David Zupan, FreedomWorks Ohio State Director, had some choice words for Senator Sherrod Brown yesterday outside of a Josh Mandel event in Rocky River, Ohio. Zupan, wearing a a FreedomWorks’ “Ohio Victory Team for Josh Mandel” t-shirt, looks directly into the camera of a tracker for American Bridge, extends his middle finger, and delivers his message: “Hey Sherrod, F*&k yourself.”
FreedomWorks, chaired by Dick Armey, came about from the merger between the David Koch-funded Citizens for a Sound Economy and Empower America. They tend to align themselves with Tea Party groups and causes, often spending big money on local issues like last year’s fight over Kasich’s anti-union SB5/Issue 2 agenda in which they spent nearly $6 million to organize “grassroots rallies and protest activities” (read: astroturfing).
In addition to his role at Freedomworks, Mr. Zupan appears to work for a staffing company in the Cleveland area, and also belongs to multiple Tea Party groups including the North Shore Patriots, West Shore Tea Party and the Lorain County Tea Party. Zupan sent multiple tweets from the event and can be seen interacting with other volunteers and attendees at the end of the video.
As a volunteer at the event, Zupan can be seen as representing the Mandel campaign. And with his FreedomWorks shirt and position within the organization, he was representing that group as well. So it’s worth asking: is this the type of behavior Josh Mandel’s campaign and the National FreedomWorks organization condone? Unlikely. But at that this point in the campaign, they probably don’t have many other choices.
When you’re stuck with a campaign like Mandel’s that is sinking fast, you end up aligning yourself with, and taking help from, anyone who’s willing to stand out in the hot sun and hand out bumper stickers. Even if those individuals seem to lack even a basic sense of what is, and isn’t appropriate behavior at a campaign event.
Stay Classy, David.