trainings to train our activists. There are already 13 of them in the works for the first part of this year. At these trainings, we take those with varying levels of ability, and lead them through creating an account if necessary, provide practical training about how to use the websites and apps, and explain strategies for having the most impact online. FreedomWorks is proud to plant our flag where few other conservative flags are found. We are on the cutting edge of conservative advocacy and seeing great success – even with the relative youth of our Activism Modernization Plan.
AMERICA L ON SOCIAL To enact policy change, you must go where the voters and influencers are.
of Americans have a social media profile.
of U.S. adults are on Facebook. 2
of U.S. adults get news on social media. 3
 https://www.statista.com/statistics/273476/percentag  http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media http://www.journalism.org/2016/05/26/news-use-acr
LIVES L MEDIA Compared to Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks controlled 87% of #TaxReform Twitter conversations in the 24 hours before tax reform passed the Senate FreedomWorks controlled 9% of the conversations Twitter-wide Since January 2017, FreedomWorks has reached nearly 9.5 million people (almost 10% of the etire voting population) on Facebook focusing exclusively on tax reform. In addition, we hosted Facebook Lives featuring Members of Congress, national talk radio hosts, small business owners, and prominent economists discussing tax reform reaching 2,350,462 Americans on Facebook and garnering over 366,000 views.
ge-of-us-population-with-a-social-network-profile/ -update-2016/ ross-social-media-platforms-2016/
FREEDOMWORKS CONTINUES TO WORK WITH ALLIES TO PUSH LIVE STREAM VIDEOS.
LOOKING AHEAD With the mid-term elections looming large over everything in Washington, D.C. and most state legislatures these days, the first half of the year will be a whirlwind as elected officials try to wrap up work so they can start campaigning for re-election.
FreedomWorks has so many challenges in 2018 – both at the federal and state levels. But with your help,
FreedomWorks’ Steve Moore with FreedomWorks activists during a stop on the Axes to Taxes Tour.
we’ll continue our work Draining the Swamp.
Federal Fights After more than 250 meetings on Capitol Hill in 2017, FreedomWorks’ legislative team is at it again. One of our top priorities for 2018 – which is expected to be a top congressional priority – is welfare reform. After President Trump’s mention of Right to Try legislation in his State of the Union and passage in the Senate after FreedomWorks drove 11,000 messages in suppport of the bill, Right to Try legislation will also be a significant focus. Right to Try legislation gives those facing the worst diagnoses a chance by opening up treatments with good results that haven’t passed the entirety of the FDA’s time consuming bureaucratic approval process. We’re also battling against the reauthorization of earmarks, working to rein in abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), working to reform our criminal justice system and address civil asset forfeiture laws. With President Trump signaling that he wants his administration and Congress to act on prison
reform, it provides a path for the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), to move forward. FreedomWorks is backing the bill and looking for areas of consensus on sentencing reforms and other reentry policies to reduce recidivism and lower crime rates. In addition to these pending battles and others, FreedomWorks’ legislative team must ensure we defend one of the biggest victories won by FreedomWorks Foundation in 2017 – repealing “net neutrality.” Democrats in Congress have their sights set on reimplementing Obama-era rules. The entire Senate Democratic Caucus and one Republican, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, are already on board. It’ll be FreedomWorks’ job to defeat it when it comes to the floor for a vote. This year promises to be another wild ride. With the continued support of our donors and activists, you can rest assured that FreedomWorks will be right in the thick of it all.
State Level Battles In addition to our federal battles, FreedomWorks is prepared to pick up where we left off at the state level. While we scored many complete victories in passing bills into law, our activism also resulted in other legislation advancing, setting the stage for more progress in 2018.
KEY STATE BATTLES FOR 2018 PENSION REFORM IN KENTUCKY
IN ARIZONA, OHIO, FLORIDA, AND WISCONSIN
OP-ED: “Congress Must Reform Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws,” by Jason Pye 2/22/17 OP-ED: “Bipartisan Duo Offer Criminal Justice Reform” 11/7/17 “The SAFE Justice Act will bring longoverdue sentencing reforms that will ensure prisons are reserved for violent and career criminals. It also proposes corrections reforms designed to reduce recidivism and enhance public safety,” wrote FreedomWorks’ Vice President for Legislative Affairs Jason Pye
COMMON CORE REPEAL IN WEST VIRGINIA AND MISSISSIPPI
EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNT
LEGISLATION IN VIRGINIA
To help broaden our coalition to ensure victories, we’re partnering with think tank allies to help move each of these battles forward. Since early 2016, FreedomWorks has been a partner in the Justice Action Network, a bipartisan coalition of conservative and liberal groups that have come together to promote sensible justice reform policies. Taking the evidence-based policies that have been incorporated in more than 30 states, including Texas and Georgia, we’ve worked to spread the reform movement in the states and at the federal level. FreedomWorks spent much of our work on justice reform in 2017 laying the groundwork for legislative action in 2018 on policies that will save taxpayers money, reduce repeat offenders, and enhance public safety. FreedomWorks has already testified in support of bail reform in the Ohio House Committee on Criminal Justice and released three issue briefs for members of Congress on justice reform policies.
REPORT: “Conservatives Embrace Bipartisan Justice Reform,” by Rep. Doug Collins, Adam Brandon 4/19/17
As a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) organization, FreedomWorks Foundation focuses on educating the public on key freedom issues – as well as keeping tabs on the Executive and Judicial Branches, and the “Fourth Branch of Government,” the Regulatory State. FreedomWorks Foundation’s Regulatory Action Center is quickly becoming the conservative movement’s main driver of public comments on Washington, D.C. regulations – effectively the only time the American people can make their voices heard and make an impact during the regulatory process.
With the election of President Trump and allies now staffing key federal agencies, we’re making progress Draining the Swamp few could have imagined just a few years ago.
The Regulatory Action Center’s Regulatory Revolution At 26.2 miles, the marathon is one of the great physical challenges, requiring years of training to even finish one let alone compete with the world’s top runners – none of whom have done it in less than two hours.
Now consider “running” a business in the United States.
OF THE ENTIRE ECONOMY
REGIME RIVALS THE SIZE OF INDIA, A NATION
The Code of Federal Regulations
IS OVER 175,000 PAGES LONG. IF LAID END-TO-END, IT WOULD STRETCH
OF 1.3 BILLION PEOPLE. Only six other countries in the world have a GDP greater than $2 trillion.
If it takes the world’s best runners two hours to run that distance, image how long it would take to read it all!
Educated estimates are that these regulations inflict between $2 and $4 TRILLION worth of economic damage per year! If we expect to solve economic problems that include a $20 trillion debt, and another $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, ending this madness will be key.
CONGRESS CREATED THE PROBLEM.
This is why FreedomWorks Foundation has created the Regulatory Action Center to utilize conservative grassroots activism as a catalyst for a lasting regulatory revolution. American entrepreneurs haven’t always faced such regulatory excess. The Constitution, including all the amendments, is just 19 pages long. Over time, Congress has created and delegated more and more authority to various departments and agencies that comprise the Executive Branch, forming what we now refer to as the unelected “Fourth Branch” of government.
GRASSROOTS CONSERVATIVES MUST FIX IT.
The good news is, under the law, the public must be allowed to submit their comments and agencies must prove they have reviewed and considered the input. The Left seized this opportunity long ago to cheerlead the growth of government. Although conservatives are behind the Left in terms of the number of comments submitted to agencies, we believe we’re on pace to match their influence before the end of the Trump administration’s first term. What makes the Regulatory Action Center’s approach so different is that we are training activists to develop their own unique and substantive comments to submit to agencies. This stands in stark contrast to the progressive Left, which bombards agencies with form letters. Groups on the Right, ourselves included, have tried to replicate this. But it’s not good enough. We need our activists to learn about these issues, understand what their government is doing, and appreciate the impact they can have on our government.
This is why we partner with academics, administration officials, and think tanks to distill complicated concepts and distribute this knowledge to our activists in a way they can easily consume and act on. Educating on principles is a much better investment for the future than parroting points for short-term gains. Not only that, but administration officials have told us form comments don’t make nearly the impact as unique and substantive comments.
GOVERNMENT INSIDERS SAY ONE UNIQUE AND SUBSTANTIVE COMMENT IS MORE INFLUENTIAL THAN 1,000 FORM LETTERS
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA Published 648,607 PAGES of Regulations Over Two Terms
This is why we know we can balance the scales quickly. In one evening, we can train 25-50 activists on how to create and submit comments that resonate with rulemakers. If each of their comments outweigh a thousand cookie-cutter comments from the progressive Left, you do the math on how quickly we can change the political landscape. Back in Washington, D.C., our team has created a platform that is a one-stop-shop for activists to learn about new regulatory proceedings and submit their comments in a simple interface that both ensures their messages reach the regulators and allows our team to study our activists’ responsiveness to our education and outreach efforts.
an effective stop all while outdated, unnecessary, and overly-burdensome rules are being scrapped at a pace that has smashed this administration’s own expectations by a staggering 11-fold. As exciting as this is, who knows what the next administration, Democratic or Republican, has in store. This could be just the eye of the storm, so it is critical we use this opportunity to undo as much of the damage as we can and prepare our community to resist any future attempts to resume unchecked regulatory growth.
But it is critical that we foster this regulatory revolution within the years of the Trump administration. Regulation is a bipartisan problem. Fortunately, under the Trump administration, executive orders have ground new rulemaking to
IN U.S. HISTORY
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Published 614,264 PAGES of Regulations Over Two Terms
REGULATORY ACTION CENTER BY THE NUMBERS IN 2017, THE REGULATORY ACTION CENTER:
AT 15 REGULATORY ACTION CENTER EVENTS
Our November Livestream with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr
30 FACEBOOK “LIVES,” REACHING OVER 600,000 VIEWS
TRAINING EVENTS 5/20
Cottage Grove, OR
Winston Salem, NC
THE REGULATORY ACTION CENTER IN ACTION FCC: Restoring Internet Freedom (17-108) Summary: Reversal of Obama-era “Net Neutrality.” Comments Submitted: 28,878 Status: Victory. Finalized December 14, 2017
The Food and Drug Administration
FDA: Tobacco Product Standard for N-Nitrosonornicotine Level In Finished Smokeless Tobacco Products (FDA-2016-N-2527-0286) Summary: “Midnight” regulation that would impose de facto ban on smokeless tobacco production in the United States. Comments Submitted: 2,272 Status: Comment period closed on July 10, 2017. Agency decision pending. FreedomWorks Foundation activists submitted over 21 percent of total comments received by the FDA.
EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019 (EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0091-0002) Summary: Biofuels mandate compliance targets. FreedomWorks took the position these targets were too aggressive and that the EPA should exert greater waiver authority. Comments Submitted: 1,000 Status: Comment period closed on August 31, 2017. EPA retained and slightly increased proposed standard.
EPA: Definition of “Waters of The United States”- Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules (EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203-0001) Summary: Repeal of the Waters of The United States rule that would theoretically grant the EPA power to regulate ponds, ditches, and puddles as “navigable waterways.” Comments Submitted: 6,678 Status: Comment period closed on September 27, 2017. Expected victory, pending agency finalization. Probable redefinition of navigable waterways consistent with opinion authored by late-Justice Antonin Scalia.
DOI: Review of Certain National Monuments Established Since 1996; Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment (DOI-2017-0002-0001) Summary: Review of excessively large national monuments declared in order to stifle domestic energy resource exploration. Comments Submitted: 2,144 Status: Victory. President Trump signed an order reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments by 85 percent and 50 percent, respectively, on December 4, 2017. FEC: Internet Communication Disclaimers; Reopening of Comment Period (11 CFR Part 110 [Notice 2017–12]) Summary: Exploratory comment period surrounding the regulation of online political speech. Comments Submitted: 4,360 Status: On November 16, 2017, the FEC voted to approve drafting a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise rules governing disclaimers on paid internet and digital communications. This proposal is more limited than expected, and its release is pending. EPA: Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (Clean Power Plan) Summary: Repeal of the “Clean Power Plan,” aka back-door cap and trade. Comments Submitted: 6,000 and counting. Status: Comment period extended through April 26, 2018. Expected victory.
A SEA CHANGE AT THE FCC President Trump’s endorsement of Ajit Pai for chairman of the FCC signals a sea change, one that consumers and businesses alike should welcome.
LAUNCHING THE CENTER FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM In 2017, FreedomWorks Foundation launched the Center for Economic Freedom (CEF) to help make the moral case for capitalism and free-market principles. The Center for Economic Freedom educates Americans to stop government growth before it starts. Thanks to our partnership with famous economist and writer John Tamny, the CEF is poised to sweep away long-held, false narratives about our economy. For example, many Americans wrongly believe that most major corporations are the property of the richest individuals in the world—when the majority of the stock is actually owned by pension funds (that provide income for our teachers and firefighters in their latter years), university endowments (which enable colleges to educate our young people), and other investment managers (for purposes such as the mutual and index funds in the 401(k) plans of average Americans). To help promote the center’s message, we launched a Facebook “Live” show titled “Not Fake News with John Tamny” that reaches our activist community on social media. The show, which began in the fall of 2017, produced 26 episodes generating over 350,000 views reaching an audience of 1.5 million engaged activists.
Through this new show we were able to directly talk to our community about the confusion surrounding the Net Neutrality debate, the idea behind keeping corporate tax rates low, how the free-market punishes bad actors, and much more. Looking ahead to 2018, we still have a big fight ahead of us to defend free market principles. According to a recent poll 1, a majority of America’s up-and-coming generation would rather live in a socialist, communist, or fascist nation rather than a capitalist one. Needless to say, we cannot allow this to continue.
“The Left Has No Competing Tax Vision, and That’s Too Bad,” by John Tamny 11/29/17
1.4 MILLION FREEDOMWORKS ACTIVISTS Understanding Freedom At a time when Americans are bombarded by information, whether it is sensible or not, it is up to us to ensure the grassroots are educated on the intellectual foundations of a free society. “Understanding Freedom” – an online video resource for activists – exists to fill this void. Through short videos, lectures, essays, blog posts, free market analyses and constitutional policy analyses by top scholars like Judge Andrew Napolitano and Peter Schiff, “Understanding Freedom” continues to be a powerful resource to the Freedom Movement. Last year, we expanded this program with a new series on the regulatory state featuring Ken Cuccinelli. The series focused on the history of the regulatory process and more importantly how to get involved. In addition, we launched a new video series that highlights the violations of our freedoms at national and state levels. The new Liberty Minute series serves as a fresh wake-up call to Americans who may have forgotten how easy it is to lose our freedoms.
FreedomWorks and the Coalition to Unleash Prosperity Launch Ad Buy In the days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed sweeping tax reform and moved the battle to the U.S. Senate, FreedomWorks Foundation and the Coalition to Unleash Prosperity teamed up to launch a sixfigure ad buy. The TV ad focused on how the Democrats have drifted so far from historic statesman and Democrat President John F. Kennedy on the issue of tax policy. The ad ran in key states North Dakota, Montana and nationally. In addition, the ads were reinforced online using our vast social media presence.
FreedomWorks Foundation Patent Video — Award Finalist In 2017, FreedomWorks Foundation took on the problems we face with our patent system. In a creative and innovative web video, we highlighted how our patent system forces inventors to waste precious time on pricey lawyers to apply for a patent.
WITH OUR “UNDERSTANDING FREEDOM” VIDEO CONTENT.
As of February 2018, our video is a finalist for a Reed Award for Best Public Affairs Web Video, which recognizes top advocacy campaigns.
READY FOR 2018 In late 2017, the media elites and their liberal allies couldn’t stop harping about a Democrat tidal wave election in 2018. While it’s likely Democrats start off with the momentum, the political environment is tightening – and tax reform is likely playing a big role. After a rough start to 2017, conservatives have much to be happy about. Americans are finally getting a taste of what happens when government gets out of the way, and allows its citizens to thrive. The stock market reached historic highs, while unemployment is at historic lows. Tax reform was finally signed into law, allowing hard-working Americans to bring more money home to their families. A true constitutional conservative, Neil Gorsuch, is sitting on the Supreme Court bench. This is all great news because the stakes in 2018 are incredibly high. The entire House of Representatives, and a third of the Senate are up for grabs.
65 members of Congress have resigned, retired, or left to run for another office – leaving behind notoriously volatile open seat contests. Democrats held only 19 of those seats. In 2018, our job is to protect the policy leaders in the House and Senate who are getting the job done, and support fresh new faces who hold the most promise for restoring constitutional governance in Washington, D.C. With your help, FreedomWorks for America will mobilize grassroots activists once again to stop left-wing attempts to install Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as the next congressional leaders, protect and grow the ranks within the House Freedom Caucus and our allies in the Senate. The 2018 midterm election will have consequences that shape a generation. We owe it to ourselves, our kids and grandkids to fight with everything we have.
(AS OF MARCH 15, 2018)
FWFA ENDORSED CANDIDATES | U.S. SENATE PATRICK MORRISEY
FWFA ENDORSED CANDIDATES | U.S. HOUSE REP. DOUG LAMBORN
DR. MARK GREEN
REP. THOMAS MASSIE
CO DISTRICT 5
KY DISTRICT 4
ID DISTRICT 1
TX DISTRICT 21
TN DISTRICT 7
PA DISTRICT 18
NV DISTRICT 3
TX DISTRICT 3
FreedomWorks continues to keep a watchful eye on U.S. House and Senate races to determine where our PAC can make the most impact. Investors will be updated as the political landscape changes, new candidates are interviewed and endorsements are made.
FWFA WATCH RACES | U.S. SENATE TIER 1 MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN), R+14
FWFA WATCH RACES | U.S. SENATE TIER 2 ERIC BRAKEY (R-ME), D+3
FWFA WATCH RACES | U.S. HOUSE TIER 1 STEVE SMITH (R-AZ CD 1), R+2
NATHAN DAHM (R-OK CD 1), R+17
FWFA WATCH RACES | U.S. HOUSE TIER 2 DEBBIE LESKO
(R-AZ CD 8), R+13
(R-TN CD 6), R+24
DAVID BALAT (R-TX CD 2), R+11
(R-VA CD 6), R+13
(R-OH CD 16), R+8
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD Whether it’s engaging with elected officials online, contributing generously or involving yourself in the regulatory process, FreedomWorks offers endless opportunities for you to ensure your voice is heard in Washington, D.C. Join Us on Social Media
Restore Liberty Legacy Society
Social media has revolutionized the way citizens communicate with elected officials. Government continues to go to those who show up in person and now online.
Thanks to the support of FreedomWorks’ donors, conservatives have won some essential battles over the years to advance freedom, but we’ve also learned that progressives and special interests never stop looking for ways to grow government and restrict liberty.
A CQ/Roll Call survey revealed that 75% of Capitol Hill staff believe between one and 30 comments on Facebook and Twitter are enough to “grab their attention on an issue.” “Like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/ FreedomWorks Follow us on Twitter @FreedomWorks #ampFW Please feel free to contact Emily Stack, Grassroots Coordinator, to find out more ways to get involved. She can be reached at [email protected]
To that end, you’re invited to leave a permanent legacy for liberty by including FreedomWorks in your will or trust. Joining our Restore Liberty Legacy Society will ensure that whatever new challenges we face in the fight for liberty, FreedomWorks Foundation will be prepared to meet them. Please contact FreedomWorks today, so we may enroll you as a founding member of our Legacy Society at (202) 942-7645 or [email protected]
MARCH 28-31, 2019 THE JW MARRIOTT PHOENIX DESERT RIDGE RESORT & SPA FreedomWorks invites you to join us for our annual private off-the-record retreat with elected officials, media personalities, the administration, and other opinion leaders of our time.
FUNDRAISING FreedomWorks, Inc. TOTAL RAISED:
$4,219,577 from 23,568 donors
94% RAISED FROM INDIVIDUALS 6% FROM CORPORATIONS
2017 ALLOCATED SPENDING
69% PROGRAM 23% FUNDRAISING* 8% SUPPORT
*Fundraising is slightly higher than normal as FreedomWorks is in the midst of a capacity building program to ensure we have the resources needed to continue advancing the cause of liberty for future generations.
FreedomWorks Foundation 77% RAISED FROM INDIVIDUALS 21% FROM FOUNDATIONS 2% FROM CORPORATIONS
$3,858,542 from 4,650 donors
2017 ALLOCATED SPENDING
AS A WHOLE, FREEDOMWORKS’ FAMILY OF ORGANIZATIONS RAISED:
$8,078,119 IN 2017
78% PROGRAM 12% FUNDRAISING 10% SUPPORT
OUR AVERAGE GIFT FROM INDIVIDUALS IS $147 Unaudited financials
ORGANIZED FOR LIBERTY The mission of FreedomWorks is to build, educate, and mobilize the largest network of activists advocating the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty, and the rule of law. FreedomWorks’ family of entities is organized to enable our donors to make the maximum impact on public policy. Each are subject to different rules governing contribution amounts, how fundraising dollars can be spent, tax-deductibility and other factors. For more information, please contact Parissa Sedghi at: (202) 942-7645
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LEADERSHIP AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS FREEDOMWORKS INC.
JOAN CARTER CHAIR
PAUL BECKNER CHAIR
TED ABRAM BETSY ALBAUGH PAUL BECKNER TOM KNUDSEN ROB LANSING FRANK SANDS, SR. RICHARD J STEPHENSON
TED ABRAM ADAM BRANDON JOAN CARTER MICHAEL DARLAND ROB LANSING
LEADERSHIP ADAM BRANDON
DIRECTOR OF THE REGULATORY ACTION CENTER
SENIOR ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTOR
VICE PRESIDENT OF LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS
PARISSA SEDGHI FORNWALT
VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY
DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM
NOAH WALL VICE PRESIDENT OF ADVOCACY
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The portions of this report related to political activities were paid for by FreedomWorks for America. Not Authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. www.FreedomWorksforAmerica.org