Person

Rampa Hormel

Nationality:

American

Employer:

Enlyst Fund

Occupation:

Nonprofit executive, philanthropist

Rampa Hormel, a left-of-center environmentalist activist and supporter of Democratic Party candidates, is the president of the Enlyst Fund (formerly known as the Global Environment Project Institute), a board member of the League of Conservation Voters, and a partner of the Democracy Alliance donor collective.

Background

Rampa Robinson Hormel is the wife of Thomas D. Hormel, a member of the wealthy Hormel family associated with the multibillion-dollar Hormel Foods Corporation notable for selling processed food products. [1] Both Hormel and her husband are trustees of the Hormel Foundation, which holds a significant number of shares of the Hormel Foods Corporation. [2]

A 2012 report in the right-of-center Washington Free Beacon, describes Hormel and her husband as a “progressive power couple,” noting their support of left-wing Democratic candidates and Democratic-aligned Super PACs as well as Hormel’s board of directors membership with Green Seal, an environmentalist nonprofit that charges companies for endorsements of their products as “environmentally responsible,” sometimes up to $30,000; as well as with the League of Conservation Voters, a group supporting pro-environmentalist candidates. To that end, the report also claims that money derived from her work with the latter organization funded in part the purchase of a $4.1 million mansion in Washington, D.C. [3] [4]

Democracy Alliance

Hormel is a reported partner of the Democracy Alliance, a collective of left-of-center billionaire and millionaire donors founded in 2005 by Democratic consultant Rob Stein focused on supporting “the activities of permanent left-infrastructure.” Other notable members of the alliance have been said to include billionaire financier George Soros and the late former Progressive Insurance chairman Peter Lewis. Generally, the alliance annually issues a set of recommended organizations for partners to donate to, for instance, the Center for American Progress and the media watchdog Media Matters, as well as various “state funds,” which are nonprofits operated by Democracy Alliance staff, though under the legal auspices of separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit groups. Notably, since its founding, the Alliance has collectively donated over $600 million to such recommended groups. [5] [6] [7]

Enlyst Fund

Rampa Hormel founded the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt Global Environment Project Institute in December 1997 in Pacific Palisades, California. [8] In December 2008, Hormel changed the name of the organization to the Enlyst Fund. [9] The fund issues grants to left-progressive organizations and environmentalist projects. For instance, the fund has issues grants to the Tides Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Climate Registry, New Venture Fund, American Bird Conservancy, and Bushlife Conservancy. [10] Since 2000, the group has disbursed over $5 million, often to groups also supported by the Democracy Alliance. [11]

In her capacity as fund president, Hormel attended COP23, a session of United Nations Climate Change Conference (also known as Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Particularly, Hormel was present at the October 28, 2018 “Talanoa Dialogue” in Fiji convened by former California Governor and celebrity actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). [12]

League of Conservation Voters

Hormel is a member of the board of directors of the League of Conservation Voters, a group which mainly supports environmentalist candidates in state and national races, but also operates education and advocacy campaigns. According to the left-leaning Center for Public Integrity, the league is a “dark money heavyweight.” [13] In connection with her work for the League, then-President Bill Clinton singled out Hormel for praise during remarks he made at an award ceremony on September 4, 2000. [14]

Democratic Party Politics

According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, Hormel has contributed to the campaigns of Democratic politicians including former President Barack Obama, former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), former Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), former Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM). Additionally Hormel has contributed to the Democratic National Committee, League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, and League of Conservation Voters Action Fund. [15]

Other Activities

On March 6, 2008, along with Marc Carsey, Nikki Finke, Norman Lear, and Marge Tabankin, Hormel cohosted an event at the home of Carsey titled, “The WGA [Writers Guild of America West] Strike & Media Consolidation: Broken Media and What We Can Do to Change It.” Participants included Marty Kaplan of the Norman Lear Center, Patrick Verrone of WGA, filmmaker Robert Greenwald, and Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post. Generally, the discussion opposed corporate consolidation in the media industry and its effect on labor. [16]

References

  1. “Our History.” Hormel Foods. Accessed April 18, 2022, https://www.hormelfoods.com/about/our-history/. ^
  2.  “Schedule 13G: Hormel Foods Corporation.” UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. 2005. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/48465/000110465903000606/j6633_sc13g.htm. ^
  3. McMorris, Bill. “The Hormels: Progressive Power Couple.” Washington Free Beacon. August 22, 2012. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/democracy-alliance/the-hormels/. ^
  4. Mewbor, Mary. “Real estate News: The District.” Washington Life. Accessed April 18, 2022.  https://washingtonlife.com/issues/2005-04/realestate/. ^
  5. Vogel, Kenneth. “The ‘Resistance,’ Raising Big Money, Upends Liberal Politics.” New York Times. October 7, 2017. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/07/us/politics/democrats-resistance-fundraising.html. ^
  6. Schouten, Fredreka. “Liberal donors gear up to fund new state-level agenda.” USA Today. April 12, 2015. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/2015/04/12/democracy-alliance-to-direct-millions-to-30-liberal-groups/25672531/. ^
  7. Editorial. “Dark money fuels Democrats’ push against other dark money.” Washington Examiner. July 20, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2022. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dark-money-fuels-democrats-push-against-other-dark-money-examiner-editorial/article/2551041. ^
  8. “Enlyst Fund INC.” ProPublica. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/820421067. ^
  9. “Enlyst Fund Inc.” Form 990-PF for period ending December 2008. Internal Revenue Service. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/820421067/2009_10_PF%2F82-0421067_990PF_200812. ^
  10. “Enlyst Fund Inc.” Form 990-PF for period ending December 2019. Part XV, Line 3a. Internal Revenue Service. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/820421067/04_2021_prefixes_81-82%2F820421067_201912_990PF_2021041917961741. ^
  11. McMorris, Bill. “The Hormels: Progressive Power Couple.” Washington Free Beacon. August 22, 2012. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/democracy-alliance/the-hormels/. ^
  12.  Kate, Talebula. “Schwarzenegger thanks Bainimarama for ‘Talanoa’ dialogue.” The Fiji Times. October 28 2018 Accessed April 18, 2022. ^
  13. Beckel, Michael. “LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS BECOMING ‘DARK MONEY’ HEAVYWEIGHT.” November 22, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://publicintegrity.org/federal-politics/league-of-conservation-voters-becoming-dark-money-heavyweight/. ^
  14. Clinton, Bill. “Remarks to the California League of Conservation Voters in Bel Air, California.” Administration of William J. Clinton. September 24, 2000. Accessed April 18, 2022.  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PPP-2000-book2/pdf/PPP-2000-book2-doc-pg1928.pdf. ^
  15. “Rampa R. Hormel.” Little Sis. Accessed April 18, 2022.  https://littlesis.org/person/157545-Rampa_R_Hormel. ^
  16. “The WGA Strike & Media Consolidation: Broken Media and What We Can Do to Change It.” The Norman Lear Center. March 6, 2008. April 18, 2022. https://learcenter.org/event/the-wga-strike-media-consolidation-broken-media-and-what-we-can-do-to-change-it/. ^

Connected Organizations

  1. Democracy Alliance Conferences (Other Group)
    Participant, Spring 2015; Spring 2016; Fall 2016
  See an error? Let us know!