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Dick Armey’s third act

By Laurie Bennett

November 15, 2010 at 9:58am

Eight years out of Congress, Dick Armey is being described as a shadow majority leader.

Republicans around the country credit Armey and his organization, FreedomWorks, as major players in their mid-term victories.

As The New York Times notes today, “Mr. Armey is uniquely poised: he has the legislative experience that the Tea Party groups can’t offer, but the Tea Party credibility that Republicans can’t claim.”

There’s an irony to this: As Tea Party candidates call for an overthrow of Washington as usual, one of their prime backers is the consummate insider.

The former House majority leader served in Congress for three decades, choosing not to run in 2002. He then joined DLA Piper, where his lobby clients included Diageo (distributor of Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and other drinks); the military contractor Raytheon; and the drug company Sanofi Pasteur.

He also took the helm of FreedomWorks. The group, whose motto is “lower taxes, less government, more freedom,” has attracted support from wealthy conservatives such as Bob Perry and Steve Forbes.

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