In this last part, I will not go into a great deal of background because that has been covered in the first three parts. What I am going to do here is give you a list of more foundations they support, to include Universities and other colleges. There is a list of the state and national representatives they support in the Center for American Progress pdf file included in the other pieces of this series. First off I want to give you a list, not all inclusive, of the funds they have been pouring into their own and other institutes that support their agenda. Some of the foundations they support with money only, it appears. God knows they could have also had a hand in setting these up too.
The List, taken from the Center for Progress report, is as follows:
Libertarian Review Foundation—$60,000
Americans for Tax Reform—$60,000
Students in Free Enterprise—$30,000
Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions—$55,946
Center for Excellence in Education—$27,500
Center for Freedom & Prosperity Foundation—$54,266
Ayn Rand Institute—$25,000
National Tax Limitation Foundation—$50,000
International Policy Network—$25,000
North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law—$50,000
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty—$20,538
Free Enterprise Education Institute—$45,000
Atlantic Legal Foundation—$20,000
South Carolina Policy Council—$45,000
Institute for Political Economy—$20,000
Center for Individual Rights—$40,000
Media Research Center—$15,005
Texas Justice Foundation—$40,000
Future of Freedom Foundation—$10,000
Foundation for Economic Education—$38,267
Pacific Legal Foundation—$10,000
National Taxpayers Union Foundation—$37,500
Foundation for Human Development—$5,000
Institute for Policy Innovation—$35,000
Critical Review Foundation—$33,000
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research—$300,000
Citizens for a Sound Economy—$12,356,712
Environmental Literacy Council—$287,516
George Mason’s Mercatus Center—$9,674,500
Property and Environment Research Center—$258,144
Americans for Prosperity Foundation—$5,610,781
Center for Equal Opportunity—$240,000
Institute for Energy Research—$237,000
Institute for Humane Studies—$3,630,091
Atlas Economic Research Foundation—$221,100
Bill of Rights Institute—$3,070,909
Ethics and Public Policy Center—$190,000
Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas—$2,617,842
Citizens for Congressional Reform Foundation—$175,000
Institute for Justice—$2,615,000
Frontiers of Freedom Institute—$175,000
Texas Public Policy Foundation—$174,500
National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship—$2,481,786
The Phillips Foundation—$165,000
John Locke Foundation—$134,472
Institute for the Study of Human Origins—$2,035,912
Fund for American Studies—$133,650
American Enterprise Institute & Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory
James Madison Institute—$121,924
John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy—$120,086
Washington Legal Foundation—$1,457,500
Young America’s Foundation—$107,500
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education—$1,400,000
Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment—$1,385,500
American Council on Science & Health—$101,000
Competitive Enterprise Institute—$700,499
Laffer Center for Global Economic Growth—$100,000
National Center for Policy Analysis—$672,000
Association of Private Enterprise Education—$98,500
American Legislative Exchange Council—$668,858
Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives—$93,903
Capital Research Center—$665,000
Center for Independent Thought—$92,500
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Legal Foundation—$88,000
Independent Women’s Forum—$485,000
Carbon Dioxide & Global Change Center—$85,000
International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics—$440,000
Mackinac Center for Public Policy—$84,151
Market Based Management Institute—$82,500
Pacific Research Institute—$370,000
American Council for Capital Formation—$325,000
George C. Marshall Institute—$310,000
Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation–$65.000
Now, back to some information on individual institutes.
American Commitment (CPI) American Commitment is also a nonprofit 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization under the tax code. Information about such groups is scarce by definition. They don’t have to disclose their donors, unlike almost any other type of organization that advocates for or against candidates. There is an interesting article on Open Secrets about some missing funds in which this group may be involved. It is an interesting article and I would recommend reading. The link is below
Reason Foundation (and Reason.com) This group is a Libertarian research organization, founded in 1968 that also publishes the magazine Reason. Based in Los Angeles it is a non-profit, tax exempt organization that, like other other think tanks, produces papers and studies to support a particular set of values. According to its web site, they are “the values of individual freedom and choice, limited government, and market-friendly policies.”
Reason Foundation’s policy research areas include: air traffic control, American domestic monetary policy, school choice, eminent domain, government reform, housing, land use, immigration, privatization, public-private partnerships, urban traffic and congestion, transportation, industrial hemp, medical marijuana, police raids and militarization, free trade, globalization and telecommunications. Affiliated projects include Drew Carey’s Reason TV video website. Reason Foundation staff also regularly contribute to the Out of Control Policy Blog.
State Policy Network SPN was founded in 1992 by Thomas A Roe, a South Carolina businessman and Republican Party activist who also served as a member of the board of trustees of the Heritage Foundation and had in 1986 founded the South Carolina Policy Council, now an SPN member group. Roe was concerned that the program of “New Federalism” fostered under U.S. President Ronald Reagan had transferred powers and resources to state-level bureaucrats who “weren’t necessarily better than” their federal government counterparts. In conversation, he told Reagan that he thought each of the states needed something like the Heritage Foundation. Reagan’s reply reportedly was “Do something about it,” which led Roe to establish first the South Carolina Policy Council and later the State Policy Network. The network was an outgrowth of the Madison Group, a collection of state-level think tanks in states including South Carolina, Colorado, Illionois and Michigan.
SPN comprises 59 affiliated think-tank organizations, including at least one in every state. In addition, other institutions, such as Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation are associate members. They are, of course, registered as a 501©(3) non-profit. Some of their support comes from Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation, Castle Rock Foundation (a spinoff of the Adolph Coors Foundation) and the Bradley Foundation, a charity devoted to financial support for conservative causes. Most of their reported revenue was from grants in 2009.
The network provides grants for financial support of its member groups. In 2009 its individual grant amounts ranged from a few thousand dollars up to a $260,000 grant to the Idaho Freedom Foundation. The network meets each year at SPN conferences and are required to disseminate all of their publications to other Member groups. The founder of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions said in 2006 that “This is like a franchise”, noting that training provided by another member organization had provided him with software, ready-made speeches, and other resources. Policy initiatives supported by SPN members have included reductions in state health and welfare programs, state constitutional amendments to limit state government spending, expanded access to Charter schools and school vouchers. Not surprising is that fact that another major theme in their activities has been opposition to public employee unions. Although their IRS status prohibits SPN and its member organizations from engaging in electioneering and severely restricts their lobbying activity, both supporters and detractors of SPN have described the network and its member groups as having had significant influence on the political process and legislative action in the states.
The magazine Mother Jones identified SPN and its member organizations as having led a “war on organized labor” in the early months of 2011, when Republican initiatives to reduce the power of labor unions emerged concurrently in several U.S. state legislatures. What the magazine described as “one of the largest assaults on American unions in recent history” included the introduction and enactment of measures to reduce or eliminate collective bargaining for teachers and other government workers and reduce the authority of unions to collect dues from government employees. Iowa and Nevada are among the states where Republican elected officials cited research by SPN member groups as the basis for proposals to amend laws on collective bargaining by public employees. The Michigan legislature passed a set of policy recommendations by the Mackinac Center that give “emergency managers” the authority to cancel municipalities’ union contracts and remove local elected officials in order to resolve budget problems. After Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker became the target of criticism and street protests for his initiatives to eliminate the rights of public-sector unions in that state, SPN member groups in Wisconsin produced a video attacking the protesters as communists and socialists and wrote a New York Times op-ed piece defending alker’s proposals. In Oklahoma, the SPN member organization Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs publicly encouraged the state legislature to “follow Wisconsin’s lead” by restricting public employee collective bargaining. One SPN member group, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, “bragged on its website” that it was “leading the charge against teachers’ union” in Tennessee. Commenting on the similarities in the anti-union initiatives in multiple states, a leader of a Tennessee teachers union said: “This is not a grassroots movement to eliminate collective bargaining; this is a national movement, and it’s funded by all the conservative moneyed interests.”
These three members and ex-members of congress were one time presidents of SPN groups and the National Review described them as using the organization as political springboards. They are, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Mike Pence of Indiana and former Rep Tom Tancredo of Colorado. I know this section was a bit long, but I wanted to give some background so you understand these bland sounding names are tearing at the fabric of this country. Thanks to Wikipedia for the detail on this group. I find this group particularly insideous for it’s wide reaching tenacles.
Fraser Institute (Canada) This is a Canadian think tank. It has been described as politically conservative and right=libertarian. Its stated mission is “to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals.” Whatever that means.
Freedom Works (formerly Citizens For A Sound Economy) Freedom Works was originally the Tea Party but it has since spun off to be headed by Dick Armey. I think everyone knows what they are about, so I am not going into any detail on this one.
Galen Institute The Galen Institute was founded by Grace-Marie Turner in 1995 as a response to attempts to reform the health care system in 1993. Their first conference was held a year later, in 1996 on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., and was titled A Fresh Approach to Health Care Reform. The papers presented at the conference were later published into a peer-reviewed volume, titled Empowering Health Care Consumers through Tax Reform. While this opposition was the initial focus of the organization, by the late 1990s Galen focused less on critiquing specific health reform initiatives, and more on advocating against the increasing role of the federal government in the American health sector, proposing changes to existing government proposals, and working to inform the public about the health reform debate. The Galen Institute receives its funding from donations and grants from corporations, foundations, and individuals both inside and outside the pharmaceutical and medical industries. No surprise here but now you know when you hear the name on talk news, what their agenda is.
Generation Opportunity This is a cute one, it is a group set up to try to obtain a following of young people. Not sure how really effective it is since according to Crooks and Liars their FB page appears to be intentionally named in order to entice people to join, most not really knowing why they are joining. The Facebook page is named “Being American”. Well of course people want to be American. Basically they are trying to recruit people with tech savvy, artistic talent and such to use for their own purposes but of course they play on the “you did not make the debt but you will pay for it” theme. I think our youth of today who tend to be more liberal will certainly not fall for this, but Being American, yeah they might as the number of followers on Facebook even before they launched would prove. The link to Crooks and Liars is attached below.
Goldwater Institute The Goldwater Institute is a Phoenix, Arizona-based conservative public policy advocacy and research organization established in 1988 with the support of the late Senator Barry Goldwater. The president is Darcy A Olsen. Goldwater Institute advocates public policies with emphasis on lower taxes, limited government spending, school choice, and a reduction in government management of the economy. Its stated mission is “to advance freedom and protect the Constitution,” and it is devoted to the principles championed by the late Senator Barry Goldwater such as “individual rights, economic freedom(whatever that means) and a government of strictly limited powers.” Later in his life Barry Goldwater became critical of the organization for becoming a big-business lobbying group. The Goldwater Institute’s annual Goldwater Dinner has featured several prominent conservative speakers including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie(it still puzzles me that some dems are being bamboozled by this charlatan just because he appeared with the President), and Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus. As would be expected, they are Libertarian based.
Heartland Institute The Institute was founded in 1984 and conducts research and advocacy work on issues including government spending, taxation, healthcare, tobacco policy, hydraulic fracturing, global warming, information technology and free market environmentalism., In the 1990s, the group worked with the tobacco company, Philip Morris to question the science linking secondhand smoke to health risks, and to lobby against government public-health reforms. More recently, the Inst itute has focused on questioning the science of human-caused climate change, and was described by the New York Times as “the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism.” The Institute has sponsored meetings of climate change skeptics and has been reported to promote public school curricula challenging the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change. Nothing like a good think tank to spread disinformation on environmental issues.
Institute for Human Studies The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) at George Mason University acts as a libertarian talent scout, identifying, developing, and supporting the brightest young libertarians it can find who are intent on a leveraged scholarly, or intellectual, career path. Each year IHS awards over $400,000 in scholarships to students from universities around the world. The Institute receives funding from a number of large libertarian and right wing foundations including the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Koch Family Foundations, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the Carthage Foundation. In 2004, IHS launched aBetterEarth.org — a student oriented website that advocates “pragmatic approaches to solving environmental problems.” The site promotes “alternative environmental approaches, including locally based ‘eco-innovation,’ outcome-based regulations, quasi-market pricing strategies, corporate and individual stewardship, property rights enforcement as a means of protecting the environment from polluters, and the cultivation of environmental aesthetics.” Traditional environmentalists are criticized for being anti-capitalist and for pushing regulations that don’t work. Says this group, but I can see two organizations who would benefit from their own self regulated environmental rules. WalMart was recently fined millions in California for dumping hazardous waste. The country would be a sewer hole if they got their way.
Politopia.com, a project of the IHS, is a website which quizzes the user on their political values and applies it to their model. Charles Koch is on the board of this organization.
Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) is a think tank based in Lewisville, Texas and founded in 1987 by Congressman Dick Armey to “research, develop and promote innovative and non-partisan solutions to today’s public policy problems.” Yeah, non-partisan as long as you agree with them. According to IPI, “Today IPI’s work concentrates on such issues as taxation and government spending, economic growth initiatives, and government regulation. Current areas of focus include tax cuts and tax reform, intellectual property, Internet taxes and regulation, pharmaceutical issues, Social Security privatization, and educational choice. We pursue these areas through our IPI Center for Tax Analysis, our IPI Center for Economic Growth, our IPI Center for Technology Freedom, and our IPI Center for Education Freedom.
The IPI was solicited by tobacco companies in 1995 to submit comments in response to proposed federal regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration restricting the marketing of tobacco products. IP responded by sending comments in favor of the industry to the FDA. Their funders looks like a who’s who of the corporate world.
Knowledge and Progress Fund (Charles Koch) The Knowledge and Progress Fund is a Wichita, Kansas-based foundation run by Charles Koch. The foundation gave almost $8 million to Donor’s Trust between 2005 and 2011. Since 2005, it has only given money to Donors. According to researcher John Mashey, “This allows [Charles] Koch to provide money to Mercatus and Institute for Humane Studies, where both he and Richard Fink are on the boards. Mercatus has sometimes funded professors who are also Heartland Experts. This definitely ties Charles Koch to DONORS. Of course, Koch may supply less-traceable money directly to DONORS as well.” They have been accused of funding climate change organizations, of course and they are headquartered in Charles Koch hometown in Kansas. The knowledge of this fund? I guess it depends on which side of the fence you sit.
Manhattan Institute The Manhattan Institute (MI) is a right wing 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank founded in 1978 by William J Casey, who later became President Ronald Reagan’s CIA Director. The Manhattan Institute is “focused on promoting free-market principles whose mission is to ‘develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.”
“The Manhattan Institute concerns itself with such things as ‘welfare reform’ (dismantling social programs), ‘faith-based initiatives’ (blurring the distinction between church and state), and ‘education reform’ (destroying public education),” Kurt Nimmo wrote October 10, 2002, in CounterPunch. Their funding is like a who’s who of the right wing, however one name on that list surprised me, Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, although I am not sure that it should.
The list of schools they fund is long, very long and I imagine no matter what the amount, it gives them some sway. Some of these are: Yale, MIT, Baylor, Loyola, Clemson, Florida St, George Mason, Michigan State, Morehead College, Utah State, University of W Virginia and the list is long and distinguished. The Kochs used their ties to a Florida University – From Alternet article:
At Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, every student who majors in economics and finance gets a copy of Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged…FGCU now has a core group of a half dozen economists whose research supports the ideas of free-market capitalism, still an unpopular subject in most faculty lounges. They teach this material to more than 250 economics and finance students (one class is titled “The Moral Foundations of Capitalism”), organize lectures by leading thinkers, publish their research in well-respected journals and hold influential positions in groups that promote free markets.
The ideological transformation of FGCU economics began in 2009, when Allison, a famous devotee of Ayn Rand’s who was then the president of banking giant BB&T, donated $600,000 to FGCU to create the endowed “BB&T Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise.” Allison now runs the libertarian Cato Institute, a position he gained with the support of Charles and David Koch……The Kochs also supported Allison’s efforts at FGCU, a largely local school with about 11,000 undergradutes”
The link to this info is below as well. I am going to end this series at this point because I think we all know what has to be done. Read read read and talk talk talk to expose these people. How can a nation allow these people and groups to hijack our liberties, our right to a safe and honest workplace? How can we allow these people to meddle as they do in our legislation process? Because people just do not want to know. So when you hear someone spouting the talking points from any of these institutions, speak up, tell them what you know. The Koch brothers and their minions have no reservations on pushing their agenda. I hope this has been helpful if only for a “bookmark” on your browser to refer to in times of need. These people are working toward a nation of serfs and kings, they, of course, being the kings. They will pollute our land with disinformation, hazardous waste and promote hate and divisivness between the citizens of this country, they are well on their way to accomplishing the last one. I believe the only way to counteract their insideous bullshit is for people on both sides of the aisle to stop listening to the chatter and work together for once. Whether or not that will be accomplished is up to us. After all you know they think in terms of us and them as long as they are pulling the strings.
Above is Open Secrets on missing millions from American Committment
This is the youth generation group
Alternet’s piece on Florida Gulf Coast University
Sue – I’ve been out of town for DAYS so am just now catching up. I used to do “corporate power research” following these threads, and I will tell you that the Kochs almost never surfaced when we did this 30 years ago. That you’ve unpacked this much information on them is beyond amazing.
We knew even in the 70s that one of the key issues of control were ‘think tanks’ and foundations. What you’ve found here is shocking – the capacity of these two men to shape public opinion. Were there liberals of equivalent status and power, we might not be where we are today. But few will throw money around as the Kochs do even when they have it.
What amazes me oddly is how LITTLE they actually inform PUBLIC opinion. The one thing that seems very different is the insular nature of Heritage, Cato, etc. They are speaking to their own choirs more and more. That wasn’t true in the 80s and 90s, but I think they’ve tipped their hand once too often. I hope that continues to be true – the decline of their influence cannot come too soon. That is not to say they don’t have it, but their own narrow views and open contempt for Americans has just finally gone too far for many people. Still and all – they ARE billionaires and still have enormous influence.
The work you have done here though – powerful. It’s appalling how MUCH these two men have controlled, how horrid their father was, and how un-American their views. We would not have known all that without your work. Thank you for all this! It’s a resource of incomparable proportions! I wish Bob Edgar were alive to read this – he’d be in awe. The Kochs were a very big concern to him. He’d be singing your praises!
Thanks CL. I kind of feel like not many really read it but coming from you, that is high praise. Feel free to share it with the Common Cause folks or anyone you feel would benefit. It was important to do and I hope some run across it and read the series. You and Funk are the only ones who even commented on this last chapter. Ok now get off the “pity pot” as my husband calls it. It does not really matter, it was important and I finally said it. I have to credit Source Watch, Wiki and Center for American Progress, they did a lot of work so I had references to cite.
I think it’s overwhelming! You have given us so much in these posts, it’s impossible to respond in full. I had the advantage of reading them all at once, and I found I had to sum up on this one because it’s TOO MUCH TO TAKE IN!!! It’s scary – seeing this much power in the hands of one family is awesome in the most negative sense of the word.
I suspect our fellow Planeteers read it all but are whomperjawed (Molly Ivins’ fave word for totally overwhelmed) by it all. That does not mean we’re not paying attention – it means we have to let it percolate. I think we will treat these posts as research resources, as our encyclopedia on this topic – saved, reflected upon, and taken out over and over to keep ourselves informed and aware.
It’s a masterful job, Sue. Thank you.
Sue, you know what is startling? The fact that the Koch Bros. can spend so LITTLE money and get such a robust return on it. I’ve often thought how cheaply our Congressional Reps are bought, but I haven’t given much thought to these organizations and “think-tanks” whose whole purpose is to steer legislation on a state and federal level to a direction that their corporate and wealthy backers find favorable.
It’s really mind-blowing and thanks for lining it up in an organized fashion like this.
No problem Funk. I was constantly surprised as I was putting this together. This really all started with their father, they are only keeping the torch lit that he gave them. I cannot imagine how it was to grow up in that house. One good thing we can be happy for is all the money they spent on election year did not yield the return on results they had hoped for. You can have all the money in the world but when you have clueless people parroting your talking points, it is not going to help much. They would have been much better off championing Liberal causes. lol