Conservative Partnership Institute

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The Conservative Partnership Institute is a Washington D.C.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2017 by Jim DeMint.[1]

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."[2]

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

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.[3]

"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.[3]

Former Trump Adviser Cleta Mitchell Joins CPI

Lawyer Cleta Mitchell joined CPI as a senior legal fellow and is planning to use her role to "coordinate" conservative 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.[4]

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."[5]

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.

The Center for Media and Democracy tracked the summits as they were announced. As of April 4, 2022, below are the statewide events held/announced:

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."[6]

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."[7]

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."[8]

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.[9]

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"[10]

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?"[11] 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".[12] 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.

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:

  • 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)
  • 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

2020[13]

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

2019[14]

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

2018[15]

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

2017[16]

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

Personnel

Staff

As of December 2021:[17]

  • 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 20:[13]

  • 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

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. Conservative Partnership Institute, About, organizational website, accessed February 25, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Johnathan Allen, Trump gave $1M to Meadows nonprofit weeks after Jan. 6 panel’s creation, NBC News, Feb. 1, 2022.
  4. Nicholas Riccardi, "Former Trump adviser takes prominent role in voting battle", AP News, March 28, 2021, accessed March 30, 2021.
  5. Alayna Treene, Scoop: Mark Meadows' new gig, Axios, January 27, 2021, accessed February 26, 2021.
  6. Conservative Partnership Institute, Georgia Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  7. Conservative Partnership Institute, Arizona Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  8. Conservative Partnership Institute, Florida Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  9. Jeff Szymanski, AMAC Action – Sponsor & Attendee at Florida Election Integrity Summit, AMAC Action, March 28, 2022.
  10. Conservative Partnership Institute, Pennsylvania Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  11. Conservative Partnership Institute, Virginia Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  12. Conservative Partnership Institute, Michigan Statewide Election Integrity Summit, CPI, accessed April 4, 2022.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Conservative Partnership Institute, 2020 IRS Form 990, November 15, 2021.
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named cpi19
  15. Conservative Partnership Institute, 2018 IRS Form 990, November 15, 2019.
  16. Conservative Partnership Institute, 2017 IRS Form 990, November 15, 2018.
  17. Conservative Partnership Institute, Staff, organizational website, accessed December 2021.