Former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has decided what conservatives need is a better “ground game” in Washington, D.C., and he’s starting a group he hopes could give it to them.
DeMint said Tuesday he would form a Conservative Partnership Institute that would providing training and support for conservative congressmen, Capitol Hill staffers and other activists in the nation’s capital.
“(B)eing a conservative, especially a conservative in Washington, can be a tough and lonely road,” DeMint wrote in the Federalist. “It’s not enough to know the right solutions. If conservatives don’t have the knowledge, strategies, and allies to succeed, this town will beat you down until you give in.”
On the one hand, the new institute will help newly elected members of the House and Senate learn how to maneuver their way through Congress. On the other had, the group will help connect conservative thinkers, scholars and prospective staff members with lawmakers.
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“Our mission is to educate the public and the conservative movement on how Washington really works and how to avoid the pitfalls of the swamp to achieve policy victories,” DeMint said.
DeMint served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2005, then in the U.S. Senate from 2005 until 2012, when he resigned to become president of the Heritage Foundation. In April, DeMint was ousted by the foundation’s board amid growing tensions about the group’s focus.
Now, DeMint — the godfather of the Tea Party movement — will try to influence Washington with his own group.
“CPI will not seek to replicate the excellent work of other conservative groups, we view them as partners and I’m excited to continue working with these leaders,” DeMint told Politico.
Politico also reported DeMint’s new group had the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
“No conservative leader is more trusted than Jim DeMint on Capitol Hill, and his staff is second to none in rock solid conservative principles,” said U.S. Sen. Mike Lee.
The institute won’t be DeMint’s only new job. Since leaving Heritage, DeMint also has taken a job as a senior adviser to the Convention of States Project, a group that advocates a new convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.