Non-profit

Institute for Research on Presidential Elections (IRPE)

Website:

www.irpe.org

Location:

CUPERTINO, CA

Tax ID:

47-2877830

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $1,278,318
Expenses: $1,207,752
Assets: $70,566

Formation:

2006

Founder and Chief Financial Officer:

John Koza

President:

Ray Haynes

The Institute for Research on Presidential Elections (IRPE) was launched in 2006 to advocate for replacing the state-by-state Electoral College system of Presidential elections with a nationwide popular vote.[1] Its founder is John Koza, a left-leaning California businessman who made his fortune by inventing the scratch-off lottery ticket.[2]

Founding

In 2001, Robert Bennett, a professor at Northwestern University Law School, published Popular Election of the President Without a Constitutional Amendment.[3] In the paper, he argued it is “entirely possible that just a few states – conceivably just one or two – could bring about de facto direct election. And if that were to occur, opposition to a constitutional amendment might just melt away.” Bennett admitted that a move to a nationwide popular vote was not “obviously a good thing.”[4]

Building upon Bennett’s paper, brothers Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar authored How to Achieve Direct National Election of the President Without Amending the Constitution.[5] The article focused on eleven key states that would be sufficient to put a direct election system into effect.[6] They even went so far as to argue that once enough states join their conceived compact to trigger the 270 electoral vote threshold, any states not involved in the compact could be ignored and their elections viewed as “sideshows.”[7]

Based upon the work of Bennett and the Amar brothers, Koza led the efforts to write the book that served as the foundation for IRPE, Every Vote Equal.[8] Koza wrote the book with Barry Fadem, Mark Grueskin, Michael Mandell, Robert Richie, and Joseph Zimmerman.[9] Along with publication of the book, Koza officially formed IRPE, along with a sister organization, National Popular Vote, which serves as its 501(c)4 lobbying arm.[10]

Organizational Overview

According to one recent in depth analysis of the organization, IRPE is better described as “the most viable campaign to change how Americans choose their leader [and] is being waged at booze-soaked junkets in luxury hotels around the country and even abroad.”[11] According to this analysis, it “peddles a controversial idea: that state legislatures can put the popular-vote winner in the White House.”[12]

In order to lure legislators, activists, and journalists to their seminars espousing the replacement of the constitutionally prescribed Electoral College with a national popular vote, IRPE has been known to host junkets “inside a four-star resort in a third-world country.”[13] The arrangement for attendees is often as follows: “three days of sunshine, sightseeing, fine dining and free cocktails on the institute’s dime, in exchange for being educated by seminar coordinators in the pool, at the bar, overlooking the Panama Canal – and most aggressively, during the five-hour workshop in a windowless conference room – about the history and weaknesses of the Electoral College, and the potential of a radical alternative.”[14]

IRPE and National Popular Vote advocate a legislative proposal, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, under which states independently pledge their Electors to whomever wins a plurality of the national votes cast.[15] The legislation contains a “trigger clause” which activates when enough states have joined the Compact to account for 270 electoral votes.[16]

Funding

The most recent federal filing in 2016 showed revenue of $550,504 and total expenditures of $593,470, representing a $42,966 operating deficit for the year.[17] The 2016 balance sheet showed a net fund balance of $27,600.[18] These numbers reflect a significant weakening of the organization’s financial position. The prior year’s revenue totaled $1,278,318, over twice as much as the 2016 revenue amount.[19] While the previous year’s expenses were also significantly greater at $1,207,752, the operating budget for the previous year remained a positive $70,566.[20] Additionally, the 2015 balance sheet showed a net fund balance of $70,566.[21]

Compensation of current officers accounted for $235,971 of the organization’s expenditures, in addition to an undetailed $230,469 in “management” fees for services.[22] Additionally, the organization spent $61,173 on conferences, conventions and meetings.[23]

Chairman Patrick Rosenstiel received $38,171 in compensation, president Ray Haynes received $46,500 in compensation, vice president Saul Anuzis received $120,000 in compensation, CFO/treasurer John Koza did not receive any compensation as a member of the board, and the secretary Larry Lessler received $31,300 in compensation.[24] All of the members, including Anuzis, received their compensation for an estimated average of ten hours of work per week.[25]

It appears that Koza has largely funded the organization. Koza has stated in interviews “he has spent more than $14 million on the project so far and has budgeted at least $2 million per year moving forward.”[26]

People

The individuals involved include Republican operatives and well-known progressive Democrats.

The chairman of IRPE is Patrick Rosenstiel, who serves as the CEO of Ainsley Shea, a Minnesota-based public affairs firm. Ainsley Shea prominently displays the National Popular Vote project on its website as one of its key client matters.[27] Among other campaigns and efforts, he claims to have advised Republican Steve Forbes’ Presidential campaign and to have served as a political field director related to “efforts across the West and Midwest to garner Senate support for U.S. Supreme Court candidates John Roberts and Samuel Alito.”[28]

The president of IRPE is Ray Haynes, a former California state legislator and Republican.[29] A former liberal attorney, Haynes has described in detail his transition to a conservative philosophy following his involvement in a California “right to die” case.[30] In 2000, he served as national chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[31] Following his fourteen years in the state legislature, in 2014 he explored and ultimately entered a Congressional primary.[32] He did not advance out of the primary.[33]

The Vice President of IRPE, Saul Anuzis, has a long history in Republican politics, both in Michigan and nationally. After serving in numerous GOP roles in Michigan, he was elevated to Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party in 2005. After serving one term as Michigan’s RNC Committeeman, he was defeated by the controversial social conservative firebrand Dave Agema in 2012 in what some described as an “upheaval.”[34] Prior to his ouster from the RNC, he unsuccessfully ran for RNC Chairman in 2009 and 2011.[35] In 2016, he served as an advisor to the Ted Cruz Presidential campaign.[36]

John Koza, the founder of IRPE, also serves as its CFO/treasurer. Koza has long been interested in the Electoral College. In 1966, he published a board game involving Electoral College strategy.[37] He made much of his personal wealth between 1973 and 1987, when he served as co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Scientific Games Inc.[38] There, he co-invented the rub-off instant lottery ticket used by state lotteries.[39] He is the lead author of the book Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing the President by National Popular Vote.[40] Koza has admitted his partisan bent, noting that he decided to form IRPE “two years after [President] Bush’s reelection, which boiled down to battleground Ohio, to wage war on the Electoral College.”[41]

The secretary of IRP is Larry Lessler, a San Francisco-area CPA. Other individuals noted as being involved with IRPE but not listed as a member of the board include Scott Drexel, Stephen Silberstein, Chris Pearson, and Barry Fadem. Fadem is a California lawyer that specializes in campaign and election law and co-authored Every Vote Equal.[42] Pearson is a Vermont state legislator and member of the left-wing Vermont Progressive Party.[43] He previously was Director of the Presidential Election Reform program at Fair Vote (formerly the Center for Voting and Democracy) and a campaign and Congressional aide for left-wing then-U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).[44] Most recently he has pushed legislation that would limit the salaries of nonprofit employees.[45] Silberstein worked in the administration of the University of California, Berkeley and serves on several boards associated with Berkeley.[46] Finally, Drexel is the Managing Director of NMA Partners and has been an “advisor to some of the country’s most active Democratic donors, activists, and business leaders” in addition to serving on finance committees “for several national Democratic committees.”[47]

References

  1. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  2. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  3. Bennett, Robert, “Popular Election of the President Without a Constitutional Amendment,” Green Bag 4, no. 3 (2001): 241-246.
  4. Bennett, Robert, “Popular Election of the President Without a Constitutional Amendment,” Green Bag 4, no. 3 (2001): 241-246.
  5. Amar, Akhil Reed and Vikram David Amar, “How to Achieve Direct National Election of the President Without Amending the Constitution.” FindLaw. December 28, 2001. http://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/how-to-achieve-direct-national-election-of-the-president-without-amending-the-constitution.html
  6. Amar, Akhil Reed and Vikram David Amar, “How to Achieve Direct National Election of the President Without Amending the Constitution.” FindLaw. December 28, 2001. http://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/how-to-achieve-direct-national-election-of-the-president-without-amending-the-constitution.html
  7. Amar, Akhil Reed and Vikram David Amar, “How to Achieve Direct National Election of the President Without Amending the Constitution.” FindLaw. December 28, 2001. http://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/how-to-achieve-direct-national-election-of-the-president-without-amending-the-constitution.html
  8. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  9. Koza, John, Barry Fadem, Mark Grueskin, Michael Mandell, Robert Richie, and Joseph Zimmerman. Every Vote Equal: A State-Based Plan for Electing The President by National Popular Vote. http://www.nonprofitvote.org/documents/2011/03/koza-popular-vote-for-president.pdf
  10. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  11. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  12. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  13. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  14. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  15. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  16. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  17. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part I Lines 12, 18, and 19
  18. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part I Line 22
  19. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part I Line 12
  20. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part I Lines 18 and 19
  21. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part I Line 22
  22. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part IX Lines 5 and 11a
  23. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part IX Line 19
  24. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part VII
  25. Institute for Research on Presidential Elections, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part VII
  26. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  27. “National Popular Vote.” Ainsley Shea. September 30, 2016. Accessed February 01, 2018. https://www.ainsleyshea.com/national-popular-vote.
  28. “Media Inquiries.” National Popular Vote. September 24, 2017. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/media-inquiries.
  29. Pyle, Amy, and Tom Gorman | TIMES STAFF WRITERS. “Haynes Follows His Conservative Calling.” Los Angeles Times. February 23, 2000. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/feb/23/news/mn-1714.
  30. Pyle, Amy, and Tom Gorman | TIMES STAFF WRITERS. “Haynes Follows His Conservative Calling.” Los Angeles Times. February 23, 2000. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/feb/23/news/mn-1714.
  31. “Media Inquiries.” National Popular Vote. September 24, 2017. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/media-inquiries.
  32. Rogers, Alex. “Haynes Looks To Challenge House Democrat in California.” Time. January 06, 2014. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://swampland.time.com/2014/01/06/haynes-looks-to-challenge-house-democrat-in-california/.
  33. “Ray Haynes.” Ballotpedia. Accessed February 01, 2018. https://ballotpedia.org/Ray_Haynes.
  34. Gizzi, John, Jim Woods, Mark Skousen, Paul Dykewicz, Bryan Perry, Jim Woods, Ann Coulter, and Mark Skousen. “Michigan Republicans oust Saul Anuzis from leadership post.” Human Events. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://humanevents.com/2012/05/21/michigan-republicans-oust-saul-anuzis-from-leadership-post/.
  35. Spangler, Todd. “Ted Cruz taps Saul Anuzis to run Michigan campaign.” Detroit Free Press. May 11, 2015. Accessed February 01, 2018. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/05/11/cruz-campaign-gop-saul-anuzis/27115729/.
  36. Spangler, Todd. “Ted Cruz taps Saul Anuzis to run Michigan campaign.” Detroit Free Press. May 11, 2015. Accessed February 01, 2018. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/05/11/cruz-campaign-gop-saul-anuzis/27115729/.
  37. “About.” National Popular Vote. January 19, 2016. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/about.
  38. “About.” National Popular Vote. January 19, 2016. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/about.
  39. “About.” National Popular Vote. January 19, 2016. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/about.
  40. “Every Vote Equal.” Every Vote Equal. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.every-vote-equal.com/.
  41. Alberta, Tim, Jedediah Purdy, Tom Nichols, Molly K. McKew, Michael Crowley, Michael Grunwald, Amanda Carpenter, and Ian Kullgren. “Is the Electoral College Doomed?” POLITICO Magazine. Sept. & Oct. 2017. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/05/electoral-college-national-popular-vote-compact-215541.
  42. “About.” National Popular Vote. January 19, 2016. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/about.
  43. “Senator Christopher A. Pearson.” State House Dome. Accessed February 01, 2018. https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/single/2018/27150.
  44. “About.” National Popular Vote. January 19, 2016. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/about.
  45. Hewitt, Elizabeth. “State senator targets ‘eye-popping’ executive pay for Vermont nonprofits.” VTDigger. December 25, 2017. Accessed February 01, 2018. https://vtdigger.org/2017/12/25/state-senator-targets-eye-popping-executive-pay-for-vermont-nonprofits/.
  46. “About.” National Popular Vote. January 19, 2016. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/about.
  47. “About.” National Popular Vote. January 19, 2016. Accessed February 01, 2018. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/about.

Associated Organizations

  1. National Popular Vote (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2015

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,278,318 $1,207,752 $70,566 $0 N $1,278,290 $0 $28 $0 PDF

    Institute for Research on Presidential Elections (IRPE)

    21372 MILFORD DR
    CUPERTINO, CA 95014-1328