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Tracie Sharp, president of the State Policy Network (SPN) since January 2000, had previously served on its board of directors for 14 years (see the State Policy Network article for more). She was the executive director and one of the founders of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon's market-oriented think tank, from 1991 to 1999. She worked in the areas of education and social security privatization. This article is a breakout of the State Policy Network article. Please see State Policy Network for more.
In 2012, a list of 2010 funders of an SPN member think tank in Texas, the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), that was disclosed to the IRS was inadvertently made public. The list of funders revealed is an important case study in how SPN's member think tanks are funded, and by whom. Koch Industries, for example, gave $159,834 directly to TPPF, in addition to $69,788.61 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which is a Koch Family Foundation. SPN itself gave TPPF $49,306.90, but what's more, Tracie Sharp, SPN's executive director, was the contact person for an additional $495,000. These two grants, for $300,000 and $195,000, were listed as being received from the "State Think Tank Fund" and the "Government Transparency Fund," respectively -- two funds about which virtually nothing is known.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
Sharp represents SPN as a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). She is a member of ALEC's Education Task Force and Health and Human Services Task Force. She was the recipient of ALEC's 2009 Private Sector Member of the Year Award.
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.
Other Ties and Background
Sharp is also a trustee to the Roe Foundation of Greenville, South Carolina, the foundation endowed by South Carolina hardware store millionaire and SPN founder Thomas A. Roe, and to the Special Hope Foundation, a "family foundation supporting innovative projects to assist the causes of the physically, emotionally, and developmentally disabled," a biographical note on the SPN website states. In 1993, Sharp founded HOPE-Oregon, a Portland, Oregon-based "private volunteer effort to provide health care education services to low-income families."
According to SPN, "Previously, Ms. Sharp worked with Washington State radio commentator and Republican Party leader John Carlson as director of programs at the Washington Institute for Policy Studies in Seattle."
State Policy Network
PO Box 5208
Richmond, CA 94805
E-mail: Sharp At spn.org
Direct phone: (510) 965-9700
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
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- 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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- Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 31, 2011.
- Center for Media and Democracy, EXPOSED: The State Policy Network, The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Arizona Working Families and CMD, A Reporter’s Guide to the Goldwater Institute: What Citizens, Policymakers, and Reporters Should Know, organizational report, updated November 13, 2013.
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- Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, Consider the Source, February 14, 2013.
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- 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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 State Policy Network, Tracie Sharp, organizational biography, accessed September 2012
- ↑ Forrest Wilder, Revealed: The Corporations and Billionaires that Fund the Texas Public Policy Foundation, TPPF Donor List, Texas Observer, August 24, 2012.
- ↑ Rebekah Wilce, State Policy Network: Writing ALEC Bills and SPNing Disinformation in the States, PRWatch.org, April 2013.
- ↑ 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 (sub. req'd.), organizational press release, July 24, 2009.
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