Freedom and Opportunity Fund

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Freedom and Opportunity Fund (FOF) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit run by Trump's "judge whisperer" Leonard Leo, a leader in the effort of right-wing groups and funders to advance a conservative judiciary at the federal and state level. Leo is the board chairman of CRC Advisors and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

FOF's 2017 Schedule O Form 990 describes the organization's mission as "to operate as a sponsor of 'donor advised fund' seeking to: combat runaway spending, corruption, and cronyism; promote First Amendment and free market principles; generate economic opportunity; and educate Americans on limited government and free enterprise."[1]

The organization is part of a dark money network led by Leonard Leo which spent millions supporting the confirmation of right-wing Supreme Court appointees during Donald Trump's presidency.[2][3]

News and Controversies

Funded IWV, Supporting Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Confirmation

In its first two years of operation, the Freedom and Opportunity Fund "donated $4 million to the Independent Women's Voice (IWV), a D.C.-based dark money organization [that] was vociferous in its defense of [Brett] Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, a Stanford professor who knew the justice while he was in prep school. IWV’s president, Tammy Bruce, said on Fox News [in 2018] that Kavanaugh was 'effectively being used as a stand-in for all perpetrators.'"[3]

Ties to the Council for National Policy

Freedom and Opportunity Fund's Leonard Leo sits on the Board of Governors at the Council for National Policy (CNP). Leo spoke to CNP in February 2019 where he told members,

"We’re going to have to understand that judicial confirmations these days are more like political campaigns. We’re going to have to be smart as a movement. No one in this room has probably experienced the kind of transformation that I think we are beginning to see."[4]
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.

Funding

  • BH Fund, $400,000 (2017)

Grants Distributed

According to its IRS filings, FOF gave grants to the following:

  • 60 Plus Association: $60,000 (2017)
  • American Commitment: $107,500 (2017)
  • American Policy Coalition: $200,000 (2018)
  • Americans for Hope, Growth, and Opportunity: $78,000 (2018)
  • Arizona Chamber of Commerce: $250,000 (2016)
  • Arizona Mexico Commission: $50,000 (2016)
  • Center for Individual Freedom: $915,500 (2016-2018)
  • Conservative Action Network: $500,000 (2017)
  • CSG Action: $2,000,000 (2016)
  • Devil's Advocate: $142,500 (2018)
  • FreedomWorks: $200,000 (2017-2018)
  • Free Our Internet: $200,000 (2018)
  • Grow America's Infrastructure Now: $50,000 (2018)
  • Independent Women's Voice: $4,000,000 (2016-2017)
  • Investors Unite: $9,000 (2018)
  • Louisianans for Energy: $9,000 (2018)
  • Main Street Growth and Opportunity: $660,000 (2018)
  • Making America Great: $500,000 (2017)
  • National Taxpayers Union: $21,000 (2016)
  • Prosper Inc.: $60,000 (2016)
  • Protect Internet Freedom: $70,000 (2016)
  • Retire Safe: $79,000 (2016-2018)
  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance $70,000 (2018)
  • Texans for Lawsuit Reform: $50,000 (2018)

Core Financials

2018[5]

  • Total Revenue: $2,023,106
  • Total Expenses: $2,258,059
  • Net Assets: $0

2017[1]

  • Total Revenue: $3,210,687
  • Total Expenses: $4,213,252
  • Net Assets: $234,953

2016[6]

  • Total Revenue: $6,285,850
  • Total Expenses: $5,048,357
  • Net Assets: $1,237,585

Personnel

Board of Directors

  • Jonathan Bunch, Director/Treasurer
  • Todd Graves, Director/Secretary
  • Leonard Leo, Director/President

Contact Information

Freedom and Opportunity Fund
1030 15th St., NW 182 B1
Washington, D.C.
20005

EIN: 81-1199959
Phone: (540) 341-8808

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings

2018

2017

2016

Related SourceWatch

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Freedom and Opportunity Fund, 2017 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 15, 2018.
  2. Lisa Graves, "Dark Money for Supreme Court Briefs Tied to Former Federalist Society Leader", Truthout, October 13, 2020, accessed June 3, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Anna Massoglia and Andrew Perez, "New ‘dark money’ group led by Trump judicial adviser tied to network promoting his court picks", Center for Responsive Politics and MapLight, February 27, 2019, accessed June 2, 2021.
  4. Robert O'Harrow and Shawn Boburg, A conservative activist’s behind-the-scenes campaign to remake the nation’s courts, Washington Post, May 21, 2019.
  5. Freedom and Opportunity Fund, 2018 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 15, 2019.
  6. Freedom and Opportunity Fund, 2016 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, January 26, 2018.