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The Roe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation started by Thomas A. Roe (1927-2000), founding chairman of the State Policy Network (SPN) and founder of the South Carolina Policy Council. It "continues to provide financial support to free-market policy groups across the country," according to SPN. Roe was also an early funder of the Heritage Foundation, joining Joseph Coors, Samuel Roberts Noble, and Richard Mellon Scaife. He led Heritage's finance committee. This article is a breakout of the State Policy Network article. Please see State Policy Network for more.
In 2011, the organization reported $1,599,873 in total revenue, $1,769,891 in total expenses, and $29,545,157 in total assets (fair market value).
No "Collectivist World" or Organized Musicians: Strict Instructions for Endowment at Roe Foundation
According to the conservative "opposition research" think tank Capital Research Center (CRC), Roe believed in maintaining "donor intent," so the foundation his personal wealth endowed, the Roe Foundation, has explicit by-laws and requires grantees to "sign a document promising to uphold" the following principles:
- "First, 'the maximum potential of a free people is achieved when they are free to control their own destiny'; second, 'the greatest threat to these freedoms is intrusive government'; and third, 'the Judeo-Christian tradition represents the underpinnings of a just society.' Furthermore, recipients of the foundation’s support must recognize 'the importance of state and local organizations functioning alongside national organizations in the pursuit of a free society.' Finally, they must 'educate the public at large and all public policy makers to a better understanding of these fundamental values and practical ways to achieve the goals of expanding human freedom.'"
A few grants can go to "nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan area of Greenville until such time as there are no descendents [sic] of Tom or Shirley Roe living there, but one such grant, to the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, "stipulates that its musicians cannot unionize. 'Tom didn’t like unions,' says [his widow] Shirley Roe."
Roe gave Mont Pelerin Society and the Philadelphia Society "standing to sue" the Roe Foundation if, after his death, the Roe Foundation makes a grant to an organization “whose activities or public statements reflect a belief in a collectivist world or any view inconsistent” with the foundation’s announced principles (emphasis added), according to Chicago lawyer Paul Rhoads, who has written for the Philanthropy Roundtable.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
The Roe Foundation has granted $28,500 to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) between 2000 and 2011, according to a review of the foundation's IRS filings by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).
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.
Roe Foundation board member and SPN executive director Tracie Sharp is also extensively involved with ALEC. She is a member of ALEC's Education Task Force and Health and Human Services Task Force, and she was the recipient of ALEC's 2009 Private Sector Member of the Year Award.
Funding SPN and SPN State Think Tanks
TOTAL to SPN and SPN State Think Tanks 1998-2011: $9,531,000, broken down as follows:
- State Policy Network: $990,000 (1998-2011)
- Alabama Policy Institute: $99,000 (2000-2011)
- Arkansas Policy Foundation: $25,000 (1998-2009)
- Kentucky's Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions: $125,000 (2004-2011)
- Ohio's Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions: $315,000 (1998-2011)
- Maryland's Calvert Institute for Policy Research: $25,000 (1998-2007)
- Oregon's Cascade Policy Institute: $330,000 (1998-2011)
- Center for Policy Research of New Jersey: $67,500 (2003-2009)
- Minnesota's Center of the American Experiment: $175,000 (1998-2011)
- Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Foundation: $203,000 (1998-2011)
- Empire Center for New York State Policy: $95,000 (2005-2011)
- Vermont's Ethan Allen Institute: $100,000 (1998-2011)
- Washington's Evergreen Freedom Foundation: $375,000 (1998-2011)
- Freedom Foundation of Minnesota: $55,000 (2008-2011)
- Georgia Public Policy Foundation: $110,000 (1999-2011)
- Arizona's Goldwater Institute: $277,500 (1998-2011)
- Grassroot Institute of Hawaii: $115,000 (2005-2011)
- South Dakota's Great Plains Public Policy Institute: $27,500 (2003-2009)
- Idaho Freedom Foundation: $30,000 (2010-2011)
- Illinois Policy Institute: $120,000 (2004-2011)
- Colorado's Independence Institute: $262,500 (2001-2011)
- Indiana Policy Review Foundation: $271,000 (1998-2011)
- Florida's James Madison Institute: $310,000 (1998-2011)
- North Carolina's John Locke Foundation: $250,000 (1998-2011)
- New Hampshire's Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy: $153,500 (1998-2011)
- Kansas Policy Institute (formerly Flint Hills Center for Public Policy): $77,500 (1998-2011)
- Michigan's Mackinac Center for Public Policy: $365,000 (1998-2011)
- Maine Heritage Policy Center: $140,000 (2004-2011)
- Maryland Public Policy Institute: $185,000 (2002-2011)
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy: $165,000 (2004-2011)
- Montana Policy Institute: $45,000 (2009-2011)
- Nevada Policy Research Institute: $200,000 (1998-2011)
- North Dakota Policy Council: $45,000 (2008-2011)
- Rhode Island's Ocean State Policy Research Institute: $30,000 (2009-2011)
- Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs: $275,000 (1998-2011)
- California's Pacific Research Institute: $191,000 (1998-2011)
- Louisiana's Pelican Institute for Public Policy: $45,000 (2009-2011)
- Massachusetts' Pioneer Institute: $83,000 (1998-2011)
- Nebraska's Platte Institute for Economic Research: $55,000 (2008-2011)
- Iowa's Public Interest Institute: $1,000 (1998)
- Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia: $25,000 (2008-2009)
- New Mexico's Rio Grande Foundation: $125,000 (2002-2011)
- Missouri's Show-Me Institute: $60,000 (2007-2011)
- South Carolina Policy Council: $1,161,000 (1998-2011)
- Utah's Sutherland Institute: $205,000 (2008-2011)
- Beacon Center of Tennessee (formerly Tennessee Center for Policy Research): $115,000 (2007-2011)
- Texas Public Policy Foundation: $237,000 (1998-2011)
- Virginia's Thomas Jefferson Institute: $168,000 (1998-2011)
- Virginia Institute for Public Policy: $175,000 (1998-2011)
- Washington Policy Center: $92,500 (2001-2008)
- Wisconsin Policy Research Institute: $161,000 (1998-2010)
- Wyoming Liberty Group: $20,000 (2010-2011)
- Connecticut's Yankee Institute for Public Policy: $177,500 (2000-2011)
- Roe Foundation, 2011 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 9, 2012.
- Roe Foundation, 2010 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 9, 2011.
- Roe Foundation, 2009 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, April 13, 2010.
- Roe Foundation, 2008 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 12, 2009.
- Roe Foundation, 2007 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 8, 2008.
- Roe Foundation, 2006 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, April 24, 2007.
- Roe Foundation, 2005 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 8, 2006.
- Roe Foundation, 2004 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 11, 2005.
- Roe Foundation, 2003 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, April 22, 2004.
- Roe Foundation, 2002 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, April 1, 2003.
- Roe Foundation, 2001 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 9, 2002.
- Roe Foundation, 2000 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 14, 2001.
- Roe Foundation, 1999 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 10, 2000.
- Roe Foundation, 1998 Form 990, foundation's IRS filing, May 12, 1999.
Board of Directors
The Roe Foundation's board of directors, as of its 2011 tax filing, consists of:
- Shirley W. Roe (Roe's widow), Chairman
- Edwin J. Feulner, Jr., Vice Chairman (President, Heritage Foundation)
- Carl O. Helstrom, III (Executive Director, JM Foundation, and Board Member, State Policy Network)
- Tracie Sharp (Executive Director, State Policy Network)
- Thomas L. Willcox (Board Member, State Policy Network)
- Byron S. Lamm (former Executive Director and Board Member, State Policy Network)
301 N Main St Ste 1735
Greenville , SC 29601
Phone: (864) 242-5007
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
- Edwin J. Feulner
Related PRWatch Articles
- 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.
- Sara Jerving, ALEC and Heartland Aim to Crush Renewable Energy Standards in the States, PRWatch.org, November 27, 2012.
- 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.
- Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 31, 2011.
- Guidestar.org, Roe Foundation, online foundation profile and IRS documents.
- Bridge Project, Roe Foundation, online funder profile and right-wing connections database.
- Center for Media and Democracy and Arizona Working Families, A Reporter’s Guide to the Goldwater Institute: What Citizens, Policymakers, and Reporters Should Know, organizational report, March 14, 2013.
- Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, Consider the Source, February 14, 2013.
- John R. Mashey, Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax 2, DeSmog Blog report, updated October 23, 2012, p. 74.
- Andy Kroll, The Right-Wing Network Behind the War on Unions, Mother Jones, April 25, 2011.
- 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.
- Greenpeace, Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group: State Policy Network (SPN), organizational resource.
- John J. Miller, "Safeguarding a Conservative Donor’s Intent: The Roe Foundation at 39," Foundation Watch, Capital Research Center publication, May 2007.
- ↑ State Policy Network, Leadership Team, organizational website, accessed April 19, 2011.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 John J. Miller, Safeguarding a Conservative Donor’s Intent: The Roe Foundation at 39, Foundation Watch, Capital Research Center publication, May 2007, accessed September 2012.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2011, p. (S) 10.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2010.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS filing, 2009.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2008.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2007.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2006.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2005.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2004.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2003.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2002.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2001.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, Form 990, organizational IRS tax filing, 2000.
- ↑ Roe Foundation, 2011 Form 990, organizational IRS filing, available via Guidestar.org, May 9, 2012.
- ↑ American Legislative Exchange Council, Education Task Force Director, organizational document, July 1, 2011, document obtained and released by Common Cause.
- ↑ American Legislative Exchange Council, HHS Task Force Directory, organizational document, June 29, 2011, document obtained and released by Common Cause.
- ↑ American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Announces 2009 Award Recipients, organizational press release, July 24, 2009.
- ↑ Center for Media and Democracy, Review of Roe Foundation Forms 990, 1998-2011, SourceWatch.org, March 2013.
- ↑ Guidestar.org, Roe Foundation, online organization report, accessed September 2012