Say Hello To Iowa’s Right-Wing Stink Tank

SPN_exposed_red

Click on the image to learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.

Monday, in honor of the opening day of the 2016 Iowa legislative session,  BFIA posted about the State Policy Network, a web of so-called think tanks, apparently founded by ALEC, that push a right-wing agenda in every state across the country, yes, including Iowa  http://stinktanks.org/what-stinks/.

The so-called Public Interest Institute, so-named to disguise the fact that it is anything but interested in the public interest, is located in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa on the Iowa Wesleyan campus and is a member of the State Policy Network.  The information here about this creepy anti-science, anti-union, pro-climate change denial, organization is from the Center for Media and Democracy’s publication, SourceWatch, but you can also visit their website and see for yourself.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/Public_Interest_Institute

The Public Interest Institute (PII) is a “non-profit, non-partisan, public policy research organization located on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.”[1] The PII researches issues “such as limiting government spending and privatization of government services” as well as “principles and methods to promote and encourage human rights, economic freedom, economic growth, and the creation of jobs… in Iowa.”[2] PII is a member of the State Policy Network

Global Warming

In 2009 the institute was a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute’s 2009 conference for climate change skeptics.[3]

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Public Interest Institute has hosted writers from the ALEC-connected Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which screens potential reporters on their “free market” views as part of the job application process.[4] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[5] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[6][7] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it “provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide.”[8

Franklin Center Funding

Franklin Center Director of Communications Michael Moroney told the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) in 2013 that the source of the Franklin Center’s funding “is 100 percent anonymous.” But 95 percent of its 2011 funding came from DonorsTrust, a spin-off of the Philanthropy Roundtable that functions as a large “donor-advised fund,” cloaking the identity of donors to right-wing causes across the country (CPI did a review of Franklin’s Internal Revenue Service records).[9] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust “the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement” in a February 2013 article.[10] Franklin received DonorTrust’s second-largest donation in 2011.[9]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[11] a conservative grant-making organization.[12]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[13] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[14] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[15] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[16] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

PII has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council(ALEC) through Richard Vedder, a member of their advisory board.[17] Mr. Vedder is listed as a “scholar” at the American Legislative Exchange Council[18] and is the recipient of ALEC’s Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award.[19]

Please see SPN Ties to ALEC for more.

About ALEC

ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Personnel
Board of Directors

David M. Stanley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Robert H. Solt, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer
Dr. Donald P. Racheter, President
Andrea S. Failor, Secretary
Charles C. Espy, Jr.
Richard Oberman
Stanley M. Howe, Director Emeritus

Academic Advisory Board

Dr. Richard Wagner – George Mason University, chair
Dr. Robert Bish – University of Victoria
Dr. Edgar Browning – Texas A&M
Dr. Richard McKenzie – University of California at Irvine
Dr. William Peirce – Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Randy Simmons – Utah State University
Dr. Eugenia Toma – University of Kentucky
Dr. Gordon Tullock – George Mason University
Dr. Richard Vedder – Ohio University
Dr. Bruce Yandle – Clemson University

Core Financials

2010[20]:

Total Revenue: $1,119,463
Total Expenses: $510,401
Net Assets: $7,198,734

2009[21]:

Total Revenue: $1,661,139
Total Expenses: $530,950
Net Assets: $6,589,672

Click here for more information and references.

Contact Details

600 North Jackson Street
Mount Pleasant, IA 52641
319.385.3462
Public.Interest.Institute@LimitedGovernment.org
http://www.LimitedGovernment.org

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2 Responses to Say Hello To Iowa’s Right-Wing Stink Tank

  1. Bob Krause says:

    I’m sure what you are saying is correct. But as a footnote, David M. Stanley, shown as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, passed away last summer. Stanley was a big-time funder of a number of rightwing schemes in Iowa, and is better known as the driving force behind the Iowa Taxpayers Association. He was also known for some fairly ugly inheritance battles with his family. “Know by many, mourned by few.”

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  2. Trish Nelson says:

    Thanks, Bob. We will pass the info. on to CMD. Here’s what they have on the PII website:

    Board of Directors of Public Interest Institute

    – Chairman
    Robert H. Solt – Vice-Chairman & Treasurer
    Dr. Donald P. Racheter – President
    Andrea S. Wells – Secretary
    Charles C. Espy, Jr.
    Elizabeth E. Garrels
    Richard Oberman
    Stanley M. Howe – Director Emeritus

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