FreedomWorks Is “Freaking Out” Over the Giant-Panda-Hillary-Clinton-Sex Video

Hillary: Spirithalloween; Panda: Partysuperstore

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The story revealing that FreedomWorks produced a video with an obscene scene featuring a giant panda, Hillary Clinton, and oral sex created quite a stir and, according to former officials of the influential tea party group, had staffers at the conservative advocacy group and super-PAC “freaking out,” as one put it. That was to be expected, especially since FreedomWorks is the target of an internal investigation mounted by its board of trustees after board members received “allegations of wrongdoing by the organization or its employees,” according to a letter the board sent in December to Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks. That probe is being conducted by two lawyers: Alfred Regnery, long a prominent figure in the conservative movement, and David Martin.

Readers of Thursday’s article may have noticed that Kibbe, Adam Brandon, the executive vice president of the group (who appeared in the obscene video), and Jackie Bodnar, the director of communications for FreedomWorks, did not respond to repeated requests from Mother Jones for comments (and an explanation) regarding the bizarre video. James Burnley IV, one of the two trustees who initiated the internal inquiry, did offer a comment that suggested he might not have known of the video and that the investigation might have not yet learned of it. (Former FreedomWorks officials note that the production of the video could have entailed sexual harassment, given that two female interns were asked to play the roles of the giant panda and Hillary Clinton and act out a pretend sex scene.)

After the story was posted, the FreedomWorks gang was still officially keeping mum about the giant-panda-Hillary-Clinton-sex video. I did send Burnley this query, which referred to C. Boyden Gray, another board of trustees member:

Now that the allegations regarding the video are public, do you and C. Boyden Gray intend to ask Alfred Regnery and David Martin to investigate them?

So far, no response from Burnley. Yet two former FreedomWorks officials say that they believe Regnery and Martin will have no choice but to add the panda-Clinton-sex video to their to-do list.

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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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