Conservative Partnership Institute

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Conservative Partnership Institute is a Washington D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2017 by Jim DeMint.[1] DeMint says he "started CPI to be a bulwark against the Swamp and a support system for conservatives looking to do the right thing".[2]

CPI describes its purpose as "providing a platform for citizen leaders, the conservative movement, Members of Congress, congressional staff and scholars to be connected. The organization works to provide these leaders with the tools, tactics, resources and strategies to help make them successful in advancing conservative policy solutions."[3] Its tagline being "where conservatives go to win", its homepage says it's "the home for conservative leaders in Washington who are serious about standing up for America's founding principles and serious about winning."[2]

In their 2021 Annual Report, CPI announced a collection of new organizations and projects they launched:

CPI is a partner of State Policy Network associate member Forge Leadership Network, an Ohio-based, right-wing recruiting and training operation.

News and Controversies

CPI Grooms Far Right Members of Congress and their Staff

CPI hosted at least four trainings in 2022 for far right members of Congress and their staffers. Only Congress members who were also members of the House Freedom Caucus were invited. At the trainings, attendees received coaching on "election integrity", conducting "effect research into Presidential appointees and nominees" and helping "congressional staff perform proper oversight". Both former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Trump attorney Cleta Mitchell led parts of the trainings.[4]

CPI Launches the Center for Legal Equality

CPI joined forces with America First Legal and Turning Point USA in creating the Center for Legal Equality, which serves to "identify and defend victims of the Left's equity racket". In an email announcing the new project, CPI Chair Jim DeMint wrote, "AFL is going to sue them, depose them, expose them, and bankrupt every organization that continues this racist, sexist, unconstitutional, illegal discrimination. They will drag liberal elites kicking and screaming into court and then into compliance with the law."[5]

CPI Likens Abortion to Child Sacrifice

Following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision overturning Roe V. Wade, CPI sent out an email celebrating the decision as a "generational victory for life". They went on to write, "Different sides of the issue and different venues will require different tactics and time horizons. But the goal of a now more multifaceted pro-life movement must remain the same: ending the evil practice of child sacrifice once and for all". [6]

CPI leadership played a direct role in the overturning of Roe. CPI leader Mark Meadows served as White House Chief of Staff during Justice Amy Coney Barret's confirmation to the Supreme Court, and CPI Chairman Jim DeMint wrote about his role, "Brett Kavanaugh's name appeared on a list of qualified judges I asked The Heritage Foundation to publish when I was their president in 2016. When a lot of conservatives were afraid to touch Trump with a 10-foot pole, let alone share SCOTUS recommendations, I asked that we step up to help."[7]

CPI Grows CPI Studios

In an email announcing the expansion of CPI Studios, CPI prefaces by asking, "What is the Left still lying about today? Climate change? A new Iran nuclear deal? China? Big Tech? January 6th? The correct answer is: All of the Above. That's why the Conservative Partnership Institute launched CPI Studios-- and why we are expanding them this year". CPI Studios is a broadcasting hub where conservative politicians and activist leaders can access media tools to produce videos and podcasts for their movements. The studio have more than 1,500 bookings in 2021, and prides itself for being "the only way to get true conservative messages out of Washington".[8]

CPI Partners with Turning Point USA in 'Staff the Hill' Initiative

Turning Point USA, an organization that played a major role in the January 6th Capitol Riots, launched a project called "Staff the Hill", in which they vet and certify young conservatives looking for jobs on Capitol Hill. CPI partnered with Turning Point USA for this project, giving graduates of the program CPI's "Seal of Approval" to add to their resumes, "to instantly signal to conservative offices in the House and Senate that they have what it takes to fight, lead, and win". [7]

Trump Gives CPI $1 Million Less than a Month After House Launches Select Committee to Investigate Jan. 6 Insurrection

Trump's Save America PAC gave CPI $1 million, according to an FEC filing reported by NBC News.[9]

"The contribution to Meadows’s nonprofit stands out both for its size and for its timing. On July 1, the House voted to establish a select committee to investigate the Capitol attack. Trump’s PAC donated to the Conservative Partnership Institute, which bills itself as a training ground for conservative staff and elected officials, on July 26," NBC News reported.[9]

CPI Opposes S.1/H.R.1 'For the People' Act

The proposed "For the People" Act, which would tackle issues of voter suppression and shine light on dark money, became a target of CPI as they sought to keep the bill from being passed through the senate. CPI chairman Jim DeMint said, "Washington elites are trying to silence and bully conservatives with astounding brazenness, which Cleta [Mitchell] has witnessed first hand, and now through her work at CPI, she will teach the conservative movement how to fight back against this cancel culture."[10]

Former Trump Adviser and Voter Suppression Advocate Cleta Mitchell Joins CPI

Lawyer Cleta Mitchell joined CPI as a senior legal fellow and is planning to use her role to "coordinate" rightwing voting positions, including in opposition to Democrat-led H.R.1, an elections reform bill that would undo Voter ID laws, support mail-in ballots, and enact automatic voter registration.[11]

Former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows Joins CPI

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows joined the Conservative Partnership Institute in January 2021. Meadows will "operate behind the scenes to help create more members [of Congress] like Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley– conservative firebrands with strong networks and staffs."[12]

CPI Launches State Freedom Caucus Network

In December 2021, CPI launched the State Freedom Caucus Network, which provides conservatives with resources to win elections. It is meant to mimic the House Freedom Caucus, a congressional caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. "The reason I helped launch the House Freedom Caucus in the U.S. Congress is because I knew it would be a game-changer in advance of limited government and conservative values. And it was. Now it's time to take it to the states and the State Freedom Caucus Network is going to help make it happen," said former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.[13]

DeMint Will Work with Other Right-Wing Organizations to Implement "The Conservative Agenda"

CPI was founded by Jim DeMint, former South Carolina senator and former president of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint was "ousted in May [2020] after internal disputes over Heritage's mission."[1] DeMint said CPI would work with "other right-leaning organization, citing a common goal of 'the conservative agenda' as Republicans in Congress struggle to form consensus around marquee campaign issues, such as health care"[1]

Ties to the Millennial Debt Foundation

CPI employees Rachel Bovard and Jim DeMint are both senior advisors at the Millennial Debt Foundation.

CPI's Voter Suppression Network Holds Statewide Summits

Starting in February 2022, CPI's Election Integrity Network organized and held statewide voter suppression summits in the states. CPI's Election Integrity Network is chaired by voter suppression advocate and GOP attorney Cleta Mitchell.

Georgia

CPI held the Georgia Statewide Election Integrity Summit on February 18 & 19, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. The summit featured a number of breakout sessions on elections and a "special" keynote from Mark Meadows, “What Happened in 2020 and What We Must Do to Protect Future Elections in Georgia."[14]

Arizona

CPI held the Arizona Statewide Election Integrity Summit on March 11 & 12, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The summit featured a number of breakout sessions on elections and a "special" keynote from Mark Meadows, “What Happened in 2020 and What We Must Do to Protect Future Elections in Arizona." The summit also held a "bonus session" on "Special Grassroots Training / Building the Citizens Campaign to Win the Fight for Voter ID in Arizona."[15]

Sponsors of the Arizona event included: AMAC Action, America First Policy Institute, America Pack, Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Election Transparency Initiative, EZAZ.org, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America, Public Interest Legal Foundation, Tea Party Patriots Action, Virginia Institute for Public Policy, and Voter Reference Foundation.

Florida

CPI held the Florida Statewide Election Integrity Summit on March 25-26, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. The summit featured a number of breakout sessions on elections and a "special" keynote from Sen. Jim DeMint and a speech from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The summit also held Florida specific sessions, "How Floridians Vote: Mail, Machines, and Role of the USPS – How to Be Citizen Watchdogs", and "What We Must Do to Enhance Florida’s Election Code."[16]

Sponsors of the Florida event included: AMAC Action, Citizens United Foundation, Defend Florida, Foundation for Government Accountability, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America, James Madison Institute, Tea Party Patriots Action, and Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

According to a report from AMAC Action, over 400 Floridians attended and other speakers included Cleta Mitchell, Florida state Rep. Cord Byrd, Chair of the Floria Election Commission Nick Primrose, Republican National Committee's Josh Findlay, and Virginia Policy Institute's Lynn Taylor.[17]

Pennsylvania

CPI held the Pennsylvania Statewide Election Integrity Summit on March 31, 2022 in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. The summit featured a number of breakout sessions on elections, a sneak preview of “Rigged": a "New Citizens United Documentary" and a speech by Kristen Eastlick from the Capital Research Center titled “The Real Kraken — How Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg Manipulated the 2020 Election." The summit also held a Pennsylvania specific session, "Understanding Absentee Voting, Recent Court Decisions about No Excuse Absentee Voting in PA, & the Role of US Post Office in Election Mail"[18]

Sponsors of the Pennsylvania event included: AMAC Action, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America, Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, Tea Party Patriots Action, and the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

Virginia

CPI scheduled a Virginia Statewide Election Integrity Summit for April 22-23, 2022 in Williamsburg, Virginia. The summit will feature a number of breakout sessions on elections, and a specific session on Virginia titled, "What Did the Virginia Legislature Do this Year? What Remains to Be Done?"[19] A special screening of "Rigged: The Zuckerberg-Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump", the new documentary from Citizens United will be held. Speakers are not listed for this event.

Sponsors of the Pennsylvania event included: AMAC Action, Heritage Action for America, Middle Resolution, Tea Party Patriots Action, Virginia Fair Elections, and the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

Michigan

CPI scheduled a Michigan Statewide Election Integrity Summit for May 13-14, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The summit will feature a number of breakout sessions on elections, and a specific session on Michigan titled, "Building the Michigan Election Integrity Infrastructure".[20] A special screening of "Rigged: The Story of How Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg Manipulated the 2020 Election", the new documentary from Citizens United will be held. Speakers are not listed for this event.

Sponsors of the Michigan event included: AMAC Action, Heritage Action for America, Michigan Election Protection Team, Tea Party Patriots Action, and the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.

Nevada

CPI's Election Integrity Network hosted the Nevada Statewide Election Integrity Summit May 20-21, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The summit included a screening of "Rigged-- The Story of How Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg Manipulated the 2020 Election", and panels titled "Coming together for Election Integrity", "Building the Nevada Election Integrity Infrastructure", "Election Inspector-- Recruitment, Training and Deployment", "Citizen's Guide to Cleaning Voter Rolls" and "The Left's Secret Plan to Spend Your Tax Dollars to Win 2022".[21]

North Carolina

CPI's Election Integrity Network hosted the North Carolina Statewide Election Integrity Summit June 10-11, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The summit featured special guest Lt. Governor Mark Robinson (R), a screening of "Rigged-- The Story of How Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg Manipulated the 2020 Election", and panels on "Coming together for Election Integrity", "Building the North Carolina Election Integrity Infrastructure", and "The Left's Secret Plan to Spend Your Tax Dollars to Win in 2022".[22]

Wisconsin

CPI's Election Integrity Network hosted the Wisconsin Statewide Election Integrity Summit June 24-25, 2022 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The summit included a speech from Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R), a screening of "Rigged-- The Story of How Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg Manipulated the 2020 Election", keynote speeches from former Wisocnsin justice Michael Gableman, Representative Janel Brandtjen, and Lt. Michael Luell, and panels on "The Left's 2022 Plans: Billionaire Donors and Tax Dollars to Manipulate the Election System to Elect Democrats", "Working Together to Fight the Left", and "Zuckerbucks: Private Money Corrupting Elections".[23]

Ties to the Council for National Policy

CPI's Senior Director of Policy, Rachel Bovard, is a member of the Council for National Policy and Cleta Mitchell is a Board of Governors member as of September 2020. CPI's founding chairman, Jim DeMint, is a member of CNP and served on the organization's Executive Committee as of 2020.

Council for National Policy

The Council for National Policy (CNP) is a secretive, Christian Right organization of funders and activists founded in 1981 by activist Morton Blackwell, commentator Paul Weyrich, direct-mail pioneer Richard Viguerie, right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye. Anne Nelson's book about CNP, Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, describes how the organization connects "the manpower and media of the Christian right with the finances of Western plutocrats and the strategy of right-wing Republican political operatives.”

CNP membership as of September 2020 is available here.

Ties to the Bradley Foundation

CPI receives funding from the Bradley Foundation, and a Bradley board member, Cleta Mitchell, is a CPI Senior Legal Fellow and chairs CPI’s Election Integrity Network.

Bradley Files

In 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of SourceWatch, launched a series of articles on the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, exposing the inner-workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. 56,000 previously undisclosed documents laid bare the Bradley Foundation's highly politicized agenda. CMD detailed Bradley's efforts to map and measure right wing infrastructure nationwide, including by dismantling and defunding unions to impact state elections; bankrolling discredited spin doctor Richard Berman and his many front groups; and more.

Find the series here at ExposedbyCMD.org.

Funding

The Conservative Partnership Institute is not required to disclose its funders but major foundation supporters can be found through their IRS filings. Here are some known contributors:

  • American Online Giving Foundation : $5,753 (2020)
  • Andrea Wait Carlton Family Foundation: $20,000 (2019)
  • Arthur and Lindee Lucas Family Foundation: $5,000 (2020)
  • Bradley Impact Fund: $6,000 (2020)
  • CB Foundation: $25,000 (2017)
  • Charles L. Shor Foundation for Epilepsy Research: $12,500 (2017-2019)
  • Chicago Community Trust: $200,000 (2018-2019)
  • Colbert Foundation: $12,500 (2017)
  • Deaver Foundation: $2,000 (2019-2020)
  • DonorsTrust: $732,500 (2018-2020)
  • Ed Uihlein Family Foundation: $2,250,000 (2018-2020)
  • Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund: $531,600 (2018-2020)
  • Frank B and Virginia V Fehsenfeld Charitable Foundation: $1,000 (2020)
  • Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund: $20,000 (2019)
  • Hamlin Family Foundation: $12,500 (2017-2019)
  • Helen W Bell Charitable Foundation: $125,000 (2020)
  • James E and Edith Margaret Brandon Foundation: $1,000 (2019)
  • James F. Causley, Jr. Family Foundation: $15,000 (2018-2020)
  • John and Darlene McNabb Charitable Foundation: $5,000 (2019)
  • Lazof Family Foundation, $2,500 (2018)
  • Leandro P.Rizzuto Foundation: $100,000 (2020)
  • Liptak Family Foundation: $25,000 (2020)
  • Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation: $300,000 (2018-2020)
  • Marion G Wells Foundation: $45,000 (2018)
  • Middlemas Family Foundation: $5,000 (2017)
  • National Christian Charitable Foundation: $525,117 (2017-2020)
  • National Philanthropic Trust: $127,930 (2018-2019)
  • Robert E Lamb Foundation: $5,000 (2020)
  • Robert S & Janet L Miller Family Foundation: $27,000 (2020)
  • Robert S. and Star Pepper Foundation: $115,000 (2018-2019)
  • Save America: $1,000,000 (2021)[24]
  • Schwab Charitable Fund: $294,400 (2020)
  • Servant Foundation: $11,000 (2019)
  • Sorenson Legacy Foundation: $75,000 (2019)
  • Stanley E Fulton Family Foundation: $500,000 (2019)
  • Thirteen Foundation: $10,000 (2020)
  • Tippins Foundation: $1,000 (2020)
  • Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program: $962,000 (2017-2020)
  • W. L. Amos, Sr. Foundation: $225,000 (2017-2019)
  • Woodford Foundation for Limited Government: $6,000 (2018-2020)

Core Financials

2021[25]

  • Total Revenue: $45,707,730
  • Total Expenses: $17,160,422
  • Net Assets: $30,076,796

Grants Distributed

2020[26]

  • Total Revenue: $6,202,407
  • Total Expenses: $5,948,594
  • Net Assets: $1,397,428

2019[27]

  • Total Revenue: $5,322,860
  • Total Expenses: $5,168,958
  • Net Assets: $1,143,614

2018[28]

  • Total Revenue: $4,328,406
  • Total Expenses: $4,220,955
  • Net Assets: $925,080

2017[29]

  • Total Revenue: $1.787,723
  • Total Expenses: $995,069
  • Net Assets: $792,654

Personnel

Staff

As of December 2021:[30]

  • Jim DeMint, Chairman
  • Mark Meadows, Senior Partner
  • Ed Corrigan, President & CEO
  • Cleta Mitchell, Senior Legal Fellow and chairs CPI’s Election Integrity Network
  • Wesley Denton, Chief Operating Officer
  • Rachel Bovard, Senior Director of Policy
  • Cameron Seward, General Counsel & Director of Operations
  • Doug Stamps, Counselor to the Chairman
  • Richard McAdams, Regional Director
  • Jeffrey Trimbath, Senior Advisor & Director of Legacy Society
  • Phil Reboli, Director of Government Affairs
  • Kali Kountoupis, Events Coordinator
  • Jacqueline Fowler, Senior Coordinator for Development
  • Mimi Singleton, Government Affairs Coordinator
  • Tiffany Coutris, Associate Producer

Former Staff

  • Lauren Kaylor, Government Affairs Coordinator
  • Jeremy Crane, Policy Outreach Coordinator & Press Assistant
  • Sallie Taylor, Event Coordinator

Board of Directors

As of December 2021:[25]

  • James DeMint, Chairman
  • Edward Corrigan, Executive Director
  • Wesley Denton, Senior Director for Communications and Operations
  • Tom Jones
  • Charlotte Davis
  • Gaston Mooney
  • Bret Bernhardt, Treasurer

Contact Information

Conservative Partnership Institute
300 Independence Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20003

EIN: 82-147-0217
Website: https://www.conservativepartnership.org/
Web contact form: https://www.conservativepartnership.org/contact
Phone: (202) 742-8988
Fax: (202) 595-0282

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

IRS Tax Exempt Application

1023

Annual Reports

2021

Articles

Related SourceWatch

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jake Lahut, "DeMint launches new group to boost conservatives in Washington", Politico, July 25, 2017, accessed February 25, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Conservative Partnership Institute, Conservative Partnership Institute Homepage, "CPI", accessed July 12, 2022.
  3. Conservative Partnership Institute, About, organizational website, accessed February 25, 2021.
  4. David Armiak, MAGA Group Grooms Members of Congress and their Staff for America First Movement, "Exposed by CMD", September 13, 2022.
  5. Jim DeMint, Equity Racket, "CPI", July 22, 2022.
  6. Wesley Denton, See What Happens When Conservatives Fight?, "The Compass", June 28, 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jim DeMint, CPI Partners Update, "CPI", July 1 2022.
  8. Jim DeMint, Conservative Studios, "CPI", June 17, 2022.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Johnathan Allen, Trump gave $1M to Meadows nonprofit weeks after Jan. 6 panel’s creation, NBC News, Feb. 1, 2022.
  10. Paul Bedard, Conservative team targets HR 1, ballot fraud in Georgia and elsewhere, "Washington Examiner", March 16, 2021.
  11. Nicholas Riccardi, "Former Trump adviser takes prominent role in voting battle", AP News, March 28, 2021, accessed March 30, 2021.
  12. Alayna Treene, Scoop: Mark Meadows' new gig, Axios, January 27, 2021, accessed February 26, 2021.
  13. State Freedom Caucus Network, State Freedom Caucus Network Homepage, "State Freedom Caucus Network", accessed July 12, 2022.
  14. Conservative Partnership Institute, Georgia Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  15. Conservative Partnership Institute, Arizona Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  16. Conservative Partnership Institute, Florida Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  17. Jeff Szymanski, AMAC Action – Sponsor & Attendee at Florida Election Integrity Summit, AMAC Action, March 28, 2022.
  18. Conservative Partnership Institute, Pennsylvania Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  19. Conservative Partnership Institute, Virginia Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  20. Conservative Partnership Institute, Michigan Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  21. Election Integrity Network, Nevada Statewide Election Integrity Summit, "eventbrite", accessed July 12, 2022.
  22. Election Integrity Network, North Carolina Statewide Election Integrity Summit, "eventbrite", accessed July 13, 2022.
  23. Election Integrity Network, Wisconsin Statewide Election Integrity Summit, "eventbrite", accessed July 12, 2022.
  24. Save America, 2021 FEC filing, FEC, 2021.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Conservative Partnership Institute, 2021 IRS Form 990, November 15, 2022.
  26. Conservative Partnership Institute, 2020 IRS Form 990, November 15, 2021.
  27. Conservative Partnership Institute, 2019 IRS Form 990, November 15, 2020.
  28. Conservative Partnership Institute, 2018 IRS Form 990, November 15, 2019.
  29. Conservative Partnership Institute, 2017 IRS Form 990, November 15, 2018.
  30. Conservative Partnership Institute, Staff, organizational website, accessed December 2021.