Non-profit

Town Hall Project

Website:

townhallproject.com/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

81-5376030

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $153,893
Expenses: $135,609
Assets: $18,284

The Town Hall Project was a left-of-center “social welfare” advocacy group that organized protests against “town hall” events held by Republican members of Congress, especially during the 115th Congress that met from 2017 through 2019. [1] It was formed by a former campaigner for the 2016 presidential campaign of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a Trump-era liberal answer to the Obama-era conservative “Tea Party”[2] that opposed the administration of the incumbent President. [3]

The Town Hall Project collaborated with the left-of-center organizing group called Indivisible[4] that organized rapid response teams[5] to travel to attend and protest Republican policies at town halls across the country. [6]

The organization folded in 2018, distributing its remaining $25,378 in assets to the liberal “dark money” group Sixteen Thirty Fund. [7]

Background

The idea for the Town Hall Project was sparked and fueled primarily by the election of President Donald Trump and his subsequent attempts to dismantle Obamacare in 2017. Success in creating pandemonium[8] for Republican politicians at town halls led to a decline in town hall events and attendance. [9]

The Town Hall Project’s success in driving protests has created a need for increased security. The tenor at town hall meetings led many Republicans to stop holding in-person events and instead seek alternatives like phone conferences.

Leadership

It was founded and is staffed by Clinton and Obama supporters including managing director Nathan Williams who has bragged that the organization’s staff is driven to stop President Trump. [10]

Jimmy Dahman founded of the Town Hall Project, and was a former staff member for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Dahman described the Project staff’s political views as progressive. [11]

Finances

Funding

Town Hall Project received contributions from major left-of-center activism organizations. In 2017, MoveOn.org Civic Action reported making a $10,000 grant to the Project,[12] and NextGen Climate Action provided Town Hall Project with $40,000. [13]

Termination

Town Hall Project’s 2018 tax records show that the group had dissolved. As part of its termination, Town Hall Project disbursed its remaining $25,378 to Sixteen Thirty Fund,[14] a social welfare nonprofit in the Arabella Advisors network of “dark money” organizations that supported Democratic advocacy surrounding the 2018 Congressional elections. [15]

Criticism

Critics of Town Hall Project claimed that Obama-era conservative “tea party” activism was grassroots driven, while the Town Hall Project was created by Clinton staffers and supported by major liberal institutions. [16] Critics alleged The Town Hall Project is the tip of the spear in advertising and pushing for town hall meetings that are then supported and pushed by a well-funded ecosystem of left-progressive groups driving activists to town hall meetings including MoveOn, Indivisible, Democracy for America, and Organizing for Action. [17]

Aligned Groups

The Action Network

In 2017, the Washington Free Beacon identified Town Hall Project as a subordinate entity of the Action Network, an organizing group led by activists tied to left-of-center organizations including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Democratic politicians including U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, and former U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA). [18]

Indivisible

The Town Hall Project backed the “Town Hall Strategy Resource” published by liberal organizing group Indivisible, which guided town hall participants to contest President Trump’s policies. [19] It encouraged protesters by attesting town hall demonstrations defeated “TrumpCare.” Its step by step procedures include direction that the ultimate goal is to force the politician to change their position from supporting President Trump or replace them with someone that will. [20]

Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP Action)

Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP Action), the political arm of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, partnered with Town Hall Project to expand the tools available to protesters to be more effective, one of which was a website called ResistanceNearMe.org. The site promoted public events to rally progressive attendance focusing on protesting republican policies. [21]

References

  1. Richardson, Valerie. “Left Staging Ambush Attacks at GOP-Led Town Halls.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, February 22, 2017. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/22/town-halls-of-republicans-interrupted-by-ambush-at/. ^
  2. commentators.com. Accessed December 4, 2019. http://commentators.com/liberals-are-the-new-tea-party-vox/. ^
  3. Richardson, Valerie. “Left Staging Ambush Attacks at GOP-Led Town Halls.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, February 22, 2017. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/22/town-halls-of-republicans-interrupted-by-ambush-at/. ^
  4. “Town Hall Project.” Town Hall Project. Accessed December 4, 2019. https://townhallproject.com/#about. ^
  5. “Join Indivisible Oregon’s Rapid Response Volunteer Team! .” Indivisible Oregon – Rapid Response Volunteer Team. Accessed December 4, 2019. https://mailchi.mp/5bf3a3325778/rapidresponse. ^
  6. “indivisible” rapid response team at DuckDuckGo. Accessed December 4, 2019. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=”indivisible”+rapid+response+team&atb=v162-1&ia=web. ^
  7. Town Hall Project, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-EZ), 2018, Schedule N ^
  8. Roche, Lisa Riley. “Chaffetz Says Town Hall Crowd Tried ‘Bullying and Intimidation’.” Deseret News. Deseret News, February 11, 2017. https://www.deseret.com/2017/2/11/20606016/chaffetz-says-town-hall-crowd-tried-bullying-and-intimidation#rep-jason-chaffetz-r-utah-listens-to-questions-as-many-in-attendance-hold-signs-and-yell-during-a-town-hall-meeting-at-brighton-high-school-in-cottonwood-heights-on-thursday-feb-9-2017.

    ^

  9. Caygle, Heather, Burgess Everett, Maggie Severns, and Elena Schneider. “Lawmakers Ditch Town Halls: ‘They Want to Avoid Those Gotcha Moments’.” POLITICO, August 21, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/21/congress-town-halls-gotcha-public-meetings-789430. ^
  10. Richardson, Valerie. “Left Staging Ambush Attacks at GOP-Led Town Halls.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, February 22, 2017. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/22/town-halls-of-republicans-interrupted-by-ambush-at/. ^
  11. “Jimmy Dahman.” Roddenberry Foundation. Accessed December 4, 2019. https://roddenberryfoundation.org/blog/fellow/jimmy-dahman/. ^
  12. MoveOn Civic Action, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I ^
  13. NextGen Climate Action, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I ^
  14. Town Hall Project, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-EZ), 2018, Schedule N ^
  15. Bland, Scott, Sarah Frostenson, and Alex Isenstadt. “Liberal Secret-Money Network Hammers House GOP.” POLITICO, July 29, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/29/democrats-dark-money-midterms-house-745145. ^
  16. Richardson, Valerie. “Left Staging Ambush Attacks at GOP-Led Town Halls.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, February 22, 2017. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/22/town-halls-of-republicans-interrupted-by-ambush-at/.

    ^

  17. Richardson, Valerie. “Left Staging Ambush Attacks at GOP-Led Town Halls.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, February 22, 2017. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/22/town-halls-of-republicans-interrupted-by-ambush-at/. ^
  18.   Joe-Schoffstall. “Town Hall Project Founded By Former Clinton Staffer.” Washington Free Beacon. Washington Free Beacon, February 23, 2017. https://freebeacon.com/politics/town-hall-project-founded-former-clinton-staffer/. ^
  19. “Town Hall Project.” Town Hall Project. Accessed December 4, 2019. https://townhallproject.com/#about. ^
  20. “Town Hall Guide.” Indivisible, September 30, 2019. https://indivisible.org/resource/town-hall-guide. ^
  21. Washington Free Beacon. “Podesta’s CAP Action Partners with Town Hall Project for Anti-Trump Events.” Fox News. FOX News Network, April 17, 2017. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/podestas-cap-action-partners-with-town-hall-project-for-anti-trump-events. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. March for Truth
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 2017

  • 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
    2017 Dec Form 990EZ $153,893 $135,609 $18,284 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Town Hall Project

    PO BOX 73492
    WASHINGTON, DC 20056-3492