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Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

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

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy (JBCPP) is a think tank "focused on state and local public policy issues that affect the quality of life for New Hampshire’s citizens."[1] The center states as its mission to promote policy that supports its core beliefs of "individual freedom and responsibility, limited and accountable government, and an appreciation of the role of the free enterprise system" through "information, research, and analysis."[1] JBCPP is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN).

Supported ALEC Legislation

JBCPP has worked to support and push ALEC legislation, including specifically legislation on school vouchers. During the 2011-2012 legislative session New Hampshire passed legislation to divert taxpayer dollars to private and religious schools. In 2013 the legislation came under review and organizations like Granite State Progress testified to the ALEC origins of the legislation. Josiah Bartlett Center President Charlie Arlinghaus dedicated part of his testimony time to attempting to discredit this accusation, telling policymakers that the school voucher legislation was actually his own idea, and blatantly poking fun at those who raised concerns that it was a rubberstamp agenda item being implemented in states across the country with the aid of ALEC.[2]

Blocked Medicaid Expansion

In September 2013, JBCPP President Charlie Arlinghaus was on the New Hampshire Study Commission on Medicaid Expainsion. According to a report by Granite State Progress, Arlinghous has a long history of opposing health care reform measures, with particular opposition to the Affordable Care Act. In conjunction with other conservative members of the Commission, Arlinghaus complained about the lopsided representation of speakers in favor of expansion. JBCPP affiliated NH Watchdog editor Grant Bosse used his weekly column in the Concord Monitor to rail against supporters of expansion.[2]

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy has hosted 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.[3] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[4] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[5][6] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."[7]

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).[8] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[9] Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[8]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[10] a conservative grant-making organization.[11]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[12] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[13] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[14] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[15] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.

New Hampshire Watchdog

In 2008, JBCPP hired former radio-host Grant Bosse to create New Hampshire Watchdog, a "new investigative project for the free market think tank." Bosse is a known Republican and has also served as a policy aide in both the NH State House and in Congress for Sen. John Sununu.[16] The organization pitched the new auxiliary site as a conservative investigative reporting site focusing on the state legislature and as a place for the Center to release it's groundbreaking news reports.

NH Watchdog is the New Hampshire affiliate of the Franklin Center and holds similar standards to its sister groups across the nation, eschewing ethical and journalistic standards in favor of functioning as a right-wing news feed. Franklin Center affiliates have a known history of manufacturing stories and subpar reporting.[17] A report by Granite State Progress highlights NH Watchdog's failure to provide unbiased reporting, showing their lack of commitment to true journalistic integrity. Both JBCPP and NH Watchdog are funded by right-wing supporters and push a particular policy agenda.[2]

Bosse continues his partisan work, even as he claims to be editor and founder of the NH Watchdog. While reporting for the NH Watchdog and the Concord Monitor, he worked on think tank policy reports on legislation under consideration, testified as an expert in front of legislative committees. Bosse has held professional journalism in disregard, voicing his contempt for ethical standards in regards to conflicts of interest. In a op-ed piece for sister network, the Montana Watchdog, he wrote "Journalism is an activity, not a club. If you are reporting news, the you are a reporter, and employment at a news paper or membership in a trade association grants you no more rights than every other American citizen."[2]

Personnel

As of April 2013:[18]

Board of Directors

  • Rich Ashooh, Chairman
  • Eugene M. Van Loan, III, Immediate Past Chairman
  • Anna ‘Bobbie’ Barbara Hantz, Vice-Chair
  • Peter Angerhofer, Businessman, Durham
  • Jamie Burnett, Businessman, Concord
  • Tom Eaton, Former Senate President, Keene
  • Peter Josephson PhD, Professor: Saint Anselm College
  • John Kayser PhD, Professor: UNH, Durham
  • Bruce Keough, Businessman, Dublin
  • Gordon MacDonald, Attorney, Nixon Peabody, Manchester
  • Emily M. Mead, Co-Founder, Etna
  • Mike Murray, Financial Consultant, Portsmouth
  • James Shirley, Attorney, Goffstown
  • Sara Shirley, Shirley Farm, Goffstown
  • James Sununu, Businessman, North Hampton
  • Emeritus, Colin D. Campbell, Prof. Emeritus, Dartmouth College, Hanover
  • Emeritus, Gov. John H. Sununu, Former Governor, Hampton Falls

Executive Staff

  • Charles M. Arlinghaus, President
  • Joshua Elliott-Traficante, Policy Analyst and Transparency Director

Core Financials

2011[19]

  • Total Revenue: $247,808
  • Total Expenses: $301,301
  • Net Assets: $$34,217

2010[20]:

  • Total Revenue: $228,770
  • Total Expenses: $241,723
  • Net Assets: $87,642

2009[21]:

  • Total Revenue: $315,887
  • Total Expenses: $323,502
  • Net Assets: $103,124

Contact Details

The Josiah Bartlett Center For Public Policy
7 South State Street, PO Box 897
Concord, NH 03301

Fax: (603) 224-4329
Phone: (603) 224-4450
Email: jbartlett at jbartlett.org

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, "About Us", organizational website, accessed November 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Granite State Progress, The Josiah Bartlett Ceter and NH Watchdog Answer the Call of the Koch Brothers, organizational report, Nov. 2013
  3. Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
  4. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  5. Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  6. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
  7. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 27, 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
  9. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  10. Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
  11. The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  12. Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  13. Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  14. Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  15. Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  16. Grant Bosse, Bartlett Center Launches Investigative Project, Josiah Barlett Center for Public Policy, organization press release, Nov. 20, 2008
  17. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, prwatch.org, Oct. 27, 2011
  18. Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, About Us, organizational website, accessed April 2013.
  19. Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, 2011 Form 990, organizational IRS filing, October 1, 2012.
  20. Josiah Bartlett Center For Public Policy, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
  21. Josiah Bartlett Center For Public Policy, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
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