Palmetto Promise Institute

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The Palmetto Promise Institute (formerly the Palmetto Policy Forum) is a right-wing advocacy group based in South Carolina. It is a member of the State Policy Network, a web of state pressure groups that denote themselves as "think tanks" and drive a right-wing agenda in statehouses nationwide. It was founded in 2009 as the "Palmetto Fort Foundation"[1] and changed its name in November 2012, according to its IRS filings.[2] However, in February 2013, local and national press proclaimed that a new organization had been launched by former U.S. Senator and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint. DeMint injected $300,000 of his remaining campaign funds into the group and was thus named its "Founding Chairman."[3][4][5] No mention was made of the organization's history as the relatively small "Palmetto Fort Foundation." PPF's own website explains that it was "relaunched" in 2013, "championed and energized by Jim DeMint."[6]

Funding

The Palmetto Promise Institute is not required to disclose its funders. Its major foundation funders, however, can be found through a search of the IRS filings. Here are some of the known funders of the Palmetto Promise Institute:

Finances

2015[7]

  • Total Revenue: $490,432
  • Total Expenses: $464,430
  • Net Assets: $103,487

2014[8]

  • Total Revenue: $356,125
  • Total Expenses: $385,957
  • Net Assets: $77,415

2013[9]

  • Total Revenue: $514,953
  • Total Expenses: $436,084
  • Net Assets: $107,247

2012[2]

  • Total Revenue: $62,804
  • Total Expenses: $43,535
  • Net Assets: $28,378

2011[10]

  • Total Revenue: $7,545
  • Total Expenses: $13,441
  • Net Assets: $9,109

2010[11]

  • Total Revenue: $13,110
  • Total Expenses: $13,880
  • Net Assets: $15,005

2009[1]

  • Total Revenue: $30,095
  • Total Expenses: $14,320
  • Net Assets: $15,775

Personnel

Staff

As of January 2017:[12]:

  • Ellen E. Weaver, ​President and CEO​ (former State Director, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint's staff)
  • Elisabeth W. Kines, Executive Vice President
  • ​Dr. Oran P. Smith (former President and CEO of the Palmetto Fort Foundation), Senior Fellow
  • Jessi Knight Blake, Development Director
  • Bailey P. Hughes, Strategic Communications Coordinator
  • Adam M. Crain, Research Assistant

Former Staff

  • Kate Maroney​ (former Press Secretary, U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ); former Deputy Press Secretary, U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)), Executive Assistant to the President & CEO​

Board of Directors

As of January 2017:[13]

  • C. Dan Adams​​, Chairman​ (President and CEO, The Capital Corporation)
  • Stu Rodman, Vice Chairman (former Beaufort County school boardmember)
  • Barry D. Wynn, Treasurer (President, Colonial Group)
  • Tanis and Bill Bowles, Directors
  • Michael R. Brenan, Director​ (President, BB&T South Carolina)
  • Van Hipp, Director​ (Chairman, American Defense International, Inc.)
  • Phil R. Hughes, Director​ (President, Hughes Investments, Inc.)
  • Jim DeMint, Honorary Founding Chairman (former U.S. Senator; President, Heritage Foundation)

Former Directors

  • Ellen C. Weaver, President, CEO, and Director
  • J. Gresham Barrett, Director (former U.S. Representative ranked as one of the most conservative members of Congress by the National Journal in 2009)[14]
  • Michael H. McBride, Director​ (Chairman, HMR Veterans Services, Inc.)
  • Pat McKinney, Director​ (Owner, Kiawah Partners real estate firm)
  • Dr. Oran Smith, formerly President, CEO, and Director[2] (President, Palmetto Family Council)[3]

Contact Information

Palmetto Promise Institute
1201 Lincoln Street, Ste. 301
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-708-0673
Website: https://palmettopromise.org
Email: admin@palmettopromise.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/palmettopromise
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PalmettoPromise

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Palmetto Fort Foundation, 2009 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, May 10, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Palmetto Policy Forum, 2012 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, March 29, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Former US Senator Jim DeMint Launches the “Palmetto Policy Forum," Crescent: The Magazine, February 5, 2013.
  4. DeMint Founding New South Carolina Think Tank, Associated Press, February 5, 2013.
  5. Jamie Self, Former Sen. Jim DeMint forms think tank in South Carolina, Charlotte Observer, February 6, 2013.
  6. Palmetto Policy Forum, History, organizational website, accessed November 2013.
  7. Palmetto Promise Institute, [paper copy 2015 Form 990], annual organizational IRS filing, May 11, 2016.
  8. Palmetto Promise Institute, 2014 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, August 13, 2015.
  9. Palmetto Promise Institute, 2013 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, May 13, 2014.
  10. Palmetto Fort Foundation, 2011 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, May 14, 2012.
  11. Palmetto Fort Foundation, 2010 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, May 6, 2011.
  12. Palmetto Policy Forum, Meet Our Team, organizational website, accessed January 2017.
  13. Palmetto Policy Forum, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed January 2017.
  14. "House Ratings," National Journal, February 28, 2009.