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How Trump's MAGA movement helped a 29-year-old activist become a millionaire
An Arizona-based nonprofit that rocketed to prominence by latching on to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign has raised roughly a quarter-billion dollars but has struggled to help Republicans win general elections
WASHINGTON (AP) — Charlie Kirk’s $4.75 million Spanish-style estate is tucked away in a gated Arizona country club that charges nearly a half-million dollars for a golf membership. It boasts a guest casita, a “resort-style” pool and striking views of the Sonoran Desert.
The Make America Great Again political movement has been lucrative for Kirk, the 29-year-old CEO and co-founder of the conservative youth organization Turning Point.
The nonprofit rocketed to prominence by latching on to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and has raised roughly a quarter-billion dollars since, much of it spent cultivating conservative influencers and hosting glitzy events. The organization also enriched Kirk and his allies, according to an Associated Press review of public records, which found top Turning Point officials collected pricey salaries, enjoyed lavish perks and steered at least $15.2 million to companies that they, their friends and associates are affiliated with.
But for all that money, the group has struggled to help Republicans win general elections. That’s particularly true in Turning Point’s adopted home of Arizona, where its slate of deeply conservative candidates in the longtime Republican stronghold lost statewide races last year, among them Kari Lake’s unsuccessful bid for governor.