Friday, December 8, 2023

Trump-Backed Think Tank Raising Huge Sums Before 2024 Election

Trump-aligned think tanks are raising huge sums of money, including massive amounts from anonymous donors.  Here is more from CNN:

A nonprofit that employs numerous Trump administration officials and is laying the groundwork for the former president’s potential second term raised more than $23 million last year – nearly a third of which came from a single anonymous donor, previously unreported tax documents show.

The documents show that America First Policy Institute – a think tank that’s been described as a “White House-in-waiting” and has released a spate of conservative policy proposals – burned through most of the funds it raised, spending $22 million over the course of the year. That included the rental of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for a fundraising gala that featured a keynote speech by Trump himself.

But AFPI’s windfall has also sparked tensions with Trump’s team, with some advisors concerned the group has been taking in donations that would be better routed to the former president’s campaign or affiliated political action committees, a source familiar with the internal conversations told CNN.

AFPI’s board of directors includes several wealthy GOP donors such as Texas energy magnates Tim Dunn and Cody Campbell, Florida philanthropist Trish Duggan, and Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue, as well as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. A new addition to the board in 2022 was Mark Pentecost, a Florida entrepreneur who runs a skincare and nutrition company but does not have as significant a history of political donations. 

The group doesn’t publicly disclose any of its donors. But additional tax documents reviewed by CNN reveal that it received some donations from foundations connected to wealthy businessmen or their estates, including the Jackson Howard Foundation, which gave about $304,000, the Leandro P Rizzuto Foundation, which gave $260,000, the Dunn Foundation, which gave $250,000, and the Herche Family Foundation, which gave $200,000. 


The story quotes an AFPI spokesperson as saying that the think tank has received donations from 44,000 donors since its inception in 2021.  The article also notes that AFPI employed 81 people and had 50 volunteers in 2022.

CEO Brooke Rollins made $550,000 in total compensation last year.