The Heritage Foundation is a giant within the massive right-wing legal, political and cultural infrastructure that has been built over the past several decades. An ideological marketing operation in the guise of a think tank, Heritage has played a significant role in in getting economic and social conservatives to work together to push the Republican Party further and further to the Right. It operates out of an enormous complex near the U.S. Capitol — one that Heritage has announced is now growing even bigger.
In an email headlined “From close range,” Heritage President Jim DeMint writes:
If we’re going to reclaim America, conservatives have to hit the Washington Establishment from close range.
That’s why a critical phase of The Heritage Foundation’s Reclaim America campaign is building the Freedom Center.
Only steps from the U.S. Capitol, the Freedom Center will be at very close range. It will be your conservative stronghold for retaking our country.
The group’s website says, “The new Freedom Center will be the driving force behind a revitalized conservative resurgence, not just in Washington, but also around the country.”
The Heritage Foundation is vastly expanding our presence in Washington D.C.—the belly of the beast.
Our headquarters in the heart of Washington, D.C. is just two city blocks from the Senate offices, three city blocks from the Capitol building, and three city blocks from the House offices. It’s from this base that we will wage a policy war with the Left and the Establishment at very close range. In politics, proximity matters. That’s why our physical presence is key and that’s why expansion is critical to future conservative victories.
To beat down Big Government, we need to expand our footprint on Capitol Hill.
The Freedom Center will be only blocks from the U.S. Capitol in a remodeled structure already purchased—prime real estate once rented by far-left groups. The modernized Freedom Center will be specifically outfitted for:
- Educating Congress about how conservative ideas solve today’s problems and help the American people;
- Reaching the American people with an enhanced media outreach program focused on spreading conservative ideas;
- Communicating facts to mobilize grassroots Americans;
- And bringing together conservative groups to coordinate strategy.
In short, the Freedom Center will be a beachhead from which we can advance your principles in Washington from inescapably close range.
DeMint says that Heritage is trying to raise $1 million for the project by August 18 and that a donor will match gifts made by August 18. According to IRS filings from 2013, the Heritage Foundation had income that year of $112.7 million, with net assets of more than $194 million. Its explicitly political arm, Heritage Action for America, reported income of $8.8 million and net assets of $4.8 million.