A New York Times column today exposed the vast right-wing nonprofit network plotting the future of the conservative movement. In his new column, Thomas Edsall details the $2 billion-plus “political machine” led by Leonard Leo, the Conservative Partnership Institute, and Project 2025 architect the Heritage Foundation — three “power centers” which together plan to “exercise maximum surveillance over an incoming Trump administration.” Edsall exposes this network’s work as “constructing a detailed postelection agenda, lining up prospective appointees and backing Trump in his multiple legal battles.”

As leading political scientist Theda Skocpol notes, the groups are planning to “take full control of various federal departments and agencies from the very start.” These plans and more are detailed in the Heritage Project’s “MAGA blueprint” known as Project 2025, to which Leo’s network has funneled over $50 million.

The three key “power centers” leading the far-right movement are identified as: Leonard Leo’s network, buoyed by Marble Freedom Trust’s $1.6 billion windfall; the Conservative Partnership Institute, led by Mark Meadows; and the Heritage Foundation, which leads Project 2025.

Edsall notes the massive self-dealing that these right-wing nonprofits have made a feature of their work: “In a study covering more recent data, Accountable.US, another liberal reform group, reported that from 2020, when Leo acquired a share of CRC Advisors, to 2022, seven “groups with immediate ties to Leo’s network have made payments totaling at least $69.77 million to CRC Advisors. Those figures were, in turn, confirmed by Bloomberg’s Emily Birnbaum, who reported that ‘the sums paid to CRC Advisors by seven nonprofit groups have doubled since Leo came aboard as co-owner and chairman in 2020.’”

“From 2018 to 2020, the Conservative Partnership was a minor player in Washington’s right-wing community. From 2018 to 2020, according to its 990 report to the I.R.S., revenues totaled $16.9 million. In the next two years, donations shot up to $80.7 million. Seven executives at the partnership in 2022 made in excess of $300,000 a year, topped by Mark Meadows, Trump’s last White House chief of staff, whose annual compensation at the Conservative Partnership totaled $889,687 in 2022.” Accountable.US research contributed to a recent IRS complaint alleging Conservative Partnership Institute may have abused its nonprofit status by potentially engaging in private inurement, political activity, and more.

The Heritage Foundation has served as a convener of these right-wing influencers by organizing and leading Project 2025, which includes “detailed and ideologically infused discussion of virtually every federal department and agency, all guided by the goal of implementing conservative policies.” The Project’s lengthy manifesto is authored by some of the most extreme activists in nearly every field.

Learn more about the sprawling dark money network, key funders, and conservative figures behind the dangerous initiative at ExposeProject2025.org.


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