Platte Institute for Economic Research

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

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

The Platte Institute for Economic Research (PIER) is a "research and educational organization"[1] in Omaha, Nebraska and member of the State Policy Network. The Platte Institute's work in the study of public policy "is founded on the belief that the freedom and quality of life that Nebraskans deserve is best achieved by promoting free-enterprise, limited government and personal responsibility."[1] The institute's "scholars" work under the tenet that government solutions are not the answer to public policy problems.[1]

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Platte Institute for Economic Research 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.[2] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[3] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[4][5] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."[6]

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).[7] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[8] Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[7]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[9] a conservative grant-making organization.[10]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[11] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[12] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[13] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[14] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.

Funding

The Platte Institute for Economic Research does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. PIER's known funders include:

Core Financials

2015[15]

  • Total Revenue: $724,397
  • Total Expenses: $720,451
  • Net Assets: $128,511

2014[16]

  • Total Revenue: $664,702
  • Total Expenses: $648,172
  • Net Assets: $124,565

2013[17]

  • Total Revenue: $567,826
  • Total Expenses: $570,166
  • Net Assets: $108,035

2012[18]

  • Total Revenue: $449,370
  • Total Expenses: $452,558
  • Net Assets: $102,479

2011[19]

  • Total Revenue: $394,830
  • Total Expenses: $422,697
  • Net Assets: $105,667

2010[20]:

  • Total Revenue: $564,483
  • Total Expenses: $464,873
  • Net Assets: $133,534

2009[21]:

  • Total Revenue: $441,844
  • Total Expenses: $412,490
  • Net Assets: $33,924

Personnel

Staff

As of December 2016:[22]

  • Jim Vokal, Executive Director
  • Kimberly Chalek, Executive Vice President of Operations
  • Sarah Curry, Policy Director
  • Joe Neuhaus, Director of Development
  • Adam Weinberg, Communications and Outreach Director
  • Nicole Fox, Director of Government Affairs[23]

Former Staff

  • Patrick Gerhart- Policy Outreach Director
  • Kimberly Stephenson- Development Director
  • Jen Rae Wang, Director of Government Affairs (left to work for U.S. Rep. Don Bacon)

Board of Directors

As of December 2016:[24]

  • Gail Werner-Robertson, Board Chair
  • David E. Copple
  • Jeff Dinklage
  • Sid Dinsdale
  • DJ Eihusen
  • Nancy Johner
  • Pat Keenan
  • Owen Palm
  • Bryan Slone

Former Directors

Contact Information

Platte Institute for Economic Research
6910 Pacific Street, Suite 216
Omaha, NE 68106
Phone: 402-452-3737
Fax: 402-452-3676
Website: http://www.platteinstitute.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlatteInstitute
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/platteinstitute

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "About Us", organizational website, accessed November 2012
  2. Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
  3. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  4. Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  5. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
  6. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 27, 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
  8. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  9. Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
  10. The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  11. Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  12. Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  13. Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  14. Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  15. Platte Institute for Economic Research, 2015 IRS 990 Form, Platte Institute for Economic Research, May 6, 2016.
  16. Platte Institute for Economic Research, 2014 IRS 990 Form, Platte Institute for Economic Research, April 21, 2015.
  17. Platte Institute for Economic Research, 2013 IRS 990 Form, Platte Institute for Economic Research, May 8, 2014.
  18. Platte Institute for Economic Research, 2012 IRS 990 Form, Platte Institute for Economic Research, May 15, 2013.
  19. Platte Institute for Economic Research, 2011 IRS 990 Form, Platte Institute for Economic Research, August 13, 2012.
  20. Platte Institute for Economic Research, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
  21. Platte Institute for Economic Research, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
  22. Platte Institute for Economic Research, Staff, Platte Institute for Economic Research, 2016.
  23. The Associated Press, Nebraska state senator to take job as think tank lobbyist, Belleville News-Democrat, November 30, 2016.
  24. Platte Institute for Economic Research, Board of Directors, Platte Institute for Economic Research, 2016.