The tension hit a boiling point this summer when Armey was asked to sign off on a deal that Kibbe had secured to write a book, “Hostile Takeover,” according to sources familiar with the situation. Armey refused, concerned that the agreement was structured to personally benefit Kibbe, even though FreedomWorks employees helped write and market the book, which was released in June. Armey and others at the organization were worried that the arrangement could violate the group’s nonprofit tax status, those sources said.
If FreedomWorks employees or resources were used to write the book, the organization owns rights to that book by default, said Marcus Owens, a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale, who for a decade directed the IRS division responsible for approving organizations’ charity status. Brandon said fundraising appeals featuring the book helped raise more than $355,000 for FreedomWorks, while Kibbe earned about $50,000 in profits from sales.
In early September, Kibbe and Brandon were placed on administrative leave. After they returned, staff email accounts were purged and Armey agreed to resign his role as chairman in exchange for an $8 million payout. Days later, Kibbe and Outreach Director Deneen Borelli were on the road for a multicity series of events on race relations that doubled as a book tour for both of them.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.