Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) is an industry-funded organization which advocates lower taxes and less regulation.
It also works on education 'reform' and against teachers unions, immigration policy, environmental issues and projects on China, Cuba, Africa and Switzerland. It has defended the interests of the tobacco industry and works on the International Monetary Fund. More recently it has made a name for itself defending the interests of proprietary software companies and criticising open-source software.
AdTI is a part of the stable of conservative think tanks with their commentary regularly posted on the websites of the Cato Institute, Heartland Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Science and Environmental Policy Project and other websites.
The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution was founded in 1988 in Redwood City, CA. The first corporate board was formed in 1989 by Robert Severns, Eugene Ravizza and Bruce Thompson. AdTI claims that they "follow the principles of Tocqueville himself...among these liberal ideas are civil liberty, political equality, and economic freedom and opportunity".
On older pages on their web site they wrote ".. Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, a non-profit public research foundation with offices in Virginia and California"  but they haven't had any activities in California for a long time.
On AdTI's 990 for the year 2001 the address was 10 Benning Street # 151, West Lebanon, NH 03784. Earlier 990 forms had 1611 N. Kent Street room 901, Arlington, VA 22209. Old pages of the Emerging Markets Group had almost the same address: 1611 North Kent Street #901-b, Arlington, VA 22209 . On the other hand, the address in West Lebanon can also be found on the 990 form for 2002 of the Ernest Martin Hopkins Institute and in 2003 was shown on the web site of the Democratic Century Fund  which is managed by the Emerging Markets Group.
Philip Morris and the Tobacco Institute
Working closely with Philip Morris, they issued studies arguing that the EPA's regulations (including those of cigarette smoke) were scientifically unsound, overly-burdensome, and unnecessary.
Facing a cigarette tax increase as part of the Clinton healthcare plan, they organized an astroturf campaign to misleadingly attack it, charging Morris $60,000 for the work. 
AdTi sought work from, and received financial support from the tobacco industry. A 1995 Tobacco Institute budget shows a donation of $20,000 slated for AdTI. A 1998 Tobacco Institute PUblic Affairs budget shows $10,000 in support slated for AdTI.
In 2004, the institute announced a book claiming Linus Torvalds did not invent Linux. The book's pre-publication draft was widely discredited, eventually leading the AdTI to abandon its plan to officially publish the book. The critique led Roland Smith to give the institute the nickname "the think tank that didn't", a nickname that was then gleefully picked up by others in the Linux community. While conceding they did fund the institute, Microsoft refused to comment on whether they specifically funded the book.
AdTI is very secretive about their income sources, refusing to divulge any funders, but we do know about some grants they have received.
Between 1988 and 2002, AdTI has received $1,723,900 (unadjusted for inflation) from conservative foundations , namely Bradley, Olin, Scaife, the Philip M. McKenna Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Foundation (a Koch Family Foundations).
Projects funded by these foundations include:
- Bradley grants “to support education-reform research and activities”;
- the “Teacher Choice Project”;
- $50,000 to “support research on teacher unions and education reform” (Bradley, 2000)
- $168,750 “to support research and writing on new tactics of U.S. progressive movement in the Post-Cold War era” (Bradley and Olin, 1998)
- $30,000 for “the Action Plan for Defense Privatization, conducted by the Committee for the Common Defense” (Olin, 1995-1996)
- $5,000 to “support promotion for The Democratic Century, a book by Gregory Fossedal” (Olin, 1998)
Tobaccodocuments.org  contains a number of searchable documents produced as a result of the settlement of court actions that link AdTI to Lorillard and Phillip Morris corporations. AdTI is linked to Dr. S. Fred Singer in the tobacco documents , the Cooler Heads Coalition , Consumer Alert , Heartland Institute   and the Competitive Enterprise Institute   .
See also: AdTI-Funding.
AdTI Board of Advisors
AdTI Board of Advisors
Market History Research Program
IMF Assessment Project
|Gregory Fossedal||Senior Fellow|
|Alveda King||Senior Fellow
Education Policy and Civil Rights
|Becky Norton Dunlop||Director, Democracy and the Environment Research Program|
|David Kirkpatrick||Fellow, Education Policy|
|Dan Evans||Teacher Choice Fellow|
|Don Koniezco||Teacher Choice Fellow|
|Marilyn Ketter Rittmeyer||Teacher Choice Fellow|
- Dan Buck Board member
- Sita Mazumder, Director
- Philip Peters (Salary: $114,083) 
- Merrick Carey Alexis de Tocqueville Institution former president (Salary: $172,000) 
- Cesar Conda , , recently was Assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for Domestic Policy  previously was executive director of AdTI, currently on Board of Empower America.
- Jack Kemp Co-Chairman, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution and Co-Director, Empower America 
345 E. 18th St. # 220
New York, NY 10003
Most of the following AdTI programs are now defunct:
- American Immigration Institute
- Center on Regulation and Economic Growth
- Committee for the Common Defense
- Focus on Agricultural Regulation and Markets (FARM)
- International Monetary Fund Assessment Project
- Opportunity Africa
- Teacher Choice
- Michelle Delio, "Did MS Pay for Open-Source Scare?", Wired, June 5, 2002.
- David F. Skoll, "Opening the Open-Source Debate", The Age, June 10 2002.
- Groklaw.net, "Andrew S. Tanenbaum's Reply to ADTI" , May 22 2004
- "Alexis de Tocqueville Institution", Wikipedia.
- Matthew Broersma, "Think-tank report lays into Linux", Techworld, March 23, 2005.
- ↑ deTocqueville Follow-upSmith M. Letter. September 27, 1994. Bates No. 515245526
- ↑ Public Affairs Division End of 19950700 Budget. August 7, 1995. Tobacco Institute Bates No. TI16680835/0840
- ↑ Public Affairs - 1998 Budget Tracking Tobacco Institute. Budget. July 23 1998. Bates NO. TI30849019/9023
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