Ceterus

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Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.

Follow the money in the Koch wiki.

Ceterus, Inc. is a national accounting and IT company and an associate member of the State Policy Network (SPN).[1] According to its website, "Ceterus was founded in 2008 on a strict set of core values. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs by providing them with next generation reporting and accounting services. Our values served us well, allowing us to offer our services nationally in 2009."[2]

Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Ceterus assists organizations by automating their bookkeeping and reporting. "Through Edge, its proprietary, cloud-based technology, Ceterus delivers on-time, accurate bookkeeping, financial reporting, and peer benchmarks for all business performance metrics."[3]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Ties to the Koch Brothers

The Director of Nonprofits at Ceterus is Carl Oberg. Oberg has ties the Koch network as well as other right-wing groups. After graduating from George Mason University, Oberg worked for the Kochs' astroturf nonprofit Americans for Prosperity (AFP), before completing the 10-month Koch Associate Program at the Charles G. Koch Foundation. [4]

Vice President of Business Development Jonathan Martin was AFP's Senior Finance Manager of from 2008 to 2010.[5]

State Policy Network

SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” and tax-exempt organizations in 49 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. As of January 2017, SPN's membership totals 141. It is an $83 million right-wing empire as of the 2011 funding documents from SPN itself and each of its state "think tank" members. Although SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, the Center for Media and Democracy's in-depth investigation, "EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government," reveals that SPN and its member think tanks are major drivers of the right-wing, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-backed corporate agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders.[6]

In response to CMD's report, SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told national and statehouse reporters that SPN affiliates are "fiercely independent." Later the same week, however, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer caught Sharp in a contradiction. In her article, "Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?," the Pulitzer-nominated reporter revealed that, in a recent meeting behind closed doors with the heads of SPN affiliates around the country, Sharp "compared the organization’s model to that of the giant global chain IKEA." She reportedly said that SPN "would provide 'the raw materials,' along with the 'services' needed to assemble the products. Rather than acting like passive customers who buy finished products, she wanted each state group to show the enterprise and creativity needed to assemble the parts in their home states. 'Pick what you need,' she said, 'and customize it for what works best for you.'" Not only that, but Sharp "also acknowledged privately to the members that the organization's often anonymous donors frequently shape the agenda. 'The grants are driven by donor intent,' she told the gathered think-tank heads. She added that, often, 'the donors have a very specific idea of what they want to happen.'"[7]

A set of coordinated fundraising proposals obtained and released by The Guardian in early December 2013 confirm many of these SPN members' intent to change state laws and policies, referring to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings." These activities "arguably cross the line into lobbying," The Guardian notes.[8]

Personnel

Levi Morehouse is the Founder and CEO of Ceterus. According to LinkedIn, Ceterus has between 51 and 200 employees.[9]

Contact

Ceterus
804 Meeting Street #101
Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Website: http://www.ceterus.com
Phone:800-571-6119
Twitter: @Ceterus
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CeterusInc/

References

  1. State Policy Network, Directory, organizational website, accessed March 16, 2017.
  2. Ceterus, The Five Core Values of Ceterus, organzational website, accessed March 16, 2017.
  3. Crunchbase, Ceterus, Crunchbase, accessed March 16, 2017.
  4. Carl Oberg, Carl Oberg, LinkedIn, accessed March 16, 2017.
  5. Jonathan Martin, Jonathan Martin, LinkedIn, accessed March 16, 2017.
  6. Rebekah Wilce, 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.
  7. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  8. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  9. Ceterus, Inc., Ceterus, Inc., LinkedIn, accessed March 16, 2017.