Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) took to the House floor last week to praise the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a nonprofit promoting a far-right agenda while billing itself as dedicated to the professional development of conservative staffers and elected officials.

Why It’s Problematic

Aside from the obvious, CPI is a network of closely affiliated think tanks, legal groups, training, and media centers devoted to the makeover of the federal government to implement a Christian Nationalist agenda.

CPI’s 2021 Annual Report to its partners is telling.

“In 2021 the House Freedom Caucus, the Senate Steering Committee, Congressional Chiefs of Staff, Congressional Communicators, Congressional Legislative Directors, and numerous conservative organizations and activists coalesced regularly at the CPC [CPI’s headquarters] to plan their methods and means of attack against the Left to save this country.”

Former Trump advisor Stephen Miller’s America First Legal is one of the more notable groups linked to CPI as is the American Accountability Foundation which led homophobic attacks against Gigi Sohn, a Biden nominee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), whose images are proudly featured on CPI’s marketing material, led a campaign to frame Sohn as an extremist and a communist. CPI also hosted multiple “war rooms” to oppose the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson to the Supreme Court.

CPI is also affiliated with groups like the Center For Renewing America that are linked to the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 which openly pushes a Christian Nationalist agenda and pins its hopes on the election of Donald Trump.

The Center For Renewing America’s Ken Cuccinelli, who influenced Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s immigration policy, issued a paper in 2021 that guides Republican governors to implement their own immigration policy.

“It is clear that the Biden administration has no interest in pursuing the federal policies necessary to secure the southern border. Therefore, given the federal government’s dereliction of duty, it is now incumbent on governors and states to fill the void and do what federal officials and lawmakers refuse to do: end the invasion at the U.S. southern border and restore both order and sovereignty.”

CPI is problematic not just for spreading misinformation about Biden nominees and leading culture wars like the anti-CRT movement but also for potential policy in the future.

In 2017, when CPI was founded, its stated purpose was to “deliver real, tangible results for the conservative movement. Our team arms, trains, and unites conservative leaders in Washington and across the country to take ground and win.” The organization immediately amassed an annual budget in the tens of millions of dollars in its effort to weaponize policy-making.

CPI’s influence is undeniable. With people like Mark Meadows and Cleta Mitchell at the helm along with members like Sen. Mark Lee (R-UT), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and many others who use CPI’s headquarters in Washington D.C. as a “home away from home” and make full use of CPI Studios to produce podcasts, misinformation spread fast.

Aside from the implications of members of Congress being affiliated with such a group, CPI’s 501c3 nonprofit status now comes into question after a complaint was filed against the group in February due to their obvious political bias. It seems Rep Norman’s speech on Wednesday isn’t helping the organization in that regard. That cat is out of the bag in a big way.

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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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