Washington Policy Center

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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.

Follow the money in the Koch wiki.

The Washington Policy Center (WPC) is, in its own words, "a nonpartisan, free-market, state-based think tank in Seattle, Washington, that publishes studies, sponsors events and conferences, and educates citizens on public policy issues facing Washington state."[1] In actuality the group advances a right wing agenda and is affiliated with organizations in the Koch Network.

WPC is organized as 501(c)3 non profit and was founded in 1997. The right wing "think tank" is listed as an affiliate member of the State Policy Network (SPN).[2]

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.

State Policy Network

SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country. It is an $83 million right-wing empire as of the 2011 funding documents from SPN itself and each of its state "think tank" members. Although SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, the Center for Media and Democracy's in-depth investigation, "EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government," reveals that SPN and its member think tanks are major drivers of the right-wing, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-backed corporate agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders.[3]

In response to CMD's report, SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told national and statehouse reporters that SPN affiliates are "fiercely independent." Later the same week, however, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer caught Sharp in a contradiction. In her article, "Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?," the Pulitzer-nominated reporter revealed that, in a recent meeting behind closed doors with the heads of SPN affiliates around the country, Sharp "compared the organization’s model to that of the giant global chain IKEA." She reportedly said that SPN "would provide 'the raw materials,' along with the 'services' needed to assemble the products. Rather than acting like passive customers who buy finished products, she wanted each state group to show the enterprise and creativity needed to assemble the parts in their home states. 'Pick what you need,' she said, 'and customize it for what works best for you.'" Not only that, but Sharp "also acknowledged privately to the members that the organization's often anonymous donors frequently shape the agenda. 'The grants are driven by donor intent,' she told the gathered think-tank heads. She added that, often, 'the donors have a very specific idea of what they want to happen.'"[4]

A set of coordinated fundraising proposals obtained and released by The Guardian in early December 2013 confirm many of these SPN members' intent to change state laws and policies, referring to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings." These activities "arguably cross the line into lobbying," The Guardian notes.[5]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

The Washington Policy Center (WPC) is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011.

Daniel Mead Smith, President, represents WPC as the ALEC state co-chair of the state of Washington as of August 2011.[6]

Carl Gipson, director of WPC's Center for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, was a member of ALEC's Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force.[7]

Jason Mercier, the Director of WPC's Center for Government Reform, is a member of ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force and is the ALEC Private Sector Working group chair.[8] He sponsored the "Legislative Transparency Act" at ALEC's 2011 Spring Task Force Summit.[9] Mercier has also participated in the Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which was disbanded in April 2012. At the 2011 annual meeting, he gave a presentation titled “Principles of Legislative Transparency” with Representative Jerry Madden (TX).[10]

Todd Myers, Environmental Director of WPC and a public relations specialist who represented the Seattle SuperSonics during the 1997 NBA lockouts, with his own PR firm,[11] represented WPC on ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force. At the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit, Myers gave a presentation entitled "A Fresh Start on the Environment: Good Science and Good Policy for New Majorities."[12] He also sponsored the "Resolution in Opposition to the EPA's 'Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule' and the Treatment of Biomass Energy."[13] In 2011, Myers gave another presentation at ALEC's States and Nation Policy Summit: “Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism is Harming the Environment.”[14] Myers was a panelist on the "Renewable Energy Mandate Reform: State Case Studies" workshop at ALEC's 2015 Annual Meeting.[15] Myers also wrote a blog post for the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) criticizing the Center for Media and Democracy's "ALEC Exposed" project in August 2011.[16]

Additionally, ALEC is an associate member of the State Policy Network (SPN), along with the WPC.[17]

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.

Funding

The Washington Policy Center has received funding from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, "two funds that have been closely tied to the Kochs but which obscure the percentage of their grants coming from Koch money. In 2011, contributions from the Donors groups made up 10 percent of JMI's grants," according to the report.[18]

  • $78,500 from Donors Capital Fund in 2014
  • $37,000 from Donors Capital Fund in 2013
  • $52,000 from Donors Capital Fund in 2012
  • $50,000 from Donors Capital Fund and $500 from DonorsTrust in 2011
  • $188,275 from Donors Capital Fund and $1,000 from DonorsTrust in 2010
  • $180,000 from Donors Capital in 2009

WPC has also received funding from the State Policy Network:

  • $18,000 in 2014
  • $24,628 in 2013
  • $9,250 in 2012
  • $9,675 in 2011
  • $42,750 in 2010
  • $5,000 in 2009

WPC received a $5,000 grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation in 2012.

Core Financials

2014[19]

  • Total Revenue: $1,941,178
  • Total Expenses: $1,934,552
  • Net Assets: $2,090,044

2013[20]

  • Total Revenue: $1,976,580
  • Total Expenses: $1,884,072
  • Net Assets: $2,052,929

2012[21]

  • Total Revenue: $1,896,078
  • Total Expenses: $1,848,803
  • Net Assets: $1,824,240

2011[22]

  • Total Revenue: $1,513,481
  • Total Expenses: $1,860,653
  • Net Assets: $1,810,517

2010[23]:

  • Total Revenue: $1,500,932.00
  • Total Expenses: $1,889,632.00
  • Net Assets: $2,203,342.00

2009[24]:

  • Total Revenue: $1,149,317.00
  • Total Expenses: $1,661,953.00
  • Net Assets: $2,516,590.00

Personnel

Staff

As of April 2013:[25]

  • Daniel Mead Smith, President
  • Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research
  • Braden Goodwin, Operations Manager
  • Stephanie True, Development Director
  • Dan Sytman, Communications & Marketing Director
  • Chris Cargill, Eastern Washington Office Director
  • Liv Finne, Director, Center for Education
  • Jason Mercier, Director, Center for Government Reform
  • Todd Myers, Director -- Center for Environmental Policy
  • Erin Shannon, Director, Center for Small Business
  • Roger Stark, Health Care Policy Analyst
  • Tyler Nebeker, Communications Coordinator & Publications Manager
  • Sydney Jansen, Development Coordinator
  • Katie Bulger, Event Coordinator

Former Staff

As of 2009:[26]

Board of Directors

As of October 18, 2016:[26]

  • Craig Williamson, Chairman
  • John Otter, Vice Chairman, CBC Partners, LLC – Bellevue
  • Dave Barber, Treasurer, Bartell-Barber Investments LLC – Seattle
  • Matt McIlwain, Secretary, Madrona Venture Group – Seattle
  • Richard Alvord – Seattle
  • Bill Baldwin, The Partners Group – Bellevue
  • Roger Bowlin, R.W. Bowlin Investment Solutions – Chelan
  • Artie Buerk, Montlake Capital - Seattle
  • Jim Coles, Western Peterbilt (retired) – Seattle
  • William Conner – Bellevue
  • John Connors, Ignition Partners – Bellevue
  • Kathy Connors – Bellevue
  • Anne Cowles - Spokane
  • Hon. Kemper Freeman, Jr., Kemper Development – Bellevue
  • John J. Hennessy – Snoqualmie
  • Daniel Mead Smith, President, Washington Policy Center
  • Dr. Rhonda Medows, Executive Vice President of Population Health at Providence Health & Services
  • Hon. George R. Nethercutt Jr. – Spokane
  • Hon. Mary Odermat, Brown Bear Car Wash – Medina
  • Mark Pinkowski
  • Greg Porter, Pillar Society President – Berntson Porter & Company – Bellevue
  • Sarah Rindlaub, Past Chairman – Mercer Island
  • Phil Scott Schlaepfer, Merrill Lynch - The Phil Scott Group – Bellevue
  • Irene Song, PACCAR Inc. – Seattle
  • Hon. Brian Sonntag, Executive Director, Rescue Mission – Tacoma
  • Heidi Stanley, Empire Bolt & Screw, Inc - Spokane
  • Randy Talbot, Talbot Financial – Bellevue
  • Robert Tippett, Tippett Company – Pasco
  • Janet True – Seattle
  • Roberta Weymouth, Silver Cloud Inns & Hotels – Bellevue
  • Wayne Williams, Telect, Inc. – Liberty Lake
  • Len Zarelli, Merit Company – Lakewood

Board Emeritus

  • Hon. Emilio Cantu, Former Washington State Senator – Bellevue
  • Jim Day – Gig Harbor
  • Richard Derham – Seattle
  • Barbara Kenney – Bellevue
  • David Maryatt – Seattle
  • John "Scotty" McEachern – Seattle
  • Ed McMillan – Silverdale
  • Amb. Della Newman, former Amb. to New Zealand – Bow
  • Hon. William Polk, William Polk Associates – Seattle
  • Al Symington – Seattle
  • Robert L. Wiley III – Bellevue

Former Board of Directors
As of April 2013:[27]

  • Greg Porter, Chairman, Berntson Porter & Company, Bellevue
  • Craig Williamson, Vice Chairman, MM Comfort Systems, Redmond
  • Richard Alvord, Treasurer, Seattle
  • Roger Bowlin, Secretary, R.W. Bowlin Investment Solutions, Chelan
  • Dave Barber, Bartell-Barber Family Investments LLC
  • Jim Coles, Western Peterbilt, Inc., Seattle
  • William Conner, Conner Development, Bellevue
  • John Connors, Ignition Partners, Bellevue
  • Kathy Connors, Bellevue
  • Jim Day, Gig Harbor
  • Hon. Kemper Freeman, Jr., Kemper Development, Bellevue
  • John J. Hennessy, NCM, Snoqualmie
  • Anne Kelley, Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation
  • Matt McIlwain, Madrona Venture Group
  • Daniel Mead Smith, President
  • Hon. George R. Nethercutt Jr., Lundquist, Nethercutt & Griles, Spokane
  • Hon. Mary Odermat, Brown Bear Car Wash, Medina
  • John Otter, CBC Partners, Bellevue
  • Ken D. Peterson, Jr., Columbia Ventures Corp., Vancouver
  • Sarah Rindlaub, Past Chairman, Mercer Island
  • Al Symington, Seattle
  • Randy Talbot, Talbot Financial, Bellevue
  • Robert Tippett, Tippett Company, Pasco
  • Janet True, Seattle
  • Roberta Weymouth, Silver Cloud Inns & Hotels, Bellevue
  • Robert L. Wiley III, Bellevue
  • Len Zarelli, Merit Company, Lakewood

Former Board Emeritus:

  • Bill Baldwin, Baldwin Resource Group, Inc., Redmond
  • Hon. Emilio Cantu, Former Washington State Senator, Bellevue
  • Richard Derham, Seattle
  • Barbara Kenney, Bellevue
  • David Maryatt, Seattle
  • John "Scotty" McEachern, Seattle
  • Ed McMillan, Silverdale
  • Amb. Della Newman, former Amb. to New Zealand, Bow
  • Hon. William Polk, William Polk Associates, Seattle

Eastern Washington Advisory Board

As of October 18, 2016:[26]

  • Brenda Alford, Alford Farms, Inc. – Pasco
  • Tom Beil, Spokane
  • Francis Benjamin, Pullman
  • Roger Bowlin, R.W. Bowlin Investment Solutions – Lake Chelan
  • Joanna Cable, Spokane
  • Michael Cannon, Spokane
  • Kent Clausen, Spokane
  • Anne Cowles, Spokane
  • Jon Devaney, Washington State Tree Fruit Association – Yakima
  • Craig Dias, Spokane
  • Pat Dix, Dix Corporation – Spokane
  • Bill Farris, Richland
  • Randy Gold, Gold Construction – Wenatchee
  • Paul Gray, Gray’s Electric – Wenatchee
  • Colin Hastings, Executive Director, Pasco Chamber of Commerce – Pasco
  • Tom Hix, NAI Black - Spokane
  • Robert Jankelson, Tsillan Cellars – Chelan
  • Larry Lambeth, President, Employment Screening Services, Inc. – Spokane
  • Kate Lampson, Pasco
  • William Lampson, Lampson International – Kennewick
  • Steve Landon, Reese Concrete Products - Kennewick
  • Jordana LaPorte, LaPorte Financial Alliance - Chelan
  • Jeff Losey, Executive Director, Homebuilders of the Tri-Cities – Kennewick
  • Lori Mattson, President, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce – Kennewick
  • Jack McCrae, Chelan
  • Stuart McDougall, McDougall and Sons Fruit – Wenatchee
  • Dr. Blake McKinley – Spokane Valley
  • Heidi Myers, Washington Trust Bank – Wenatchee
  • Hon. George Nethercutt – Spokane
  • Joed Ngaruiya, Sterling Bank – Kennewick
  • Chris Patterson, Breakthrough Incorporated – Spokane
  • Joseph “Vic” Parrish, Former CEO, Energy Northwest - West Richland
  • Mike Poulson, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Director, 5th Congressional District – Connell
  • Tom Power, Spokane
  • Steve Schwan, Pasco
  • Janet Schmidlkofer, K&N Electric – Spokane
  • Chris Senske, Senske Lawn & Tree Care – Kennewick
  • Jeff Severs, Northwestern Mutual – Spokane
  • Julie Shiflett - Spokane
  • Bruce Smith, Publisher, Yakima Valley Business Times – Yakima
  • Mark Sonderen, Sonderen Packaging – Spokane
  • Don Stafford, Wells Fargo Bank - Spokane
  • Heidi Stanley, Empire Bolt – Spokane
  • Peter Stanton, Washington Trust Bank – Spokane
  • Tyrus Tenold – Spokane Valley
  • Robert Tippett, Tippett Company – Pasco
  • Cindy Wendle, Spokane
  • Judi Williams, Telect, Inc. – Liberty Lake
  • Wayne Williams, Telect, Inc. – Liberty Lake

Former Eastern Washington Advisory Board
As of April 2013:[27]

  • Brenda Alford, Alford Farms, Inc. – Pasco
  • Steve Appel, Washington State Farm Bureau – Endicott
  • John Bennett, President, NAI Black – Spokane
  • Roger Bowlin, R.W. Bowlin Investment Solutions – Lake Chelan
  • Bob Brody, King Orchards – Wenatchee
  • Michael Cannon, Owner, Elements Therapeutic Massage – Spokane
  • Diane Cornwell, People’s Bank – Wenatchee
  • Anne Cowles – Spokane
  • Shaun Cross, CEO Lee & Hayes – Spokane
  • Jon Devaney, Executive Director, Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association - Yakima
  • Craig Dias, Haskins Steel – Spokane
  • Pat Dix, Dix Corporation – Spokane
  • Bill Farris, Richland
  • Randy Gold, Gold Construction – Wenatchee
  • Paul Gray, Gray’s Electric – Wenatchee
  • Rich Hadley, President and CEO, Greater Spokane Incorporated – Spokane
  • Ralph Hamm III, Wells Fargo Bank – Spokane
  • Colin Hastings, Executive Director, Pasco Chamber of Commerce – Pasco
  • Robert Jankelson, Tsillan Cellars – Chelan
  • Patrick Kirby, Kirby Law Offices – Spokane
  • Kees C. Koster, Preferred Realty Inc. – Pasco
  • Larry L. Lambeth, President, Employment Screening Services, Inc. – Spokane
  • William Lampson, Lampson International – Kennewick
  • Jordana LaPorte, LaPorte Financial Alliance - Chelan
  • Jeff Losey, Executive Director, Homebuilders of the Tri-Cities – Kennewick
  • Mike Maehl, Opus 111 Group – Spokane
  • Lori Mattson, President, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce – Kennewick
  • Stuart McDougall, McDougall and Sons Fruit – Wenatchee
  • Dr. Blake McKinley – Spokane Valley
  • Heidi Myers, Vice President, Banner Bank - Wenatchee
  • Hon. George Nethercutt – Spokane
  • Craig Phillips, CEO, American Behavioral Health Systems – Spokane
  • Mike & Barbara Poulson, WA Agricultural Legal Foundation – Connell
  • Janet Schmidlkofer, K&N Electric – Spokane
  • Melanie Schmitt, Tri-Cities Journal of Business – Kennewick
  • Chris Senske, Senske Lawn & Tree Care – Kennewick
  • Jeff Severs, Northwestern Mutual – Spokane
  • Eldonna Shaw, Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce – Spokane Valley
  • Damien Sinnott, Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce – Walla Walla
  • Bruce Smith, Publisher, Yakima Valley Business Times – Yakima
  • Mark Sonderen, Sonderen Packaging – Spokane
  • David Stambaugh – Cle Elum
  • Heidi Stanley, Empire Bolt – Spokane
  • Peter Stanton, Washington Trust Bank – Spokane
  • Robert Tippett, Tippett Company – Pasco
  • Judi Williams, TELECT – Liberty Lake
  • Wayne Williams, TELECT – Liberty Lake

Research Advisory Board

As of 2009:[26]

Contact Information

Employer Identification Number (EIN): 91-1752769

Main Mailing Address P.O. Box 3643
Seattle, Washington 98124-3643
Website: http://www.washingtonpolicy.org
Email: wpc@washingtonpolicy.org
Email: dmeadsmith@washingtonpolicy.org
Twitter: @WAPolicyCenter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/washington.policy.center

Seattle Office
3404 4th Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98134
Phone: (206).937.9691
Fax: (206).624.8038

Olympia Office
711 Capitol Way South, Suite 505
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: (360).705.9068
Fax: (360).705.6543

Spokane Office
801 W. Riverside, Suite 100
Spokane, WA 99201
Phone: (509).570.2384

Tri-Cities Office
2815 St. Andrews Loop, Suite F
Pasco, WA 99302
Phone: (509).547.2234

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. Washington Policy Center, Washington Policy Center, organizational website, accessed 2009.
  2. State Policy Network, Directory, organizational website, accessed October 18, 2016.
  3. Rebekah Wilce, 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.
  4. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  5. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011.
  7. American Legislative Exchange Council, Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force meeting agenda and materials, July 18, 2011, on file with CMD.
  8. American Legislative Exchange Council, Fiscal Policy Reform Working Group, organizational website, access December 6, 2016.
  9. American Legislative Exchange Council, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, meeting agenda and materials, April, 29, 2011, on file with CMD.
  10. American Legislative Exchange Council, Public Safety and Elections Task Force, meeting agenda and materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD.
  11. Todd Myers Communications, Todd Myers, firm biography, accessed August 18, 2011.
  12. American Legislative Exchange Council, Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting agenda and materials, December 2, 2010, on file with CMD.
  13. American Legislative Exchange Council, organizational documents, on file with CMD.
  14. American Legislative Exchange Council, Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting agenda and materials, October 27, 2011, on file with CMD.
  15. American Legislative Exchange Council, Walker, Cruz and Huckabee to Speak at American Legislative Exchange Council 42nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, press release, accessed December 6, 2016.
  16. Todd Myers, Left-Wing Group Exposes Its Environmental Ignorance, National Center for Policy Analysis "Energy and Environment: Clearing the Air" blog, August 17, 2011.
  17. State Policy Network, Directory, organizational site, accessed August 11, 2011.
  18. Progress Florida and Center for Media and Democracy, The James Madison Institute and the Foundation for Government Accountability: Lawmaking under the Influence of Very Special Interests, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
  19. Washington Policy Center, 2014 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, November 10, 2015.
  20. Washington Policy Center, 2013 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, November 14, 2014.
  21. Washington Policy Center, 2012 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, November 14, 2013.
  22. Washington Policy Center, 2011 IRS Form 990, organizational IRS filing, November 13, 2012.
  23. Washington Policy Center, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
  24. Washington Policy Center, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
  25. Washington Policy Center, Staff, organizational website, accessed April 2013.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Washington Policy Center, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed 2009.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Washington Policy Center, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed April 2013.