Non-profit

Defending Democracy Together Institute (DDTI)

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Formation:

August 2018

Board Chair:

William “Bill” Kristol

The Defending Democracy Together Institute is a right-leaning 501(c)(3) advocacy group founded in Washington, D.C. in August 2018. Its leadership consists of Weekly Standard editor-at-large William “Bill” Kristol, Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Mona Charen, and other conservatives.[1] The group has taken positions in opposition to a number of initiatives by President Donald Trump, often through its project, Republicans for the Rule of Law; most prominently, it has supported continuing birthright citizenship and strongly supported the Justice Department investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.[2] [3] [4]

Defending Democracy Together is the 501(c)(4) counterpart of the Defending Democracy Together Institute. It also has a 527 super PAC, Defending Democracy Together Action Fund.

The Institute publishes The Bulwark, a center-right news and editorial website whose editorial board consists of many of the Institute’s board members, most notably Kristol and former talk radio host Charlie Sykes.[5] It has also been described as a “nonprofit dedicated to incubating and assembling pro-democracy voices. . . created by conservatives uncomfortable with the flamboyant rhetoric that can come from President Trump.”[6]

Funding

Defending Democracy Together has been criticizied for accepting at least $600,000 in two grants from Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) group created and funded by left-wing mega-donor Pierre Omidyar.[7] According to Democracy Fund Voice’s website, in May 2018 it “approved two grants to Defending Democracy Together: first in the amount of up to $100,000 over one year and then in the amount of up to $500,000 over one year” (image available here). [8]

The Institute was also awarded $150,000 from the left-leaning William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in September 2018. The grant was paid to the Institute through DonorsTrust, a right-of-center donor-advised fund provider (image available here).[9]

Board of Directors

According to its incorporation filing, the Defending Democracy Institute’s board of directors consists of Bill Kristol, Charlie Sykes, and Sarah Longwell.[10]

References

  1. “About Us.” Republicans for the Rule of Law. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.ruleoflawrepublicans.com/about-us/
  2. “Republican Immigration Group Defends Birthright Citizenship.” Press Release, Defending Democracy Together. October 30, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/press-release/republican-immigration-group-defends-birthright-citizenship/
  3. “Manafort Conviction Proves Mueller Investigation is not a Witch Hunt.” Press Release, Defending Democracy Together. August 21, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/press-release/manafort-conviction-proves-mueller-investigation-is-not-a-witch-hunt/
  4. “New Republican Group Launches Pro-Mueller Campaign.” Press Release, Defending Democracy Together. April 11, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.defendingdemocracytogether.org/press-release/new-republican-group-launches-pro-mueller-campaign/
  5. “About Us.” The Bulwark. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://thebulwark.com/About%20Us/
  6. Lawson Bader. “DonorsTrust Grows Liberty Beyond Grant-Making.” DonorsTrust. November 1, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://www.donorstrust.org/why-donorstrust/grows-liberty-beyond-grant-making/
  7. Julie Kelly. “NeverTrump’s Billionaire Leftist Benefactors.” November 14, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://amgreatness.com/2018/11/14/nevertrumps-billionaire-leftist-benefactors/
  8. “Grants: Defending Democracy Together.” Democracy Fund Voice. May 3, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://democracyfundvoice.org/defending-democracy-together/; Screenshot: https://www.influencewatch.org/democracy-fund-2018-grant-defending-democracy-together/
  9. “Grant: Donors Trust Inc. – For support of the Defending Democracy Together Institute.” Hewlett Foundation. September 19, 2018. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://hewlett.org/grants/donors-trust-inc-for-support-of-the-defending-democracy-together-institute/; Screenshot: https://www.influencewatch.org/hewlett-foundation-2018-grant-defending-democracy-together-institute/
  10. “Defending Democracy Together Institute – Initial File Number: N00006054804.” Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Accessed November 19, 2018. https://corponline.dcra.dc.gov/BizEntity.aspx/ViewContact?bizEntityContactId=733663&currentTabConfigurationId=576
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Defending Democracy Together Institute (DDTI)

1090 Vermont Ave., N.W.
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005