Palmetto Promise Institute
Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.
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" and changed its name in November 2012, according to its IRS filings. 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." 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."
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:
- Total Revenue: $551,452
- Total Expenses: $460,257
- Net Assets: $195,746
- Total Revenue: $490,432
- Total Expenses: $464,430
- Net Assets: $103,487
- Total Revenue: $356,125
- Total Expenses: $385,957
- Net Assets: $77,415
- Total Revenue: $514,953
- Total Expenses: $436,084
- Net Assets: $107,247
- Total Revenue: $62,804
- Total Expenses: $43,535
- Net Assets: $28,378
- Total Revenue: $7,545
- Total Expenses: $13,441
- Net Assets: $9,109
- Total Revenue: $13,110
- Total Expenses: $13,880
- Net Assets: $15,005
- Total Revenue: $30,095
- Total Expenses: $14,320
- Net Assets: $15,775
As of November 2018::
- Ellen E. Weaver, President and CEO (former State Director, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint's staff)
- Dr. Oran P. Smith (former President and CEO of the Palmetto Fort Foundation), Senior Fellow
- Richard McAdams, Director of Development
- Rebecca Gunnlaugsson, Visiting Fellow
- Jonathan Butcher, Visiting Fellow
- 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
- Elisabeth W. Kines, Executive Vice President
- Jessi Knight Blake, Development Director
- Bailey P. Hughes, Strategic Communications Coordinator
- Adam M. Crain, Research Assistant
Board of Directors
As of November 2018:
- C. Dan Adams, Chairman (President and CEO, The Capital Corporation)
- Michael R. Brenan, Director (President, BB&T South Carolina)
- Wendy Damron, Director
- Jim DeMint, Honorary Founding Chairman (former U.S. Senator; President, Heritage Foundation)
- Van Hipp, Director (Chairman, American Defense International, Inc.)
- Phil R. Hughes, Director (President, Hughes Investments, Inc.)
- Mikee Johnson, Director (President of Cox Industries)
- Stu Rodman, Vice Chairman (former Beaufort County school boardmember)
- Barry D. Wynn, Treasurer (President, Colonial Group)
- 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)
- 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 (President, Palmetto Family Council)
- Tanis and Bill Bowles, Directors
Palmetto Promise Institute
1201 Lincoln Street, Ste. 301
Columbia, SC 29201
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- State Policy Network:
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
- Donors Capital Fund
- Koch Family Foundations
- Koch Industries
- Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
- Heritage Foundation
- Think tanks
- Whitney Ball
- Adam Meyerson
- Bridgett Wagner
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- DeMint Founding New South Carolina Think Tank, Associated Press, February 5, 2013.
- Jamie Self, Former Sen. Jim DeMint forms think tank in South Carolina, Charlotte Observer, February 6, 2013.
- Palmetto Policy Forum, History, organizational website, accessed November 2013.
- Palmetto Promise Institute, Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, May 5, 2017.
- Palmetto Promise Institute, [paper copy 2015 Form 990], annual organizational IRS filing, May 11, 2016.
- Palmetto Promise Institute, 2014 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, August 13, 2015.
- Palmetto Promise Institute, 2013 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, May 13, 2014.
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- Palmetto Policy Forum, Meet Our Team, organizational website, accessed January 2017.
- Palmetto Policy Forum, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed January 2017.
- "House Ratings," National Journal, February 28, 2009.