Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity

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

Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity (RICFP) is a free-market think tank and member of the State Policy Network (SPN). The RICFP claims to be a "nonprofit, nonpartisan organization . . . dedicated to providing concerned citizens, the media, and public officials with empirical research data, while also advancing free-market solutions to public policy issues in the state."[1]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

The RICFP has ties to ALEC through two of its adjunct scholars, Bob Williams and Jonathan Williams. Both head ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force; Jonathan Williams is the task force director and Bob Williams is the private sector chair.[2][3] RICFP also has ties to ALEC through its membership in SPN, which has deep ties to ALEC. Please see SPN Ties to ALEC for more.

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 ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity is listed as a Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity "Watchdog Bureau".[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.

Board of Trustees

  • Dr. Daniel Harrop, Chairman
  • Capt. Jay Jacot
  • James Lynch
  • Thomas Mrva
  • Thomas Sweeney
  • Dr. Ellen Kenner
  • Richard MacAdams
  • Joseph Orlando

Staff

  • Mike Stenhouse, CEO
  • Justin Katz, Research Director and Editor of The Ocean State Current
  • Akash Chougule, Outreach Coordinator
  • Kevin Mooney, Investigative Bureau Chief of The Ocean State Current

Adjunct Scholars

Core Financials

2011[17]:

  • Total Revenue: $218,854.00
  • Total Expenses: $77,867.00
  • Net Assets: $140,987.00

Contact Information

Website: www.rifreedom.org
E-mail: info at rifreedom.org

Resources and Articles

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, About Us, organizational website, accessed December 2012.
  2. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Tax and Fiscal Policy", organizational website, accessed January 2013.
  3. Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, "About Us", organizational website, accessed January 2013.
  4. Franklin Center, Watchdog.org, organizational document, May 2013, obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy June 2013.
  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, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
  12. 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 website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  15. Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network, Conservative Transparency website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  16. Media Matters Action Network, Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, Conservative Transparency website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  17. Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, IRS form 990, 2011. GuideStar.
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