Nevada Policy Research Institute
Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.
The Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) describes itself as "a free-market think tank that seeks private solutions to public challenges facing Nevada, the West and the nation. The Institute's primary areas of focus are education and fiscal policy, with the goal of advancing free-market principles in both." NPRI is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN).
The institute made waves during the debate over the Nevada state budget during the 2009 legislative session. Geoffrey Lawrence, the institute's fiscal policy analyst, authored "Nevada's Freedom Budget: The Road to Recovery" which was an alternative state budget proposal that would have purportedly avoided the need for state tax increases.
- 1 News and Controversies
- 2 Ties to the Koch Brothers
- 3 Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
- 4 Funding
- 5 Core Financials
- 6 Personnel
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 Articles and Resources
News and Controversies
NPRI Called Out for Blocking Action on Climate Change
In July of 2016, nineteen U.S. Senators delivered a series of speeches denouncing climate change denial from 32 organizations with links to fossil-fuel interests, including the Nevada Policy Research Institute. Sen. Whitehouse (RI-D), who led the effort to expose "the web of denial" said in his remarks on the floor that the purpose was to,
- "shine a little light on the web of climate denial and spotlight the bad actors in the web, who are polluting our American discourse with phony climate denial. This web of denial, formed over decades, has been built and provisioned by the deep-pocketed Koch brothers, by ExxonMobil, by Peabody coal, and by other fossil fuel interests. It is a grim shadow over our democracy in that it includes an electioneering effort that spends hundreds of millions of dollars in a single election cycle and threatens any Republican who steps up to address the global threat of climate change. . . . [I]t is long past time we shed some light on the perpetrators of this web of denial and expose their filthy grip on our political process. It is a disgrace, and our grandchildren will look back at this as a dirty time in America’s political history because of their work.”
NPRI Produces Questionable Study on Clean Energy in Nevada
A study released by NPRI on June 9, 2016 claiming that Nevada's requirements to use solar, wind and other clean energy sources are killing jobs and hurting jobs has been criticized by energy experts in the state reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Nevada has imposed a mandate called the Renewable Portfolio Standards to get 25% of its energy through renewables by 2025.
"In Nevada, energy prices are expected to climb by nearly 15 percent this year, which will reduce statewide employment growth by more than 11,000 jobs and reduce economic growth by $1.7 billion, said Timothy Considine, a professor with the School of Energy Resources and the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Wyoming," in the NPRI study.
"Chandler Sherman, a spokesman for Bring Back Solar Alliance, said recent studies have shown that rooftop solar decreases costs to NV Energy, saving all customers money. A peer-reviewed study by SolarCity and the Natural Resources Defense Council, released in May, found rooftop solar saves Nevadans $7 million every year, whether or not they have rooftop solar," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Angela Dykema, director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that, "since 2009, Nevada’s Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program has led to the construction of almost 30 renewable power plants, which have led to the creation of more than 4,000 high-paying jobs."
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.
Ties to the Koch Brothers
Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
The Nevada Policy Research Institute 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. The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states. Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias. On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."
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). Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article. Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.
The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM), a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network, which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation. Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation. SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.
The Nevada Policy Research Institute does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. NPRI's known funders include:
- Americans for Prosperity Foundation: $29,500 (2014)
- DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund: $668,405 (2010-2013)
- Total Revenue: $1,077,298
- Total Expenses: $1,206,368
- Net Assets: $587,462
- Total Revenue: $826,467
- Total Expenses: $901,213
- Net Assets: $717,094
- Total Revenue: $682,549
- Total Expenses: $782,140
- Net Assets: $781,267
- Total Revenue: $603,803
- Total Expenses: $791,558
- Net Assets: $872,043
- Total Revenue: $776,450
- Total Expenses: $654,447
- Net Assets: $1,072,828
- Total Revenue: $659,931
- Total Expenses: $631,363
- Net Assets: $945,002
As of December 2016:
- Sharon J. Rossie, President
- Steven Miller, Senior Vice President, Nevada Journal Managing Editor
- Joseph Becker, Chief Legal Officer, CJCL Director
- Patricia Andrews, Executive Assistant
- Robert Fellner, Transparency Director
- Karen Gray, Citizen Outreach Director
- Daniel Honchariw, Policy Researcher and Analyst
- Michael Schaus, Communications Director
- Jennifer Spoo, Paralegal, CJCL Administrator
- Andy Matthews, President
- Geoffrey Lawrence, Deputy Policy Director
- Eric Davis, Media Specialist
- Victor Joecks, Communications Director
- Jared Carl, Development Director
- Kyle Gillis, Investigative Reporter
Board of Directors
As of December 2016:
- Ranson W. Webster, Chairman
- Nancy Croom, Vice Chair
- Bryan J. Dziedziak, Secretary/Treasurer
- George Balaban
- Bob Davidson
- Ben Farahi
- Sherman R. Frederick
- David Geddes
- Steve Hardy
- Gary Vause
- William P. Weidner
- Jim Bahan
- Bill Brady
- Maryanne Ingemanson
- Bruce James
- Monte Miller
- Darren Wilson
- Judy Cresanta, NPRI Founder
Nevada Policy Research Institute
7130 Placid St.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: (702) 222-0642
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- State Policy Network:
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
- Donors Capital Fund
- Koch Family Foundations
- Koch Industries
- Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
- Heritage Foundation
- Think tanks
- Whitney Ball
- Adam Meyerson
- Bridgett Wagner
Related PRWatch Articles
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- Rebekah Wilce, Tracie Sharp: Bursar of Mystery Money and "IKEA Model" Materials to Stink Tanks, PRWatch.org, November 19, 2013.
- Center for Media and Democracy, Reports Expose Extreme Pressure Groups Masquerading as Think Tanks, press release, November 13, 2013.
- Rebekah Wilce, A Reporters’ Guide to the "State Policy Network": the Right-Wing Think Tanks Spinning Disinformation and Pushing the ALEC Agenda in the States, PRWatch.org, April 4, 2013.
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- Connor Gibson, Meet the Network Hiding the Koch Money: "Donors Trust" and "Donors Capital Fund", PRWatch.org, October 29, 2012.
- Brendan Fischer, Koch-Funded Mackinac Center Brings Wisconsin Act 10 Provisions to ALEC, PRWatch.org, May 2, 2012.
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- Thom Hartmann with Lee Fang on MSNBC, The conservative State Policy Network is sneaking into your state & will change America, March 29, 2013.
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- The Nation, The Right Leans In, March 26, 2013.
- Democracy Now, Donors Trust: Little-Known Group Helps Wealthy Backers Fund Right-Wing Agenda in Secret, February 19, 2013.
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- Guidestar, State Policy Network, IRS filings and other organizational information about SPN.
- Center for Policy Alternatives, ALEC and the Extreme Right-Wing Agenda, organizational brochure about ALEC and SPN.
- John J. Miller, Fifty Flowers Bloom: Conservative think tanks — mini–Heritage Foundations — at the state level, National Review, November 19, 2007.
- Bridge Project, State Policy Network, online resource listing grants to SPN and SPN's connections to other groups.
- People for the American Way, State Policy Network, RightWingWatch.org, organizational resource.
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- Sheldon Whitehouse, "Senators Call Out Web of Denial Blocking Action On Climate Change," Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, July 15, 2016.
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