Reason Foundation

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

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The Reason Foundation is a self-described "libertarian" [1] think tank. The Reason Foundation's projects include and, as well as Reason Magazine[2] It is part of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation network.

The Reason Foundation is funded, in part, by what are known as the "Koch Family Foundations,"[3] and David Koch serves as a Reason trustee. [4]

According to the Reason Foundation's 2009 Internal Revenue Source 990 return form, it took in $6 million in donation income against $6.7 million in expenses, with only $639,236 in subscription revenue and $113,575 in ad revenue. [5]

News and Controversies

Reason Foundation 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 Reason Foundation.[6] 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.”[6]
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.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Dr. Adrian Moore, Vice President of Public Policy of the Reason Foundation, is an Advisor to the American Legislative Exchange Council's Commerce, Insurance & Economic Development Task Force.[7] Reason Foundation representatives have also advised ALEC Task Forces on issues such as state budgets [8], and health reform. [9]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

The Reason Foundation's Director of Government Affairs, Mike Flynn, was previously policy director for ALEC. [10]

Reason Foundation and Tobacco issues

Jacob Sullum is the senior editor of Reason,, a monthly magazine published by the Reason Foundation. Sullum's positions on tobacco issues have consistenly been supportive of the tobacco industry. The anti-tobacco Advocacy Institute, in their November, 1994 Directory of Tobacco Industry Spokespersons, Front Groups and their Allies, says,

The Reason Foundation received at least $10,000 from Philip Morris in 1993. He [Sullum] wrote an article for Forbes Media Critic which was later used in a week-long advertising series by Philip Morris; the report argued that the EPA findings on secondhand smoke were one-sided and represented the "corruption of science by the political crusade against smoking." He also wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal criticizing the EPA, claiming that the agency based its findings on ETS on "several controversial assumptions;" this op-ed was later featured in an RJR advertisement. Both of these articles cited the work of Dr.Gary Huber, a scientist funded by various tobacco companies, who had found the risks of ETS to be only minimal. The Media Critic article also cited the work of Alvan Feinstein, who received at least $700,000 from Brown &Williamson between 1985 and 1990. Sources:Extra, September/October 1994, p.18; Wall Street Journal,3- 24-94, Bates Page --4660]

Corporate Officers

As of April 2011:[11]

Board of Trustees

As of April 2011:[11] Dunn and:


Between 1985 and 2009, the Reason Foundation received funding from the following sources, in the following amounts: [14]


Media contact:

Government official contact:


  • Reason
  • 3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 400
  • Los Angeles, CA 90034
  • Phone: (310) 391-2245
  • Fax: (310) 391-4395
  • For any other questions, please call our offices at (310) 391-2245.
  • URL:

Contact info on

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

External links

<tdo>resource_id=6887 resource_code=reason search_term=Reason Foundation</tdo>


  1. "Frequently Asked Questions About Reason: Is Reason libertarian?", accessed August 2007.
  2. [1], "Reason Magazine: August/September 2011 Edition." Accessed June 25, 2011.
  3. [2], "Koch Family Foundations: Organizations Funded." Accessed June 25, 2011.
  4. Trustees and Officers, Reason Foundation website, accessed July 10, 2011.
  5. Reason Foundation IRS Form 990 2009, accessed through July 10, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sheldon Whitehouse, "Senators Call Out Web of Denial Blocking Action On Climate Change," Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, July 15, 2016.
  7. American Legislative Exchange Council Inside ALEC May 2011, organization newsletter, May 2011, p. 17
  8. Tax & Fiscal Policy Task Force archives, ALEC website, accessed July 10, 2011.
  9. HHS Task Force archives, ALEC website, accessed July 10, 2011.
  10. Mike Flynn bio, Reason website, accessed July 10, 2011.
  11. 11.0 11.1
  12. Mission. Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Retrieved on 2011-04-10.
  13. Manuel S. Klausner. Lawyer Manuel S. Klausner - Los Angeles, California.... Retrieved on 2011-04-10. “Trustee, Reason Foundation, 1978—. Director, Institute for Justice, 1991-1998. Chairman, Free Speech and Election Law Practice Group, Federalist Society, 1996-2005. Chairman, Libertarian Law Council, 1974—.General Counsel, Individual Rights Ftn., 2000—.”
  14. Media Transparency, Reason Foundation funders, Media Matters, accessed July 10, 2011.