Turning Point USA  

Turning Point founder, Charlie Kirk. Photo: Reuters

The organization was founded in 2012 by Charlie Kirk and Bill Montgomery. TPUSA's sister organizations include Turning Point Endowment, Turning Point Action, Students for Trump, and Turning Point Faith. The group also works closely with PragerU. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, TPUSA "is now the dominant force in campus conservatism." The organization is known for its Professor Watchlist, a site that claims to expose professors that TPUSA says "discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom". According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, TPUSA has attempted to influence student government elections in an effort to "combat liberalism on college and university campuses." In 2021, TPUSA started the School Board Watchlist website. It publishes the names and photos of school board members who have adopted mask mandates or anti-racist curricula. TPUSA has been called an alt-lite organization by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and has been criticized by both the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center for affiliating with activists from the alt-right and the far-right. The Anti-Defamation League has also reported that the group's leadership and activists "have made multiple racist or bigoted comments" and have links to extremism. In 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch documented TPUSA's links to white supremacists. In 2021, TPUSA and Turning Point Action made misleading claims about planned vaccination policies and the dangers of catching COVID-19.
Charlie Kirk Buried For 'Idiotic' Comments About Normandy Soldiers On D-Day Anniversary
"Kirk told the assembled throng that MAGA is doing the same work done by the D-Day soldiers, insisting, "They were fighting against totalitarianism, fighting against a dictatorship. But 80 years later, if we are honest with ourselves, that very same totalitarianism is now here in this country," before adding, "The very same dictatorship that our leaders were fighting, our Greatest Generation was fighting against, are now here in this country.” According to the Arizona columnist, Kirk was making a ridiculous analogy, with Roberts writing, "Right, because Joe Biden is just like Adolph Hitler. Because people who dress up in Trump regalia and wield a mean keyboard on social media are just like the soldiers and sailors and airmen who fought and scraped and bled and died as they came to the rescue of freedom and the world. Because waving Trump flags and spouting wild conspiracy theories is just like jumping neck-deep into water red with blood and floating bodies and dodging enemy fire."
Jun. 7, 2024
Arizona 'Fake Elector' Indictments Make It Tough For Turning Point USA's 'Election Integrity' Push
"Turning Point USA, the extremist-friendly, Donald Trump-loving organization for MAGA youth, is having one of its worst weeks yet from a public relations perspective. And this is an organization that’s made a habit of backing losing candidates and whose leader is known to rant against Martin Luther King Jr., so this is a sign things have truly gone off the rails. Last week, Arizona state Rep. Austin Smith, a Republican and a senior director at TPUSA’s nonprofit arm Turning Point Action, suspended his re-election campaign after accusations of election fraud. Smith is accused of forging signatures to qualify for re-election, a charge he called "silly" in the announcement ending his campaign. It's a seeming act of karmic justice, given he’s shamelessly peddled the right-wing conspiracy theory that Maricopa County officials have fraudulently altered ballot signatures to Republicans’ detriment. "
Apr. 26, 2024
Turning Point Affiliates Admit To Harassing Queer ASU Professor, Must Complete Diversion Program
"Two Turning Point USA affiliates admitted guilt after facing charges stemming from an incident last year in which they harassed a queer Arizona State University professor. Kalen D'Almeida, 31, and Braden Joel Ellis, 22, signed off on identical deferred prosecution deals filed with University Lakes Justice Court on Monday. They must now complete court-ordered diversion programs before April 2025." [ . . . ] "The incident increased scrutiny of common tactics employed by Turning Point USA, a conservative organization that often follows and films college professors. The faculty are usually ones on its "professor watchlist," which the group describes as consisting of "professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.""
Apr. 23, 2024
Charlie Kirk’s Shadow RNC Event Highlights Centrality Of 2020 Election Lies To The Conservative Movement
"Tapping into what Politico reported as widespread dissatisfaction with the Republican National Committee, Kirk’s shadow summit joined conservative activists and media figures with local GOP chairs and Republican committee members for pro-Trump organizing. This included efforts to “secure” elections amid widespread suggestions that Trump’s second term was stolen from him, making the summit yet another display of the everlasting influence of 2020 election lies."
Feb. 2, 2024
Arizona Fake Elector Wants The National Republican Party To Bail Him Out (Maybe Literally)
"Turning Point USA’s Tyler Bowyer is asking the Republican National Committee to formally acknowledge that the fake elector plan was schemed up by Republican leadership with Donald Trump’s approval, and to “immediately indemnify” all those who participated in what he calls the “contingent elector plan.” “With all of the problems ahead, we need to send a clear signal that the RNC will defend those who serve as electors against Democrat radicals trying to criminalize civic engagement and process,” Bowyer said, in a social media post. “Civic engagement?” That’s what we’re calling it now, when people sign legal documents and send them to Congress, avowing that they were “duly elected” to cast Arizona’s electoral votes for the guy who didn’t win?"
Feb. 2, 2024

Arizona State University Police Dept. security video of end of TPUSA crew (in black) confrontation with LGBTQ ASU instructor (in white).

Police Investigating Alleged Attack On Queer Arizona Professor By Turning Point USA Members, Report Says
"ASUPD told the Arizona Republic that security footage shows two people following and filming David Boyles, a writing instructor at the university’s English department, on ASU’s campus. Turning Point USA posted a video to X, formerly known as Twitter, of members confronting and following Boyles—who attempts to ignore them and walk away—repeatedly asking him questions and accusing him of “being attracted to minors,” having “fantasized about minors” and wanting “to push sodomy on young people.” [ . . . ]"ASUPD reportedly said video footage shows one of the two people eventually shoved Boyles to the ground."
Oct. 13, 2023
How Trump's MAGA Movement Helped A 29-Year-Old Arizona Activist Become A millionaire
"Charlie Kirk’s $4.75 million Spanish-style estate is tucked away in a gated Arizona country club that boasts a guest casita, “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. The organization has 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."
Oct. 10, 2023
Charlie Kirk: Black People Use Juneteenth To 'Smear And Slander White America'
"Conservative podcaster Charlie Kirk dedicated his Monday program to opposing Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the freeing of slaves in the United States. "So it's Juneteenth," Kirk announced at the opening of his show. "Very few people are willing to actually call this out." "It's about a certain skin color now gets their own summertime celebration," he complained. "It is now become a racial complaining day. Now we have a full day to be able to smear and slander white America.""
Jun. 19, 2023
Turning Point Action Supported Slate Of Losing Candidates In 2022 Arizona Election
The Turning Point family of organizations, helmed by conservative personality Charlie Kirk, invested heavily in the 2022 election cycle in Arizona, aided by close to a half-million in cash. But the effort was futile. Not one of their statewide Arizona picks managed to pass the ultimate hurdle and get elected to office. [...] Turning Point blessings turned out to be a curse for statewide Republican candidates.
Nov. 17, 2022
How A Pro-Trump Youth Group Remade The Arizona GOP, Testing Democracy
"Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point network worked to purge officials who affirmed the 2020 election results"  [ . . . ] "The two men huddled at a barbecue joint in January as the activist — Tyler Bowyer, the chief operating officer of the pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA — unspooled his demands: Republican legislators, he insisted, should carve up booming and fast-diversifying Maricopa County, diluting the power of Democrats in a state that had helped deliver Joe Biden the presidency."
Nov. 4, 2022
Turning Point Action Events Under Scrutiny By Arizona Secretary Of State Over Election Law Violations
"The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office has started an initial inquiry into whether get-out-the-vote rallies organized by Turning Point Action, a tax-exempt organization led by conservative personality Charlie Kirk, violated campaign finance laws. Though the head of Turning Point Action described the two rallies, held on Saturdays in July at parks in Goodyear and Mesa, as community events designed to educate, the complaint suggests they were designed to promote specific Republican candidates in the August primary election. The complaint, released to The Republic on Monday, was filed by Tyler Montague, a Republican political consultant who heads a group called Public Integrity Alliance. His initial complaint, filed on June 23, mentioned a July 9 Goodyear rally whose online promotion featured Austin Smith, a Turning Point Action employee who was also seeking a state House seat. “This appears to be a possible illegal collaboration between (Turning Point) and Smith,” the complaint said."
Aug. 2, 2022
Kyle Rittenhouse Speaking At Turning Point USA Conference Sends A Dangerous Message
"Whether or not you agree with the verdict is one thing, but glorifying someone who fatally shot two people and injured someone else is another."
Dec, 20, 2021
Far-Right Crowds Descend On Phoenix For "AmericaFest"
"Tucker Carlson, Matt Gaetz, Candace Owens, Donald Trump Jr., Sarah Palin. This is only a small selection of the dozens of right-wing pundits and provocateurs who converged upon Phoenix this weekend for Turning Point USA’s “AmericaFest” conference. Turning Point, which is headquartered in Phoenix, is a national organization that agitates conservative youth, particularly on college campuses. Its four-day event kicked off Saturday at the Phoenix Convention Center and will continue through Tuesday, as a laundry list of far-right figureheads takes the stage in turn."
Dec. 20, 2021
Money And Misinformation: How Turning Point USA Became A Formidable Pro-Trump Force
"The powerful conservative youth group Turning Point USA, which has forged strong ties to Donald Trump and his son Don Trump Jr, has raised tens of millions of dollars from super rich donors and secret backers while pushing disinformation about Joe Biden’s win in 2020, Covid-19 vaccines and other extremist and rightwing issues."
Oct. 23, 2021
Turning Point U.S.A, Should There Be A Voice For Them On Campus?
Emerson students erupted with justified anger after the recent Turning Point U.S.A Emerson tabling event in the 2 Boylston Place alleyway, when the organization passed out stickers reading “China kinda sus” on Sept. 30.
Oct. 7, 2021
Is Turning Point USA A Trojan Horse Of Right-Wing Extremism For Pennridge Students?
"Both the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center, two national organizations that monitor hate groups and extremism nationally, have documented numerous cases of racism, bigotry, and white nationalism that have infected TPUSA for years. For example, former TPUSA Florida field director and America First Policy Advisor Juan-Pablo Andrade posted a video of himself while attending the group's 2017 Student Action Summit, saying, “The only thing the Nazis didn’t get right is they didn’t keep...going!”"
Mar. 24, 2021
Turning Point USA Tied To Fake Accounts, Facebook Says
"Facebook said Thursday that it has taken down hundreds of fake accounts created by a marketing company that worked with the young conservative group Turning Point USA to invade the comments sections of mainstream publishers and denigrate Democratic politicians. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, said that Rally Forge’s “action on behalf of [Turning Point USA] was largely politically focused, directly around the election.”
Dec. 8, 2020
Turning Point USA To Hold Superspreader Event In Palm Beach
"The pro-Trump student group Turning Point USA will hold its sixth annual Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach in December, COVID-19 be damned."
Nov. 19, 2020
Teen Trump Fans Flash White Power Signs, Use Racial Slurs In Viral Video
Apr. 10, 2019
Charlie Kirk's Turning Point USA Is, Impressively, The Lowest Common Denominator Of American Politics
"TPUSA embodies everything wrong with the partisan divide and how low-information we, as a society, have become."
Sep.16, 2018
Is Turning Point USA Doing Partisan Politics While Enjoying Tax-Exempt Status?
Aug. 2, 2018
The Grey Lady Loves These Racist, White Teens
"Diaper-wearing conservative youth group Turning Point USA keeps tricking credulous reporters into taking them seriously."
Jul. 27, 2018
Turning Point USA Is Reportedly Pretty Terrible at Dealing With Sexual Assault Accusations
Jun. 20, 2018

Conservatism On Campus Doesn’t Need This Turning Point

"When a young man walked onto Kent State University’s campus wearing a diaper on Oct. 18 last year, some might have imagined he lost a bet and was paying the price.
In reality, it was a stunt promoted by TPUSA — Turning Point USA, a nonprofit college conservative organization. Members of the organization wearing diapers set up a “safe space” with toys and even a baby gate at Kent State to mock progressive students’ demands for safe spaces.
It backfired. The public mocked TPUSA instead of the “liberal snowflakes” they had aimed to satirize.
This event sums up what TPUSA and its founder, Charlie Kirk, stand for: attempting to trigger the left, no matter the cost.
Kirk started TPUSA in 2012 with the mission to “educate students about true free market values.” The group advertised itself as similar to other notable college conservative organizations such as the Leadership Institute and YAF, Young America’s Foundation. TPUSA was going to groom the next generation of great conservative leaders.
Yet over time it became clear that TPUSA was more interested in “owning the libs” than persuading college students to support free markets and individual rights. A leaked memo from YAF’s vice president and general counsel Kimberly Begg aired Kirk’s dirty laundry. It accuses Kirk of focusing primarily “on building his own brand, not strengthening the conservative movement.”
It’s easy to see why YAF would accuse Kirk of only being interested in celebrity status. After all, both Kirk and TPUSA spokesperson Candace Owens canceled a speaking event for students at Virginia Tech and Liberty University at the last minute to hang out with Kanye West.
After the diaper stunt backfired, higher-ups in TPUSA allegedly threw Kaitlin Bennett, the former president of Kent State’s chapter, under the bus to protect Kirk’s image. Bennett resigned, but not before penning a scathing resignation letter claiming TPUSA leadership lied about not endorsing the event.
Other accusations include Kirk overstating his organization’s impact and boosting TPUSA’s numbers with white supremacists. Several TPUSA members have been caught making racist or homophobic comments, as documented by The Huffington Post.
“I HATE BLACK PEOPLE,” former TPUSA national field director Crystal Canton once texted a fellow employee. She was replaced with Shialee Grooman, who also posted racist and homophobic tweets before quitting Twitter."

Jun. 17, 2018

Turning Point USA Accused Of ‘Boosting Their Numbers With Racists’ By Long-Established Conservative Student Group
In a May 25 memo released publicly by YAF on June 14, Young America Foundation attacks TPUSA and its founder, 24-year-old Charlie Kirk, on multiple fronts, not least of all accusing TPUSA of “Boosting Numbers With Racists & Nazi Sympathizers.” [...] TPUSA’s flirtation with racists and racism is well documented. In a December 2017 expose in The New Yorker, reporter Jane Mayer was provided screenshots of a text message from TPUSA’s (now former) national field director, Crystal Clanton, that read, “i hate black people. Like f--- them all… I hate blacks. End of story.” [...] In a hotel room that Mediaite reports was paid for by TPUSA, Juan Pablo Andrade was filmed exclaiming, “The only thing the Nazis didn’t get right is they didn’t keep f------ going!
Jun. 15, 2018
Leaked Memo From Conservative Group Cautions Students To Stay Away From Turning Point USA
"In its six years of existence, Turning Point USA has repeatedly been accused of engaging in half-truths and unethical behavior — whether secretly funneling money to student-government candidates or placing college faculty members on a poorly researched (and arguably McCarthyesque) Professor Watchlist."
Jun. 15, 2018
The Stifling Hypocrisy Of Turning Point
May 24, 2018
No Re-Turning Point, U.S.A.
Jan. 26, 2018
A Conservative Nonprofit That Seeks To Transform College Campuses Faces Allegations Of Racial Bias And Illegal Campaign Activity
Dec. 21, 2017
Turning Point USA
"God is real Taxes are theft There are only 2 genders USA is the best country ever Socialism kills Hillary should be in prison."
Oct. 9, 2017
The Conservative Dark-Money Groups Infiltrating Campus Politics
"College campuses have long served as unique places for the free exchange of ideas -- but increasingly they’ve also become playgrounds for ideologically driven, right-wing billionaires and the dark-money groups they fund."
Mar. 29, 2017
Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA Incite Racial Conflict, Secret Surveillance On Campus
Feb. 1, 2017

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