Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions
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The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions (BIPPS) is a right-wing advocacy group based in Ohio. It is a member of the $83 million-a-year State Policy Network (SPN), a web of state pressure groups that denote themselves as "think tanks" and drive a right-wing agenda in statehouses nationwide. According to its website, the organization seeks to "set the policy debate in Ohio by researching and promoting relevant and practical solutions to Ohio's most pressing public policy issues." It was founded in 1984 as the Buckeye Center, in part by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation's former president, John Blundell (Atlas is a prominent SPN associate member). It changed its name to Buckeye Institute in 1995. Atlas award-winner Sam Staley later became BIPPS' president, and Atlas President Alex Chafuen was on BIPPS' board.
Banned by Columbus Dispatch for Plagiarism
According to a November 2013 report by ProgressOhio and the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD):
- "In October 2003, the Columbus Dispatch 'banned' the Buckeye Institute and announced that it would no longer publish op-eds bearing the Institute or its scholars' names after it was discovered that Buckeye Director Joshua Hall [had] plagiarized part of a recently published opinion piece.
- "In that case, a Dispatch reader discovered that Hall had copied five passages from an op-ed written by Geoffrey F. Segal of the Reason Public Policy Institute (which is also funded by the Koch family fortune and includes Koch reps on its board) published in The Baltimore Sun several months earlier. When confronted, Hall repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
- "The Dispatch persisted and in a meeting with the paper, Buckeye Institute President Samuel R. Staley admitted that both Segal and Hall’s works were plagiarized. In fact, the research and text in question had originally been prepared by a public-relations firm in Alexandria, Virginia, which had forwarded the information to interested parties as part of a communications strategy."
Questions of Lobbying
In February 2011, former Buckeye Institute President Matt Mayer (now president of the newer SPN affiliate Opportunity Ohio) was caught in a contradiction regarding the organization's lobbying and advocacy activity. In a tweet to the blog Plunderbund, Mayer said, “Of course we weigh in on ideas (repeal), especially ones we propose-we don’t advocate for specific bills ('vote for x') or pols." But on the same day, in a blog post about a bill -- 2011 SB 5 -- on Buckeye's website, Mayer wrote, "We need to be calling, faxing, and emailing every Ohio Senator, every day, until this vote is passed. They need to be told with total certainty that this vote is a choice between the citizens of this state and the public sector employee unions. Get the numbers and emails out to your membership and tell them to make that choice clear.”
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
- "In May 2013, the Buckeye Institute promoted the release of ALEC's 'Rich States, Poor States' report on its website. That report has been the subject of devastating criticism for its methodology and the distorted way it tallies state's economic health.
- "The Buckeye Institute cited four ALEC model bills as 'promising policy approaches' in its November 2010 report Smart on Crime.
- "The Buckeye Institute cited ALEC's 2011 edition of 'Rich States, Poor States' in its May 2012 Policy Brief, 'Big Government Spending Not Requisite for Economic Growth.' Such claims have been subject to numerous criticisms.
- "Buckeye Institute policy analyst Greg Lawson spoke favorably about ALEC's influence in Ohio, specifically in the Kasich administration. Lawson is quoted as saying: 'Quite frankly, Ohio only started making the changes ALEC recommended in recent years… It's a little premature to be making some of these judgments until the policies are fully implemented. We're only now beginning to see the impact.'"
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.
Ties to the Franklin Institute for Government and Public Integrity
BIPPS used to host 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. The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states. Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias. On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."
In 2010, BIPPS -- at the time a Franklin Center affiliate -- was denied credentials in the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association. Association President Jim Siegel said, "They were denied because they were more of a conservative think tank than a professional news-gathering organization… [T]here were some questions about where their funding came from." Buckeye Institute President (as of 2012) Kevin Holtsberry confirmed the past financial support from the Franklin Center with the Center for Media and Democracy.
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). Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article. Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.
The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM), a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network, which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation. Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation. SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.
The Buckeye Institute has received significant funding from the Koch-fueled Donors Capital Fund -- which obscures the true sources of its grants -- according to the ProgressOhio/CMD report: "In 2008 and 2009, grants from Donors Capital made up 57 percent of Buckeye’s total grants received in those two years, and 19 percent in 2010. The Koch brothers have also given to the Buckeye Institute directly through their foundations, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation."
Ties Between Buckeye and Big Tobacco
BIPPS received at least $60,000 in funding from Philip Morris and other tobacco corporations in the 1990s, according to documents in the Tobacco Library -- previously secret papers unveiled as a result of government lawsuits -- analyzed by Progress Now and CMD. According to the report, "The Buckeye Institute was considered an 'allied' organization, a resource to be used in building coalitions and advancing [the tobacco industry's] corporate interests." Such comprehensive documents are not available from more recent years, but Altria funding documents show that Big Tobacco is still funding BIPPS as recently as 2012 and 2009, although the amounts are not known.
In exchange, the "Buckeye Institute has compiled a record of supporting the issues important to its Big Tobacco funders," the report notes, and details many instances of this support.
The tobacco industry also funds BIPPS' parent group, SPN. See SPN Funding for more.
Major foundational donors to BIPPS, many of which are allied with the Kochs, include:
|Castle Rock Foundation||$34,600||1995-2010|
|[[Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ]]||$28,281||2007-2009|
|Chase Foundation of Virginia||$61,100||2001-2011|
|Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation||$10,000||2005|
|Donors Capital Fund||$1,090,205||2005-2010|
|Jaquelin Hume Foundation||$285,280||1999-2009|
|Neal and Jane Freeman Foundation||$500||2004|
|Searle Freedom Trust||$121,500||2009|
|State Policy Network||$55,000||2003-2011|
|The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation||$1,500||1994|
|The Randolph Foundation||$25,000||2007-2009|
|The Roe Foundation||$315,000||1998-2011|
|Thomas B. Fordham Foundation||$18,500||1999|
|William H. Donner Foundation||$30,000||1998|
- Total Revenue: $491,240
- Total Expenses: $623,952
- Net Assets: $224,511
- Total Revenue: $819,385.00
- Total Expenses: $531,271.00
- Net Assets: $357,122.00
- Total Revenue: $878,745.00
- Total Expenses: $655,685.00
- Net Assets: $69,008.00
Board of Directors
As of November 2012:
- Greg Lashutka (former Mayor of Columbus), Chair
- Dan Peters, Vice Chair
- Matt A. Meyer, President
- Brad Smith, Secretary/Treasurer
- Deborah L. Owens (associate professor of marketing and international business in The University of Akron's College of Business Administration and co-author of Direct Marketing in Action), Trustee
- Ronald A. McMaster, Trustee
- Jerry Jordan, Trustee
As of November 2013:
- Robert Alt, President
- Rebekah Alt, Senior Advisor for Strategic Communication and Advancement
- Danielle Beckett, Major Gifts Officer
- Andrew M. Grossman, Visiting Fellow
- Greg R. Lawson, Statehouse Liaison & Policy Analyst
- Dan Lusheck, Administrative & Research Assistant
- Joe Nichols, William and Helen Diehl Transparency Fellow
- Nathaniel Stewart, Visiting Fellow
- Erin Sutter, Office Manager
- Josh Vaughan, William and Helen Diehl Fiscal Policy Fellow
Former Staff and Fellows
- Steven Carozza, Fellow
88 East Broad St., Ste. 1120
Columbus, OH 43215-3506
Phone: (614) 224-4422
Fax: (614) 224-4644
Email: info AT buckeyeinstitute DOT org
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- State Policy Network:
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
- Donors Capital Fund
- Koch Family Foundations
- Koch Industries
- Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
- Heritage Foundation
- Think tanks
- Whitney Ball
- Adam Meyerson
- Bridgett Wagner
Related PRWatch Articles
- Center for Media and Democracy, Reports Expose Extreme Pressure Groups Masquerading as Think Tanks, press release, November 13, 2013.
- Rebekah Wilce, A Reporters’ Guide to the "State Policy Network": the Right-Wing Think Tanks Spinning Disinformation and Pushing the ALEC Agenda in the States, PRWatch.org, April 4, 2013.
- Sara Jerving, ALEC and Heartland Aim to Crush Renewable Energy Standards in the States, PRWatch.org, November 27, 2012.
- Connor Gibson, Meet the Network Hiding the Koch Money: "Donors Trust" and "Donors Capital Fund", PRWatch.org, October 29, 2012.
- Brendan Fischer, Koch-Funded Mackinac Center Brings Wisconsin Act 10 Provisions to ALEC, PRWatch.org, May 2, 2012.
- Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 31, 2011.
- Center for Media and Democracy, EXPOSED: The State Policy Network, The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Arizona Working Families and CMD, A Reporter’s Guide to the Goldwater Institute: What Citizens, Policymakers, and Reporters Should Know, organizational report, updated November 13, 2013.
- Progress Florida and CMD, Lawmaking Under the Influence of Very Special Interests: Understand the role of Florida ‘think tanks’ in driving a Koch-fueled, ALEC-allied corporate agenda, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Maine's Majority Education Fund, Fooling Maine: How national conservative groups infiltrated Maine politics by founding and funding the Maine Heritage Policy Center, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Michigan, Who's Running Michigan? The Far-Right Influence of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Who's in Charge: How Nationalized Corporate-Run Think Tanks Influence Minnesota Politics, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Missouri, What Missourians Need to Know About the Show-Me Institute, organizational report, updated November 13, 2013.
- Granite State Progress, Bad Bartlett: The Josiah Bartlett Center and NH Watchdog Answer the Call of the Koch Brothers, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- ProgressOhio, Smoke Screen: The Buckeye Institute, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Keystone Progress, Think tanks or corporate lobbyist propaganda mills?, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Texas, TPPF + ALEC, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- One Wisconsin Now, S is for Shill: Inside the Bradley Foundation's Attack on Public Education, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, Consider the Source, February 14, 2013.
- John R. Mashey, Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax 2, DeSmog Blog report, updated October 23, 2012, p. 74.
- Andy Kroll, The Right-Wing Network Behind the War on Unions, Mother Jones, April 25, 2011.
- Guidestar, State Policy Network, IRS filings and other organizational information about SPN.
- Center for Policy Alternatives, ALEC and the Extreme Right-Wing Agenda, organizational brochure about ALEC and SPN.
- John J. Miller, Fifty Flowers Bloom: Conservative think tanks — mini–Heritage Foundations — at the state level, National Review, November 19, 2007.
- Bridge Project, State Policy Network, online resource listing grants to SPN and SPN's connections to other groups.
- People for the American Way, State Policy Network, RightWingWatch.org, organizational resource.
- Greenpeace, Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group: State Policy Network (SPN), organizational resource.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, About Us, organizational website, accessed November 2012.
- ↑ Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Archive: At a Glance, organizational website, accessed November 2013.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 National Education Association, State Policy Network Appendix: Members: Ohio, "The Real Story Behind 'Paycheck Protection': The Hidden Link Between Anti-Worker and Anti-Public Education Initiatives: An Anatomy of the Far Right," organizational report, 1998.
- ↑ Samuel Reisz Staley, Curriculum Vitae, Florida State University faculty document, May 6, 2013.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, 2009 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, September 16, 2010.
- ↑ 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, 2010 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, February 1, 2011.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 ProgressOhio and Center for Media and Democracy, Smoke Screen: The Buckeye Institute, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- ↑ ProgressOhio, The Liar Wire: Matt Mayer At The Buckeye Institute, organizational blog, February 14, 2011.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Ohio Makes Significant Jump In Rankings, but Still Needs Improvement in Annual Rich State, Poor States Report, organizational publication, May 24, 2013.
- ↑ Rebekah Wilce, ALEC's Economic Policies Do More Harm Than Good, New Report Shows, PRWatch, November 28, 2012.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Smart on Crime: With Prison Costs on the Rise, Ohio Needs Better Policies for Protecting the Public, organizational report, November 2010.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, [http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/uploads/files/Spending%20Burden%20Handout%20-%20Final(1).pdf Big Government Spending Not Requisite for Economic Growth], organizational "policy brief," May 2012.
- ↑ Nick Surgey, "Business Climate" Rankings Bogus, Says New Report, PRWatch, May 2, 2013.
- ↑ Tom Beyerlein, Kasich budget likely to ignite robust debate; Sides divided sharply over state's tax policies (sub. req'd.), Dayton Daily News, December 13, 2012.
- ↑ Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
- ↑ The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
- ↑ Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
- ↑ Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
- ↑ Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 27, 2011.
- ↑ Sara Jerving, How a Right-Wing Group Is Infiltrating State News Coverage, PRWatch, July 12, 2012.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
- ↑ Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
- ↑ Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
- ↑ The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- ↑ Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- ↑ Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- ↑ Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- ↑ Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- ↑ Altria Family of Companies, 2012 Recipients of Charitable Contributions from Altria Family of Companies, corporate document, accessed November 2013.
- ↑ Altria Family of Companies, 2009 Recipients of Charitable Contributions from Altria Family of Companies, corporate document, accessed November 2013.
- ↑ American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, Recipient: Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Bridge Project conservative transparency website, accessed November 2013.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, IRS Form 990, 2011, organizational tax filing, November 12, 2012.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, 2011 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, November 12, 2012.
- ↑ Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, About Us: Staff, organizational website, accessed November 2013.
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