Citizens Against Government Waste
Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.
Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is non-profit group that has campaigned on behalf of the tobacco industry and in favour of Microsoft and against open source software. Citizens Against Government Waste is an "associate" member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
CAGW has ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It has been a member of ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force and Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. According to an August 2013 ALEC board document obtained by The Guardian, it terminated its ALEC membership on April 12, 2013.
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.
CAGW and open source software
Australian blogger Tim Lambert mentioned in June 2004 CAGW as one of several think tanks writing reports critical of open source software. CAGW's press release of July 12, 2004 is just another example.
- "People mistakenly refer to open source as 'free' software because it can be freely altered and distributed. Yet while the software itself is free, the cost to maintain and upgrade it can become very expensive," CAGW President Tom Schatz said. ... "Maintenance, training and support are far more expensive with open source than proprietary software."  In 1999 the New York Times had described CAGW as one of a number of "Microsoft-financed groups".
CAGW, an IRS 501(c)(3) tax deductable charity, is closely linked to the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) which is an IRS 501(c)(4) and therefore it is not a tax deductable organization but more free to do lobbying. "[CCAGW] is the lobbying arm of CGAW." 
According to the CAGW website "Eighty-five percent of the organization's funding comes from individual contributors around the nation. Corporate and foundation gifts account for the other 15 percent". 
In 2001 CAGW's total budget was $4.7 million.
Media Transparency's database records CAGW as having received 8 grants totalling $225,000 (unadjusted for inflation) from three foundations - the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation and Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Since 1998 the only foundation funder has been Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation.
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
- Merrill Lynch & Company Foundation
- Exxon Corporation (now ExxonMobil)
- Ingersoll-Rand Company
- Johnson & Johnson
- F.M. Kirby Foundation
- Philip Morris
- RJR Nabisco (now part of the Altria Group)
- Sears Roebuck & Company
Others listed include:
However, CRC's database generally does not record direct corporate contributions as distinct from grants from corporate foundations.
A few examples of tobacco industry donations to CAGW:
- Philip Morris
- The Tobacco Institute
- 1999, $10,000 (budgeted) 
Board of Directors
- Jack Anderson, Co-Founder and Chairman
- Jeffrey P. Altman, Partner, McKenna & Cuneo, L.L.P.
- George S. Goldberger, Chief Administrative Officer, Progenitor Cell Therapy, L.L.C.
- Patrick P. Grace, President and CEO, Kingdon Group L.L.C.
- Thomas A. Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste
- Hon. Vin Weber, Senior Partner, Clark & Weinstock, Inc.
- Thomas A. Schatz, President 
- Robert J. Tedeschi, Sr. Vice President, Finance and Administration
- Ariane E. Sweeney, Vice President of Development
- David E. Williams, Vice President of Policy 
- Elizabeth L. Wright, Vice President of Government Relations
- John Frydenlund, Food and Agriculture Policy Director  
- Leslie K. Paige, Director of Special Projects
- Mark Carpenter, Media Manager
- Mark Fennel, Manager of Membership Services
- Martin Rundle, Manager of Development Research
- Lisa Strickland, Membership Coordinator
- Tom Finnigan, Media Associate 
- Angela French, Research Associate
- James Malcomb, Membership and Development Associate
- Stephanie McIntyre, Assistant Financial Officer
- Ernestine Hill, Receptionist
Citizens Against Government Waste
1301 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
phone: (202) 467-5300
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Mark Megalli, Andy Friedman, "Citizens Against Government, Masks of Deception: Corporate Front Groups in America," December 1991
- Citizens Against Government Waste, "A Proposal to Philip Morris Companies, Inc.", 1996.
- John M. Broder and Joel Brinkley, "U.S. versus Microsoft: The strategy: How Microsoft Sought Friends In Washington", New York Times, November 7, 1999.
- "Microsoftball Journalism", Albion Monitor, June 2000.
- Ted Bridis, "W.Va., Mass., Continue Microsoft Battle", Associated Press, December 03, 2002
- "Mass. Taxpayers Hurt by Proposed Software Monopoly", Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, September 30, 2003
- Tom Finnigan, "Massachusetts Not So Open For Business", Citizens Against Government Waste, October 29, 2003
- Tim Lambert, "When Think Tanks Attack", Deltoid weblog, June 23, 2004.
- Media Transparency, "Citizens Against Government Waste", accessed January 2005.
- Capital Research Center, "Citizens Against Government Waste", Searchlight, accessed January 2005.
- Citizens Against Government Waste, "FAQ", accessed January 2005.
- Bill Adair, For price, watchdog will be an advocate Citizens Against Government Waste made a name for itself by exposing government waste. But it has quietly made a lot of its money by lobbying, St. Petersburg Times, April 2, 2006.
- James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, "Senate Report: Five Nonprofit Groups Sold Clout to Abramoff," Washington Post, October 12, 2006.
- Bill Adair, "Groups hide behind tax code", St Petersburg Times, December 11, 2006.
- Jim Snyder, "Nuclear advocates try to clear obstacles," The Hill, November 8, 2007. "'Taxpayers should not be required to finance billions in risky loan guarantees [for new nuclear plants],' states a letter that TCS (Taxpayers for Common Sense), the National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste jointly sent to Congress."
- Robert O'Harrow Jr., "McCain Campaign Calls; A Nonprofit Steps In," Washington Post, May 31, 2008.
- Alex Leary, "Citizens Against Government Waste's ad against GE jet engine says GE rival paid for it," St. Petersburg Times (Florida), August 24, 2009.
- State Policy Network, Directory, State Policy Network, 2016.
- American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting Board Meeting packet, organizational documents, August 6, 2013, released by The Guardian December 3, 2013.
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