Trump alumni believe tank signs up with forces with America First Works dark cash group

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Trump alumni think tank joins forces with America First Works dark money group

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump responds at his very first post-presidency project rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, U.S., June 26, 2021.

Shannon Stapleton|Reuters

A dark cash group that when promoted previous President Donald Trump’s policies is signing up with forces with a think tank headed in part by previous crucial members of his administration, consisting of Larry Kudlow and Linda McMahon.

America First Works released after Trump’s 2016 success and was formerly called America FirstPolicies It was reformed and altered its name after Trump lost his quote for reelection.

Now the group is working straight with another newly formed not-for-profit company, believe tank America First Policy Institute, according to Ashley Hayek, a Trump project veteran who has a management function at America First Works and is likewise primary engagement officer for the think tank.

Other leaders at the AFPI think tank consist of:

  • CEO Brooke Rollins, who was when the director of domestic policy in Trump’s White House
  • Board chair McMahon, a previous CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment who worked as Trump’s head of the Small Business Administration
  • Board vice chair Kudlow, who was director of the National Economic Council under Trump

Neither America First Works nor America First Policy Institute is needed by law to openly divulge their donors. America First Works has actually offered cash to a group that declared to have actually assisted compose Georgia’s ballot law and another company that is pressing to change the Constitution to more enforce limitations on the federal government’s powers.

The groups’ partnership comes as Trump thinks about running for the White House once again in2024 They might supply another platform for Trump and his allies to keep his “America First” program in the spotlight. Members of the think tank have actually been continuing with openly promoting these pro-Trump policies through op-eds, interviews and pre-recorded videos.

While it’s uncertain just how much money AFPI has on hand, Axios reported that it has a very first year spending plan of $20 million. It was released previously this year. America First Works completed 2020 with simply over $7 million in properties, according to their yearly 990 tax filing.

America First Works is a 501( c)( 4) not-for-profit, which by law can take part in some partisan politics, while America First Policy Institute is a 501( c)( 3) not-for-profit, which by law needs to be nonpartisan. The group declares on its site that it is nonpartisan in spite of being lined up with the previous president.

Hayek informed CNBC that America First Works was formed “as a new organization to work closely with AFPI” and as “an extension of AFPI, it is entirely focused on advancing policy at all levels of government, including to promote economic opportunity, school choice, affordable healthcare, foster care reform, election integrity, and criminal justice reform.”

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Trump himself has actually honestly supported the America First Policy Institute.

The previous president spoke throughout a gala for the not-for-profit previously this month at his personal Mar- a-Lago resort inFlorida While he promoted achievements from his time in workplace, some members of the crowd cheered “Let’s go Brandon,” a motto utilized by pro-Trump conservatives to suggest “F***k Joe Biden,” according to a video of his remarks published by the group. Trump likewise took objective at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, calling him an “old crow.”

The America First Policy Institute states its research study concentrates on examining the policies that Trump and his allies called as “America First.” They have actually pressed back on components of President Joe Biden’s program, consisting of with how his administration has actually dealt with unlawful border crossings and a Covid vaccine required for personal services. The group just recently released a video that takes objective at Biden’s choice for comptroller of the currency, Saule Omarova, who has actually undergone attacks on her childhood along with reviews of her policy concepts.

The believe tanks policy concerns consist of criminal justice reforms, resisting versus Big Tech business and decreasing taxes. The group likewise notes as their concerns as “election integrity” and “critical race theory” as locations of issue.

The group has actually supported voting laws just recently passed in Texas that critics state limit access to the tally box. In op-eds published on AFPI’s site, leaders of the think tank have actually contacted moms and dads to eliminate back versus the mentors of crucial race theory, a college and post-graduate scholastic that analyzes the effect of bigotry on American organizations and policies. It ended up being a hot-button problem that was utilized by Republican Glenn Youngkin in his effective gubernatorial project in Virginia.

A growing impact network

Almost half of the almost $40 million in grants from America First Works in 2015 went to its associated extremely PAC, America First Action, according to AFW’s newest 990 filing. America First Works likewise contributed to other conservative companies that continue to wield impact throughout the nation. The filing was initially reported on by the Center for Public Integrity.

Previous tax records reveal that America First Works, previously called America First Policies, never ever administered this much money in one year. The 990 kind reveals that since completion of 2020, it was likewise chaired by McMahon. Longtime Republican operative Brian O. Walsh is noted as the president of the group.

The not-for-profit likewise had a record fundraising year, generating simply over $50 million, with the kind listing leading private contributions of $5 million. Just like other dark cash groups, America First Works is not needed to openly divulge the names of their donors. MapLight reported that previous business donors to America First Policies consisted of energies company Southern Company, CVS Health and Dow Chemical.

Last year, America First Works contributed $994,000 to Heritage Action, a conservative group that works to counter policies frequently lined up with the Democratic Party.

Heritage Action has actually likewise declared credit for assisting develop voting laws that supporters state limitation access to the tally box. Mother Jones acquired a video proving Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action, speaking with donors about how the group assisted craft such laws in Georgia and other states.

“In some cases, we actually draft them for them, or we have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe,” Anderson is seen stating on the recording.

Heritage Action’s site takes objective at the “For the People Act,” likewise called H.R. 1, which was presented by Democrats and passed in theHouse Democrats state the legislation would assist individuals have much better access to the tally box. It is not likely to pass in the Senate because Democrats do not have adequate votes to get rid of a Republican filibuster. The website includes a script for anybody thinking about offering to contact their House or Senate agent to press back versus the Democratic costs.

America First Works likewise offered $250,000 to a group called the Convention of States Action, which has actually been pressing state legislators to combine a convention to change the U.S. Constitution to restrict the federal government’s powers.

“Washington, D.C., is broken. The federal government is spending this country into the ground, seizing power from the states and taking liberty from the people. It’s time for we the people to take a stand against tyranny with a coordinated, nationwide effort to curb the unrestrained and growing power of the federal government,” Convention of States Action’s pocket guide states. The group’s site states that over a lots states have actually passed Convention of State resolutions that might cause an Article V convention.

The New American Populist, a not-for-profit group that declares to wish to “empower citizens and encourage greater involvement in the government process,” got simply over $1 million from America First Works in 2020.

Jeff Webb, the group’s president, has actually likewise moneyed 2 Republican extremely PACs, consisting of one with a similar name as the not-for-profit he runs, according to information from the nonpartisan Center for ResponsivePolitics Webb is the creator of cheerleading business Varsity Spirit and is the president of the International Cheer Union.

Webb, of Tennessee, has ties to Trump ally Charlie Kirk and his own company, Turning Point U.S.A., a not-for-profit that attempts to promote conservative voices on high school and college schools.

Webb was a speaker at Turning Point’s Student Action Summit previously this year. His speech took objective at progressives, stating they wish to modify commercialism.

“The left’s real goal is to reshape American capitalism. To move us to a more socialist model. One where the American economic engine runs more like a European system. They do so in the name of equity,” Webb informed the crowd at the time.

Webb signed up with Kirk on the Turning Point U.S.A.’s podcast in March to go over, to name a few things, how populism is acquiring power in the Republican Party post Trump’s loss.

“I think there’s no doubt that the populist movement within the party is winning. And it’s irreversible,” Webb stated then.

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