Thursday, February 23, 2023

MAGA Building Its Own "Think Tank Row"

Allies of former President Donald Trump have been quietly scooping up real estate on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to house a number of entities linked to the think tank Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI).

Whether you call it "Patriot's Row," "MAGA Row," "Maga Mall," or "Think Tank Row East," CPI and related entities will continue to be an influential force in helping support the Freedom Caucus in the US Congress.

Here is more from Grid:

Months before Republicans took back the House last fall, high-profile MAGA activists were preparing a power move: dropping tens of millions of dollars on a real-estate-buying spree to create “an expansive campus of buildings” in the heart of the nation’s capital and to operate an exclusive, luxe retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore where right-wing activists and lawmakers can hunt wildlife, play tennis and devise ways to “save this country from the leftist onslaught.”

Though former president Donald Trump’s own political future is in doubt, the Conservative Partnership Institute, whose leaders include ex-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump elections lawyer Cleta Mitchell and former Tea Party senator Jim DeMint, is pursuing an aggressive expansion. The group appears to be quietly buying up properties, often in off-market transactions, Grid has found — apparently using a network of anonymous shell companies registered in Delaware to conduct the purchases.

In all, Grid traced nine D.C. properties purchased in the past 14 months by seven LLCs sporting bland monikers like Clear Plains, Hudson and Newpoint. A CPI executive is listed on paperwork for the entities, and the locations of most of the property purchases correspond with CPI’s “Patriot’s Row” plans. CPI bought Camp Rydin, which comprises 2,200 acres near Cambridge, Maryland, for over $7 million, apparently using the entity “Federal Investors, LLC,” the purchaser listed on state property records.


Here is a previous Think Tank Watch piece about CPI's buying spree in DC.

Update: Here is a Washington Post piece on MAGA Row.  It notes, among other things, that Jim DeMint is getting a compensation package from CPI of $542,000, and Meadows is getting $559,000.