Mississippi Center for Public Policy

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The Mississippi Center for Public Policy (MCPP) is a conservative think tank in Jackson, Mississippi. Its mission is to "promote and protect the concepts of free markets, limited government, and strong traditional families."[1]The group is also a major proponent for the expansion of charter schools in Mississippi. It was formerly known as Mississippi Family Council.[2] The MCPP is a member of the State Policy Network.

MCPP Fights Against Medicare Expansion and Pushes for Charter Schools in Mississippi

The MCPP led by its President Forest Thigpen fought against expanding Medicare coverage in Mississippi under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.[3] According to Bill Minor, "Recently Thigpen stacked a Mississippi legislative hearing on Medicaid expansion with alleged health care experts who testified against expansion. One principal witness was a Florida woman connected to the American Legislative Exchange Council."[3]

Thigpen and MCPP are also lobbying hard for charter schools in Mississippi. Bill Minor writes,

"he [Thigpen] bought airplane tickets and hotel expenses for more that 50 legislators (plus presiding officers in both chambers) he took to Orlando last October to visit several Florida charter schools. Rep. Credell Calhoun of Jackson, one of the few Democrats on the trip, said he was not persuaded to support the charter school idea. Calhoun said however the trip did convince him that Thigpen was getting backing from ALEC, the Koch brothers front group. The corporations seem to be taking over our government, from the state level all the way to Washington, the outspoken Calhoun declared."[3]

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Mississippi 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.[4] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[5] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[6][7] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."[8]

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).[9] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[10] Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[9]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[11] a conservative grant-making organization.[12]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[13] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[14] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[15] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[16] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.

Funding

The Mississippi Center for Public Policy is not required to disclose its funders. Its major funders, however, can be found through a search of IRS filings.

Core Financials

2013[17]:

  • Total Revenue: $416,788
  • Total Expenses: $566,644
  • Net Assets: $288,669

2012[18]:

  • Total Revenue: $826,130
  • Total Expenses: $705,547
  • Net Assets: $438,525

2011[19]:

  • Total Revenue: $585,755
  • Total Expenses: $726,949
  • Net Assets: $352,938

2010[20]:

  • Total Revenue: $786,851
  • Total Expenses: $780,228
  • Net Assets: $51,902

2009[21]:

  • Total Revenue: $725,007
  • Total Expenses: $740,824
  • Net Assets: $45,279

Personnel

Staff

As of October 2016:[22]

  • Forest Thigpen, President
  • Jason Anderson, Vice President of Operations
  • Dr. Jameson Taylor, Vice President for Policy
  • Sharon Ross, Director of External Affairs
  • Mike Hurst, Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute and General Counsel for the Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Board of Directors

As of October 2016:[23]

  • Jim Herring, Chairman
  • Robert Holliman, Vice-Chairman
  • Gloria Walker
  • Rick Cavett
  • Mark Smith
  • Katherine Holliman
  • Dwight Dyess
  • Forest Thigpen, President

Former Directors

  • William O. Stone, Chairman
  • Joel Bomgar, Vice-Chairman
  • Jimmy Morton - Treasurer
  • Sharon Ross - Secretary
  • George Hester
  • Katherine Holliman

Contact Information

Mississippi Center for Public Policy
520 George Street
Jackson, MS 39202
Phone: (601) 969-1300
Fax: (601) 969-1600
Website: http://www.mspolicy.org/index.php
Email: mail@mspolicy.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mspolicy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MSPOLICY/

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources


References

  1. "About MCPP", organizational website, accessed October 2012
  2. Guidestar.org, Mississippi Family Council aka MCPP, online non-profit organization report, accessed March 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bill Minor, Forest Thigpen acts as shadow Mississippi governor, Gulf Live, April 1, 2013.
  4. Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
  5. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  6. Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  7. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
  8. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 27, 2011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
  10. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  11. Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
  12. The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  13. Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  14. Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  15. Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  16. Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  17. Mississippi Center for Public Policy, 2013 IRS 990 Form, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, May 15, 2015.
  18. Mississippi Center for Public Policy, 2012 IRS 990 Form, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, May 15, 2014.
  19. Mississippi Center for Public Policy, IRS form 990, 2011. GuideStar.
  20. Mississippi Center for Public Policy, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
  21. Mississippi Center for Public Policy, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
  22. Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Staff, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, 2016.
  23. Mississippi Center for Public Policy, 2013 IRS 990 Form, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, May 15, 2015.