Campus Reform Group Is Funneling Koch Money To Groom Right-Wing Reporters - 2020-11-16
The group is a project of the Leadership Institute, a 41-year-old organization that was founded by New Right heavyweight Morton C. Blackwell. Blackwell is an ally of the late Paul Weyrich (co-founder of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Free Congress Foundation); conservative political direct mail pioneer Richard Viguerie; and Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation from 1972 to 2013 and from 2017 to 2018. In founding the Leadership Institute, Blackwell zeroed in on what he saw as the need to connect libertarian and conservative youth to one another, a need he first identified in the 1970s.
Blackwell's vision is expansive and he has worked to foster organizational networking to link right-wing student organizations — and young minds — to the broader and more well-established conservative movement: The Heritage Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, The Club for Growth, The Reason Foundation and the State Policy Network. But Blackwell has also gone further, noting that these connections would not matter unless money was ponied up to back the students' work.
The Leadership Institute, which itself had a budget of nearly $17 million in 2018, has become a financial matchmaker of sorts. Thanks to the institute's connections, Leadership Institute staff have introduced conservative funders to Campus Reform and other right-wing student networks: Turning Point USA, The College Fix, The Clarion Project and the Middle East Forum Campus Watch.