Institute for Policy Innovation

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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.

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) is a think tank based in Irving, Texas and founded in 1987 by Congressman Dick Armey to "research, develop and promote innovative and non-partisan solutions to today's public policy problems."[1]

IPI is an associate member of the State Policy Network (SPN), a network of right-wing "think tanks" and other non profits spanning 49 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.[2]

The conservative Capital Research Center ranked IPI as amongst the most conservative groups in the US, scoring it as an "eight" on a scale of one to eight.[3] IPI has received funding from corporations like Exxon Mobil and organizations like the Kochs' Claude R. Lambe Foundation, Scaife Foundations, the Bradley Foundation and others.

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.

State Policy Network

SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” and tax-exempt organizations in 49 states, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., Canada, and the United Kingdom. As of July 2017, SPN's membership totals 153. 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.[4]

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.'"[5]

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.[6]

Ties to the Koch Brothers

The Institute for Policy Innovation received $35,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation in 1998, and since 2010 it has received $145,000 from DonorsTrust, a donor advised fund which has been closely tied to the Koch brothers, but shields the identity of its donors.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

As of 2011, IPI was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). IPI has worked with ALEC on a variety of issues, including "school choice",[7] and hosting events.[8]

Bartlett Cleland, Director of the Center for Technology Freedom at the Institute for Policy Innovation, represents IPI as a co-chair of ALEC's Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force as of 2011. [9][10]

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.

Focus Areas

According to IPI, "Today IPI's work concentrates on such issues as taxation and government spending, economic growth initiatives, and government regulation. Current areas of focus include tax cuts and tax reform, intellectual property, Internet taxes and regulation, pharmaceutical issues, Social Security privatization, and educational choice. We pursue these areas through our IPI Center for Tax Analysis, our IPI Center for Economic Growth, our IPI Center for Technology Freedom, and our IPI Center for Education Freedom. [11]

The IPI was solicited by tobacco companies in 1995 to submit comments in response to proposed federal regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration restricting the marketing of tobacco products. IP responded by sending comments in favor of the industry to the FDA. [12]

Foundation Funders

According to Media Transparency IPI received $ 1,577,575 (unadjusted for inflation) over the period 1990 to 2004. [13]

Between 1990 and 2006, it received the following:

Core Financials

2013[14]

  • Total Revenue: $878,956
  • Total Expenses: $884,689
  • Net Assets: $(45,259)

2012[15]

  • Total Revenue: $957,035
  • Total Expenses: $903,210
  • Net Assets: $(20,178)

2011[16]

  • Total Revenue: $905,263
  • Total Expenses: $960,430
  • Net Assets: $(74,003)

Personnel

Board of Directors

As of April 12, 2017:[17]

  • Marv Bramlett, Chairman
  • David B. Moseley, Jr., Glast, Phillips & Murray, P.C.
  • Joseph Sullivan, President, JSA
  • Tom Giovanetti

Board of Advisors

  • Ernest S. Christian Center for Strategic Tax Reform
  • Stephen J. Entin, President and Executive Director Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation
  • Stephen Moore, Editorial Board Wall Street Journal
  • Gordon Tullock Professor of Law and Economics George Mason University
  • James R. Von Ehr, II, President and CEO Zyvex
  • Thomas G. West, Professor of Politics Hillsdale College

Former Board

IPI Media Releases on IPI, Lobbyists and Funding

IPI Publications

Contact Information

Employer Identification Number (EIN): 75-2158093

1320 Greenway Drive, Suite 820
Irving, Texas 75038
Phone:(972).874.5139
Fax: (972).874.5144
Email: ipi@ipi.org
Website: www.ipi.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InstituteforPolicyInnovation
Twitter: @IPI

External Links

References

  1. Institute for Policy Innovation About the Institute for Policy Innovation, organizational website, accessed June 1, 2011.
  2. State Policy Network, Directory, organizational website, accessed April 12, 2017.
  3. Christopher Morris, Patterns in Corporate Philanthropy, Capital Research Center, Aug. 2002, accessed July 9 2011.
  4. 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.
  5. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  6. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  7. Education archives, ALEC website, accessed July 9, 2011.
  8. ALEC & IPI Host MEP Member, accessed July 9, 2011.
  9. IPI, IPI's Cleland to Head ALEC Telecom-IT Task Force, Apr 1, 2011
  10. American Legislative Exchange Council Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force, organization website, accessed May 31, 2011
  11. IPI "About Us", accessed July 9, 2011.
  12. Tobacco Documents FDA COMMENT: NATIONAL CONTACTS, 1995, COMMENTS TO THE DOCKET AND RELATED ACTIVITIES THINK TANK, accessed July 9, 2011.
  13. Media Matters, IPI Funders, accessed July 9, 2011.
  14. Institute for Policy Innovation, 2013 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, December 23, 2014.
  15. Institute for Policy Innovation, 2012 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, December 20, 2013.
  16. Institute for Policy Innovation, 2011 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, August 3, 2012.
  17. Institute for Policy Innovation, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed April 12, 2017.

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