Turning Point USA’s (TPUSA) four-day event dubbed “AmericaFest” for 2022 is over. Attendees witnessed speakers like Sen. Josh Hawley, former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Rep. Lauren Boebert, Fox News broadcaster Tucker Carlson, ultra-conservative personality Candace Owens, and former Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon peddling MAGA-extremist ideologies, racism, and election denial propaganda—all within the attributes that the organization has become notorious for since its inception.
The fact that six Members of Congress would share a stage with conspiracy theorists, grifters, election deniers, and outright insurrection supporters is a clear sign of right-wing extremism’s growing power in our institutions."
Kayla Hancock, Director of Accountable.US Power and Influence Program
What is Turning Point USA?
Turning Point USA is a right-wing student group founded in the early 2010s with a reputation for promoting culture war politics among young conservatives. The group has sought to influence universities by installing right-wing leaders to advance its values on campuses across the country. These efforts have led to accusations that the group violated transparency and spending caps by flooding student elections with dark money.
In 2018, TPUSA claimed to have chapters on over 2,900 campuses, but a Politico investigation could only verify 400 chapters.
Since then, TPUSA has expanded its outreach efforts in support of right-leaning and conservative Christian media operations and conservative political campaigns.
Why should you care about this organization?
TPUSA’s controversies go far beyond its presence on college campuses.
For example, TPUSA’s 501(c)(4) arm, Turning Point Action, was reportedly a key planner of the rally preceding the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Prominent election deniers Mike Lindell and Candance Owens have also held prominent leadership roles within the organization.
TPUSA’s extremist advocacy efforts have also come under fire for allegedly violating its nonprofit status. In addition to coordinating directly with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaigns, they also worked on behalf of Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and violated FEC rules during the 2020 election. Meanwhile, TPUSA has been accused of promoting extremism and racial insensitivity within its own ranks, with former staffers claiming that the organization is rife with racial bias and numerous high-profile staffers being fired for racist and racially insensitive remarks.
Any group or organization spreading extreme or racist rhetoric or supporting those who deny the validity of elections is a threat to our democracy. Accountable.US compiled a report detailing TPUSA’s long track record of supporting election deniers, spreading extreme racist rhetoric, and playing a pivotal role in planning the rally that directly preceded the January 6th Insurrection.