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GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Was CEO of Firm That Pledged to Match Donations to SPLC, Which Put Conservative Christian Groups on 'Hate Map'

By Rob Shimshock | January 28, 2021 | 5:14pm EST
A man proffers dollar bills. (Photo credit: Getty/Yuri Cortez/AFP)
A man proffers dollar bills. (Photo credit: Getty/Yuri Cortez/AFP)

[Editor's Note: This story's headline and lede have been amended to clarify that support for these left-wing groups came from Carlyle Group, the private equity firm Glenn Youngkin headed at the time, and not Youngkin in his personal capacity.]

A private equity firm led by a new Republican entrant to the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial race pledged just last year to match donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which listed conservative Christian groups on a "hate map."

Former Carlyle Group Co-CEO Glenn Youngkin, who has an estimated net worth of $265 million, announced his bid for the office of Virginia governor Wednesday, choosing to run on the Republican side. But he and his fellow co-CEO, Kewsong Lee, offered to match donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and the NAACP Legal Fund, organizations which have been hostile to conservatives.

"In keeping with our deep commitment to our core values, we will continue to invest even more resources towards Diversity and Inclusion, not only at our firm, but in support of certain organizations focused on driving change in our world," Youngkin and Lee announced in May 2020, following the death of George Floyd. "As part of our efforts, the firm and individuals of Carlyle have already donated over $10 mm towards causes in light of the pandemic. Today, we are announcing a special match to support organizations that are working on social justice and reform of the U.S. criminal justice system. Carlyle will match donations up to $1,000 to the organizations listed below and it will not count towards your annual matching gifts limit of $2,000."

The co-CEOs then named the SPLC, EJI, and NAACP Legal Fund.

The SPLC regularly demonizes conservative groups as "hate" groups, often with dire consequences. Amazon employs the SPLC's "hate group" list to bar Christian, conservative groups like the pro-religious liberty Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from participating in its AmazonSmile program, preventing the nonprofit from receiving donations consumers can make when completing a purchase. And in 2012, a gunman raided the headquarters of Family Research Council (FRC), shooting the building manager in the arm before getting tackled. The gunman reported finding the FRC on the SPLC's website.

Meanwhile, the EJI gets funding from George Soros' Open Society Foundations and is very fond of tweeting about historical white-on-black violent crime. However, suspiciously absent from its social media feeds are Bureau of Justice Statistics crime figures, including the fact that for 2019, the DOJ reported 472,570 black-on-white violent incidents, but under 90,000 white-on-black violent incidents, despite whites making up more than four times the percentage of the population as blacks.

The NAACP Legal Fund frequently perpetuates the myth of systemic, racially-motivated police brutality, holding up Michael Brown as a symbol of this more than a year after a Justice Department investigation vindicated Ferguson, Mo. Officer Darren Wilson's account of events surrounding the shooting.

"This is a false and deceptive smear from political opponents who are scared of Glenn, a conservative outsider and leader from the private sector who can win," Youngkin campaign spokeswoman Macaulay Porter told CNSNews. "Glenn has never donated to the SPLC and does not agree with them. He is a Christian and a conservative who is pro-life and served in his church for years."

CNSNews reached out to the Carlyle Group to determine how much money it ultimately donated to the three left-wing groups, but did not hear back in time for press.

Rob Shimshock is the commentary editor at CNSNews.com. He has covered education, culture, media, technology, and politics for a variety of national outlets, hosted the Campus Unmasked YouTube show, and was named to The Washington Examiner's "30 Under 30" list. Shimshock graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Media Studies.

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