Charlie Kirk’s Disinformation Machine

A brief history of the complicated web of contradictions, deceits and controversies surrounding the GOP’s political astro-turfing wunderkind.

Photo Credit: https://web.archive.org/web/20200904102429/https://www.liberty.edu/news/2019/12/06/jerry-falwell-charlie-kirk-partner-to-create-christian-conservative-think-tank/

The history and structure of the Turning Point organization

The original organization, Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is crafted to resemble a Grassroots movement but, in reality, TPUSA has implemented Astroturf style lobbying tactics. TPUSA is functionally inseparable from spin off organizations, Turning Point Action (a 501(c)4) and the Turning Point USA Endowment. Between the menage a trois of these organizations, Kirk attempts to skirt the rules and regulations of the IRS. In multiple articles written by major journalists, his communications team has attempted to avoid accountability by muddying the waters of which entity was responsible for which actions. This gaslighting technique seems to have been rather effective for Kirk’s organizations, judging by all the corrections to stories on major news outlets. To avoid falling for this strategy, I will refer to the throuple as Turning Point for the remainder of this post, unless I am referring to a specific arm of the entity.

A Merry-Go-Round of Associates and a Parcel of Tactics

Charlie Kirk is well connected to the inner circle of the past presidential administration. He has referred to Donald Trump Jr. as a “personal friend” and Trump is a fixture at Turning Point’s events. Ginni Thomas, the wife of SCOTUS Judge Clarence Thomas, was recruited to be on Turning Point’s advisory council. Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant and strategist for former president Trump, was a fellow at the Falkirk Center, the Liberty University located think tank that Kirk and Jerry Falwell Jr. collaborated on. Jenna Ellis, former president Trump’s lawyer who represented him during his unsuccessful campaign to reverse the election results, is a current fellow at the Falkirk Center.

Big Name Donors

Next, let’s look at who is feeding financial resources into Kirk’s disinformation machine. TPUSA took in over $8.2 million in 2017 and its biggest known funders then were GOP mega donor Richard Uihlein of the Ed Uihlein Foundation and the founder of Uline; Bernie Marcus’ Foundation (Marcus is Home Depot’s co-founder); Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, WI; former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner; Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.); and WI born GOP super donor, Foster Friess of the Lynn and Foster Friess Family Foundation. TPUSA is also funded by “various Koch brothers-affiliated groups, such as the Foundation for Economic Education, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund.” Geo Group, a private prison corporation, also donates financially to Turning Point and has received rave reviews in exchange. Other funders “are in the fossil fuel space,” according to Kirk.” For a full list scroll down to the bottom of the article or click here.

Kirk Spreads Trump’s Big Lie

Former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” of a stolen election was spread by Charlie Kirk and his minions. The “Big Lie” allowed Turning Point’s trifecta of organizations to raise millions of additional dollars. Events were coordinated by Turning Point to support the fervor of the moment and maximize fundraising opportunities. A date of January 6, 2021 was chosen for a large rally that would feature all the organizations that supported “Trump’s Big Lie”. Ali Alexander’s “Stop the Steal” was another prominent organization present. Buses and hotels were reserved by Turning Point and offers of free transportation and lodging were posted on social media.

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Further Reading:

Helping the world be a better place- one person and/or place at a time. Reckoning with the past. Mental health advocate for those who have suffered abuse.

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