Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

From SourceWatch
(Redirected from Franklin Center)
Jump to: navigation, search

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.

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, publisher of the site "Watchdog.org," is a national 501(c)(3) journalism organization based in Bismarck, North Dakota and started in 2009.[1] According to a previous iteration of the organization's website, the group's mission involves "networking and training independent investigative reporters, as well as journalists from state based news organizations, public-policy institutions & watchdog groups."[2] The Franklin Center funded state reporters in more than 40 states as of August 2011,[3] and in 34 states as of May 2013.[4] Despite their non-partisan description, many of these websites have received criticism for their conservative bias.[5][6]

At a time when there are fewer and fewer statehouse reporters -- as of the American Journalism Review's most recent count in 2009, there were 355 in the entire country, down from 524 in 2003,[7] bluntly called a "statehouse exodus" by the same journal[8] -- former Reuters chief White House correspondent Gene Gibbons described the rush of groups like the Franklin Center to fill the gap as follows: "an army of Internet start-ups, some practicing traditional journalism in a new medium, others delivering political propaganda dressed up as journalism -- are crawling all over the picnic. . . . At the forefront is the one‐year-old Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity . . ."[9]

Franklin Center "at the Forefront of an Effort to Blur the Distinction Between Statehouse Reporting and Political Advocacy"

"For the most part, the people in charge of these would-be watchdog operations are political hacks out to subvert journalism in their quest to grab and keep power using whatever means they have to do so. . . . At the forefront of an effort to blur the distinction between statehouse reporting and political advocacy is the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity," Gibbons wrote in the Nieman Reports publication of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He interviewed Franklin Center Executive Director Jason Stverak in March 2010, and Stverak said Franklin sites should be held to the same standard as any news publication -- judged "based upon the content that they produce." But, Gibbons writes, "four months later the Franklin Center cosponsored and played an active role in a two-day conference organized by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. The Right Online Agenda conference included such breakout sessions as 'Intro to Online Activism' and 'Killing the Death Tax” and featured speakers such as conservative U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Tea Party activist Sharron Angle, a Republican who was then running against Harry Reid in the election for U.S. Senate in Nevada. No Democratic legislators were included in the program. The finale of the Las Vegas conference was a November is Coming Rally."[10]

Conservative columnist H. Daniel Glover specifically credited the Franklin Center with helping the conservative cause, according to a June 2010 in-depth report by Gibbons written for the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. "Once conservatives realize they can conduct great investigations that expose the  flaws of intrusive government and the special interests that corrupt it, you will see more of them embracing that kind of journalism,” Glover said. “Mainstream publications like the Washington Examiner and organizations like the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which helps support and fund budding watchdogs, are showing them the way.”[11][9]

Gibbons' 2010 report continues:[9]

"Reporters for news sites in Ohio, Illinois and Idaho funded by the Franklin Center or its affiliates have been denied press credentials by accrediting bodies because of the lack of transparency about donors and links to advocacy groups. Veteran journalist John Dougherty, who was briefly on contract to a Nevada group with links to the Franklin Center, said he quit because it became clear to him the journalism was not non‐partisan. 
"'They were clearly looking for gotcha stories to embarrass Democrats in any way they could. That's not what I do,' he said. 'I'm an equal opportunity basher -- I've  written stories that have damaged Democrats as well as Republicans and Independents. I'm apolitical. If it's a story, it's a story; if it's not, it's not,' Dougherty said. (Several weeks after I interviewed him, Dougherty announced he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination to run for the U.S. Senate from Arizona)."

Conflict of Interest in Wisconsin "John Doe" Campaign Finance Investigation

In 2013, Franklin Center's "Wisconsin Reporter" website published over a dozen articles aggressively attacking Wisconsin's "John Doe" probe into possible campaign finance violations during Wisconsin's 2011 and 2012 recall elections, and broke stories about the investigation. The Center for Media and Democracy (publishers of Sourcewatch.org) uncovered in December 2013 that the news outlet may have a conflict of interest, as "Franklin Center has close ties to individuals and groups that may be caught up in the John Doe."

Franklin Center/Wisconsin Reporter called its series on the John Doe "Wisconsin's Secret War," and cited "unnamed sources to reveal that Wisconsin Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, and Republican Governors Association had received subpoenas, and describing details about "after-hours visits to homes and offices" and prosecutors' "demands for phone, email and other records." [12]

Franklin Center/Wisconsin Reporter described the John Doe investigation as "an abuse of prosecutorial powers" with "the apparent goal of bringing down Gov. Scott Walker." However, the news outlet had what journalism professors called "a conflict of interest that minimally ought to be disclosed, whenever stories are written."

CMD reported:

"The only name associated with the investigation, Eric O'Keefe, helped launch the Franklin Center's operations in 2009, and his Sam Adams Alliance group provided the majority of its startup budget; O'Keefe has spoken publicly about being subpoenaed in his capacity as director of Wisconsin Club for Growth. Franklin Center's Director of Special Projects John Connors, and the Executive Assistant to the President Claire Milbrandt, also have close ties to a group reportedly involved in the John Doe probe. Its former Director of Operations and General Counsel, James Skyles, worked with another group active in the Wisconsin recalls." [12]


Accusations of Inaccuracy & 'Manufactured News'

In August 2010, the West Virginia Watchdog blog quoted an unnamed source claiming that Democratic Governor Joe Manchin's office had been subpoenaed as part of a federal grand jury investigation. The story said that the subpoenas asked for contracts and records for businesses that have done work at the governor’s mansion. "The target may be Manchin himself, according to a source who asked to remain anonymous," the original story said. The governor’s office responded saying that “Neither subpoena was directed to Governor Manchin or the Governor’s Office.... No individual in the Governor’s Office was served with a subpoena…. The State has not been informed that Governor Manchin or any other state employee is under investigation.” The West Virginia Watchdog updated its site with these statements then reported that their "source was ultimately wrong about the purpose of the subpoenas."[13]

In February, the Wisconsin Reporter sponsored a questionable poll asserting that 71% of Wisconsin residents thought the state's Governor Scott Walker's budget proposal to cut the collective bargaining rights of most of the state's public sector workers was "fair." Several local and national news outlets cited the poll without investigation, including MSNBC. The result seemed completely out of whack with other polling leading some to question the source. The same month, We Ask America, largely owned by the Illinois Manufacturing Association, a leading business organization in the region, polled 2,400 Wisconsin residents and found that 52 percent opposed Walker's bill. The Franklin Center's poll was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research. [14]

In 2009, the New Mexico Watchdog reported that based on data from Recovery.gov millions of dollars were spent in non-existent congressional districts in the state. The story picked up steam among reporters, even turned into a Colbert Report segment called "Know your Made-up District." The Franklin Center released a national report that said $6.4 billion in stimulus money had been spent in hundreds of “phantom” congressional districts. There was truth to the New Mexico Watchdog report, but it turned out, as reported by the Associated Press, that the culprit was an error-ridden government database. The funds were actually distributed to the right recipients but errors such as zip codes entered incorrectly accounted for the "phantom districts" rather than, as the report suggested, had been unaccounted for or misused.[9]

Even with this new information on the shortfalls of the Recovery.gov site, the Franklin Center failed to set the record straight. In its 2010 Annual report, the center boasted it found that the "stimulus sent funds in the form of grants, loans and government contracts to support more than 200 projects in imaginary ZIP codes covering 38 states." It did not mention the errors in the database, but let the record stand as a story of government waste.[15][16]

Criticism from Media Watchdog Organizations

The journalistic integrity of these sites has been called into question by media watchdog groups. Laura McGann, assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University, wrote that the Franklin Center is backing news organizations who engage in distorted reporting across the country. "As often as not, their reporting is thin and missing important context, which occasionally leads to gross distortions," wrote McGann, who pointed to several instances where the Watchdog websites wrote stories that turned out to be misleading or untrue.[17]

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism on a sliding scale of highly ideological, somewhat ideological and non-ideological, ranked the “Watchdog.org” franchise "highly ideological."[18]

Ties to Other Right-Wing & GOP Organizations

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM) in 2009,[19][20] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. In a 2010 interview, Franklin Center Executive Director Jason Stverak told Gene Gibbons that "the Sam Adams Alliance gave his organization a start‐up grant83 but otherwise was not willing to specify where the Franklin Center gets its funds."[9] However, according to an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[21] a conservative grant-making organization.[22]

The Franklin Center’s president, Jason Stverak, is the former Regional Field Director for SAM, served as North Dakota Executive Director for the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and former Executive Director of the North Dakota Republican Party.[23]

The Franklin Center also has strong ties to a right-wing web of so-called "think tanks" pushing the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)'s corporate-backed agenda in every statehouse in the country, the State Policy Network (SPN). According to an in-depth 2010 report by Gene Gibbons, "The State Policy Network–Sam Adams Alliance–Franklin Center troika is at least loosely associated with more than a dozen other conservative groups funding news websites in various states. These include the John Locke Foundation, which funds the monthly North Carolina newspaper Carolina Journal and a companion website, www.carolinajournal.com; the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, which funds the news website West Virginia Watchdog; the Commonwealth Foundation, which supports the Pennsylvania Independent (www.paindependent.com); and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which funds Michigan Capitol Confidential (www.michigancapitolconfidential.com)."[9] See SPN Ties to the Franklin Center for more.

In addition, the Center's Director of Donor Relations Matt Hauck is a former Associate at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. [24]

The Center's Chief of Staff Gwen Beattie is the former Director of Development and Operations at America's Future Foundation, an organization committed to "identify and develop the next generation of conservative and libertarian leaders."[25]

The Center's 2009 IRS 990 form lists Rudie Martinson as director and secretary, who formerly worked as the assistant state director for North Dakota's chapter of Koch's Americans for Prosperity.[26]

Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity was a "Vice-Chairman" level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $25,000. The Franklin Center was one of about 60 companies and institutions represented in the conference exhibition hall.[27]

Franklin Center board member[28] and North Dakota Republican Representative Blair Thoreson chairs ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force[29] and penned an op-ed supporting ALEC in the face of criticism over its role in pushing "Stand Your Ground" and "Voter ID" legislation in April 2012.[30] Thoreson was not the only Franklin Center personnel member to publicly defend ALEC. As Media Matters reported, Franklin President Jason Stverak and Vice President of Journalism Steven Greenhut joined in as well.[31][32][33] All three commentaries were posted in the days immediately after an ALEC staffer begged for help from Breitbart bloggers and the rest of the right-wing blogosphere at a Heritage Foundation "Bloggers Briefing" April 17, 2012.[34]

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.


Funding "Fellows" at "Statehouses Across the Nation"

In 2009, the Franklin Center announced its "Benjamin Franklin Fellows" program beginning January 1, 2010 and lasting 21 weeks, for "enterprising journalists seeking the hands-on experience of a statehouse beat," advertising that "Franklin Fellows will work in a variety of statehouses across the nation with seasoned correspondents to produce daily news as well investigative pieces" and that "[f]ellows also will have unique networking opportunities with a nationwide collection of state capital bureaus."[35]

Funding

Franklin's "Commercial Fundraiser," ClearWord Communications

Gibbons wrote in June 2010, "The Franklin Center is headquartered in Bismarck, ND, but its mailing address is a law office in Stafford, Texas, and its fundraising agent is a Bristow, VA firm that also raises funds for the Republican Party and the Heritage Foundation."[9] That agent is ClearWord Communications Group, Inc.,[36] a "donor strategies firm" or "commercial fundraiser" that also raises funds for:[37]

Funders

Donors Trust Money Trail (Source: Center for Public Integrity)

Known funders of the Franklin Foundation include:

DonorsTrust

In 2011 DonorsTrust provided $6.3 million in funding for the Franklin Center. [38] One of the major contributors to Donors Trust is the Knowledge and Progress Fund founded and run by Charles Koch. The foundation gave almost $8 million to DonorsTrust (DT) between 2005 and 2011.[39] The fund began its contributions to DT in 2005, with a $390,000 contribution.[40] In both 2007 and 2008, the foundation gave $1.25 million per year to DT[41] and another $2 million in 2010.[42]

Majority of Funding Comes from "the Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement," Donors Trust

Franklin Center Director of Communications Michael Moroney told the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) 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).[43] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[44] Franklin received DonorsTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[43]

Recipients of Franklin Center Funding

According to an in-depth report on the Franklin Center and related "news" websites by Gene Gibbons, "Len Lazarick, editor of the Maryland Reporter (www.marylandreporter.com) told a public radio interviewer he received $100,000 in start‐up funding from the Franklin Center. 'That interview got me in a little hot water with them,' he told me. 'They would just prefer that everything be as anonymous as possible. They really don't want us to talk about our business models very much.'"[9]

The Franklin Center is required by law to disclose the groups to which it gives money, however. In 2011, the Franklin Center funded the following groups:[45]

In 2010, the Franklin Center funded:[46]

In 2009, the Franklin Center funded:[47]

Franklin Center-Funded and Affiliated Sites

"Watchdog Bureaus"

As of May 2013:[4]

"Watchdog Partners"

As of May 2013:[4]

Former Statehouse "News Bureaus"

As of March 2012:[48]

Formerly Listed as Hosting "Investigative Reporters"

As of March 2012:[49]

Franklin Center in Wisconsin

One of the Franklin Center's sites, the Wisconsin Reporter, was launched in January, and it's articles have been featured in weekly newspapers across the state. In February, the outlet supported a poll that claimed 71% of Wisconsin residents thought Governor Scott Walker's budget proposal to cut the collective bargaining rights of most of the state's public sector workers was 'fair.'[50] The suspiciously high percentage caused some to question the source of the poll.[51] But a lot of local and national news outlets cited the poll without investigation, including MSNBC.[52] Data from the poll of 500 likely voters was managed by Pulse Opinion Research, owned by Scott Rasmussen, a trustee of the Property and Environment Research Center, which has ties to the Koch Brothers and Exxon Mobil.[53] The Rasmussen Poll also released a poll that "showed 48% of American voters supported Walker, while just 38% supported the unions,” said Evan McMorris-Santoro writing for TPMuckracking. “That poll was criticized for asking leading questions that seemed to point respondents toward opposing the unions.”[54]

Finances

2011:[45]

Total Revenue: $6,614,542 Total Expenses: $6,672,066 Net Assets: $473,964

2010:[46]

Total Revenue: $3,775,771 Total Expenses: $3,942,844 Net Assets: $531,248

2009:[47]

Total Revenue: $2,378,965 Total Expenses: $1,689,442 Net Assets: $690,913

Personnel

Board of Directors

As of September 2013:[55]

Advisory Board

As of September 2013:[57]

Staff

As of September 2013:[58]

Leadership

  • Jason Stverak, President
  • John Connors, Director of Special Projects
  • Will Swaim, Vice President of Journalism
  • Erik Telford, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Outreach[58]

Development and Outreach

  • Alicia Barrett, Manager of Investor Relations
  • Shana Davidson, Direct Marketing Manager
  • Matt Hauck, Director of Development
  • Christina Pajak, Manager of Investor Relations
  • Megan Ritter, Grants Manager and Development Writer
  • John Courts, Development Coordinator
  • Kathy McDonald, Senior Director of External Affairs[58]

Special Projects and Marketing

  • Earl Glynn, Special Projects Coordinator/Research
  • Jennifer Ridgley, Director of Digital Marketing
  • Kristen Hawley, Digital Marketing Manager
  • Scott Kocen, Technology Advisor
  • Andrew Collins, Digital Media Manager[58]

Communications and Citizen Engagement

  • Mary Ellen Beatty, Director of Citizen Outreach
  • Chris McCoy, Training Coordinator
  • Jackie Moreau, Managing Editor, Watchdog Wire
  • Michael Moroney, Director of Public Affairs
  • Kevin Palmer, Communications Coordinator
  • Adam Ulbricht, Media Associate, Watchdog Wire
  • Rachel Swaffer, Outreach Associate, Citizen Watchdog
  • Breyana Franklin, Media Relations Associate[58]

Operations

  • Nicole Stverak, Administrative Assistant and Special Events Coordinator
  • Becky Wessels, Director of Operations
  • Irene Dana, Operations Assistant[58]

Watchdog.org Staff

As of September 2013:[59]

Former Staff

  • Gwen Beattie (Executive Vice President)
  • Steven Greenhut (Vice President of Journalism)
  • Raaki Garcia (Colorado Watchdog Reporter)
  • Sheena Dooley (Iowa Watchdog Reporter)
  • Kevin Mooney (National Reporter)
  • Mark Lisheron (Texas Watchdog Reporter)
  • Lee Ann O’Neil (Texas Watchdog Reporter & Watchdog.org Content Editor)
  • Lynette Wilhelm (Operations Assistant)
  • Frank Keegan (National Watchdog Editor)
  • Scott Reeder (National Statehouse Editor)
  • James Skyles (General Counsel and Director of Operations)
  • Meghan Tisinger (Director of Communications)
  • Mary Massingale (writing coach and content editor)
  • Elizabeth Hillgrove (staff writer and special projects)
  • Jonathan Miltimore (national reporter, fiscal issues)
  • Bill McMorris (staff writer)
  • Drew Thomason (Reporter, Illinois Statehouse News)
  • Stephan Burklin (editor, Maine Watchdog)
  • Brian R. Hook (editor, Missouri Watchdog)
  • Joe Jordan (editor, Nebraska Watchdog)
  • Andrew Griffin (reporter, Oklahoma Watchdog)
  • Paige Winfield Cunningham (editor, Old Dominion Watchdog)
  • Amanda Iacone (Bureau Chief, Virginia Statehouse News)
  • Stephen Groves (reporter, Virginia Statehouse News)
  • Kevin Lee (Statehouse reporter, Wisconsin Reporter)

Contact Details

Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity
1229 King Street, 3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (571) 384-2090
Fax: (571) 384-2093
Email: Info@FranklinCenterHQ.org OR Media@FranklinCenterHQ.org

Former Addresses:

DC Office
127 S. Peyton Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA, 22314
Office Phone: 571-384-2090

North Dakota Office
547 S. 7th St. #176
Bismarck, ND 58504
Office Phone: 701-214-5612

Email: Meghan Tisinger at Meghan.Tisinger@FranklinCenterHQ.org

Gibbons wrote in June 2010, "The Franklin Center is headquartered in Bismarck, ND, but its mailing address is a law office in Stafford, Texas, and its fundraising agent is a Bristow, VA firm that also raises funds for the Republican Party and the Heritage Foundation."[9]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, About, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  2. Franklin Center For Government & Public Integrity, Mission, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  3. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011, since modified by the organization.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Franklin Center, Watchdog.org, organizational document, May 2013, obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy June 2013.
  5. Rebekah Metzler, 'Watchdog' website puts a new spin on politics', The Portland Press Herald, accessed August 19, 2011.
  6. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, August 4, 2011.
  7. AJR's 2009 Count of Statehouse Reporters, American Journalism Review, April/May 2009, accessed November 2013.
  8. Jennifer Dorroh, Statehouse Exodus, American Journalism Review, April/May 2009, accessed November 2013.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 Gene Gibbons, Ants at the Picnic: A Status Report on News Coverage of State Government, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy Discussion Paper Series, #D‐59, June 2010.
  10. Gene Gibbons, Statehouse Beat Woes Portend Bad News for Good Government, Nieman Report, Winter 2010.
  11. Tony Rogers, Conservatives See Need for More Investigative Reporting, About.com, undated, accessed November 2013.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Brendan Fischer, Why Are the Franklin Center's "Wisconsin Reporter" and "Watchdog.org" Attacking the John Doe?, PRwatch.org, Dec. 19, 2013.
  13. Gov. Joe Manchin’s Dept. of Administration, Division of Highways Subpoenaed in Federal Probe, West Virginia Watchdog, August 7, 2010.
  14. Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Poll Shows 71% of Wisconsinites Think Walker’s Budget Changes are “Fair," organizational press release, February 24, 2011.
  15. Bill McMorris, $6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts, New Mexico Watchdog, November 17, 2009.
  16. Matt Apuzzo, Stimulus accuracy comes under fire, Associated Press, November 19, 2009.
  17. Rebekah Metzler, 'Watchdog' website puts a new spin on politics', Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  18. Pew Center Project for Excellence in Journalism, Watchdog.org, Assessing a New Landscape in Journalism, organizational report, July 18, 2011.
  19. Sam Adams Alliance, Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit, organizational PDF, accessed August 19, 2011.
  20. Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, Watchdog,org, organizational media report, accessed June 2013.
  21. Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, accessed August 19, 2011.
  22. Bradley Foundation, The Bradley Foundation, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  23. Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Staff, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  24. Matt Hauck, Matt Hauck, LinkedIn profile, accessed October 5, 2011.
  25. Gwen Beattie, Gwen Beattie, LinkedIn profile, accessed October 5, 2011.
  26. Americans for Prosperity, AFP Announces Free Market Essay Contest, organizational blog, accessed October 5, 2011.
  27. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011.
  28. Franklin Center, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed July 2013.
  29. American Legislative Exchange Council, Communications and Technology Task Force, organizational website, accessed July 2013.
  30. Blair Thoreson, Commentary: Progressive War on ALEC, franklincenterhq.org organizational website article, April 18, 2012.
  31. Matt Gertz, FLASHBACK: Franklin Center's Full-Throated Defense Of ALEC, Media Matters, July 12, 2012.
  32. Jason Stverak, ALEC AND MISLEADING JOURNALISM: A CASE STUDY, Breitbart.com, April 26, 2012.
  33. Steven Greenhut, COMMENTARY: Attacks on ALEC hypocritical and unfair, franklincenterhq.org organizational website article, April 19, 2012.
  34. Rebekah Wilce, ALEC Sends Out an SOS to Breitbart Bloggers, PRWatch.org, April 18, 2012.
  35. Bill McMorris, Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Benjamin Franklin Fellows, organizational publication, October 2, 2009.
  36. Washington State Office of the Secretary of State, Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report: Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, state governmental agency website, accessed November 19, 2013.
  37. Washington State Office of the Secretary of State, Commercial Fundraiser Profile Report: ClearWord Communications Group, Inc., state governmental agency website, accessed November 19, 2013.
  38. Joe Strupp,Franklin Center Top Donor Is Right-Wing's "Dark Money" ATM, Media Matters, Feb. 22, 2013.
  39. Paul Abowd, "Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states: Nonprofit group lets donors fly 'totally under the radar,'" Center for Public Integrity, February 14, 2013.
  40. Knowledge and Progress Fund, 2005 Form 990, organization's annual Internal Revenue Service filing, November 13, 2006.
  41. Steve Connor, "Exclusive: Billionaires Secretly Fund Attacks on Climate Science," The Independent, January, 24, 2013.
  42. Knowledge and Progress Fund, 2010 Form 990, organization's annual Internal Revenue Service filing, November, 21, 2011.
  43. 43.0 43.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
  44. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  45. 45.0 45.1 Franklin Center, 2011 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, November 12, 2012.
  46. 46.0 46.1 Franklin Center, 2010 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, October 25, 2011.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Franklin Center, 2009 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, October 20, 2011.
  48. Statehouse News Bureaus, SourceWatch.org, accessed March 23, 2012.
  49. Statehouse News Bureaus, SourceWatch.org, accessed March 23, 2012.
  50. Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. BREAKING: Poll Shows 71% of Wiscosnites Think Walker's Budget Changes are "Fair," organizational press release, February 24, 2011.
  51. The Conservative Group Behind The Poll of Walker's Budget Plan, Talking Points Memo, accessed August 19, 2011.
  52. Talking Points Memo TV, MSNBC Pushes Right-Wing Wisconsin Poll, YouTube, accessed August 19, 2011.
  53. American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, Recipient: Property and Environment Research Center, Bridge Project profile, accessed June 2013.
  54. Evan McMorris-Santoro, Mysterious Conservative Poll of Walker’s Budget Plan Hits Wisconsin, Talking Points Memo, February 24, 2011.
  55. Franklin Center, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed September 2013.
  56. Guidestar, FRANKLIN CENTER FOR GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC INTEGRITY: People, non-profit organization profile, accessed February 2013.
  57. Franklin Center, Advisory Committee, organizational website, accessed September 2013.
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 58.4 58.5 Franklin Center, Staff, organizational website, accessed September 2013.
  59. Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Staff, Watchdog.org, accessed September 20, 2013.
  60. Idaho Freedom Foundation, Idaho Reporter, organizational publication, accessed September 16, 2013.