Libertas Institute

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

The Libertas Institute(LI) is a state think tank member of the State Policy Network, a web of state pressure groups that drive a right-wing agenda in statehouses nationwide. The non-profit was founded by Connor Boyack in 2011. The group defines its mission as advancing "the cause of liberty in Utah using a holistic approach that includes accountability for elected officials, liberty-based legislation, strategic litigation, and effective and widespread education."[1]

Activities

Libertas Institute Sued Utah Over Donor Disclosure Legislation

The Libertas Institute, along with the Utah Taxpayers Association, sued the state of Utah over a law passed in 2013 that required non-profits to disclose information on donors contributing over $750 a year.[2] The state decided to settle after Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes decided that sections of the law were "constitutionally problematic."[2]

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that, "Under the settlement, the state will not enforce the law against nonprofit groups 'engaging in constitutionally protected political advocacy and political issues advocacy,' according to the plaintiffs' statement. 'The state agreed that doing so would be unconstitutional, unless those organizations are political action committees or political issues committees.'"[2]

The Liberty Cap Award

Each year, the Libertas Institute distributes an award to an individual "whose efforts have furthered the Institute’s objectives in a recognizable and significant fashion."[3]

Previous Winners[3]

  • 2015: Christine Stenquist
  • 2014: Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy
  • 2013: John Dougall
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.

Funding

In 2014, the Libertas Institute received $60,600 from the Donors Capital Fund and DonorsTrust, funding groups with deep ties to the Koch brothers.

Core Finances

Libertas Institute

2015[4]

  • Total Revenue: $475,320
  • Total Expenses: $460,886
  • Net Assets: $32,027

2014[4]

  • Total Revenue: $309,187
  • Total Expenses: $316,293
  • Net Assets: $12,665

2013[5]

  • Total Revenue: $130,210
  • Total Expenses: $121,410
  • Net Assets: $19,771

2012[6]

  • Total Revenue: $30,752
  • Total Expenses: $19,781
  • Net Assets: $10,971

Personnel

As of September 2016:[7]

Staff

  • Connor Boyack, President
  • DJ Schanz, Vice President
  • Nichelle Aiden, Director of Communications
  • Chris Jones, Director of Development
  • Michael Melendez, Director of Policy
  • Josh Daniels, Policy Advisor
  • Audrey Mortensen, Policy Analyst
  • Lilli Hartvigsen, Administrative Assistant

Board of Trustees

As of September 2016:[8]

  • John Pestana, Chairman
  • Ty Brewer, Trustee
  • Ryan Money, Trustee
  • Connor Boyack, Trustee

Contact Information

Libertas Institute
785 East 200 South
Suite 2
Lehi, UT 84043
Phone: 801-901-0310
Web: https://libertasutah.org
Email: info@libertasutah.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/libertasutah
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/libertasutah

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. Libertas Institute, About, Libertas Institute, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Christopher Smart, Utah gives in to First Amendment lawsuit, Salt Lake Tribune, July 18, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Libertas Institute, Liberty Cap Award, Libertas Institute, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Libertas Institute, [paper copy 2015 990], Libertas Institute, November 14, 2016.
  5. Libertas Institute, 2013 990, Libertas Institute, April 18, 2014.
  6. Libertas Institute,2012 990, Libertas Institute, July 25, 2013.
  7. Libertas Institute, Staff, Libertas Institute, 2016.
  8. Libertas Institute, Board of Trustees, Libertas Institute, 2016.