Yankee Institute for Public Policy

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

The Yankee Institute for Public Policy is a conservative think tank in Hartford, Connecticut. According to their website, they have been "creating new ideas for lower taxes and smaller government in Connecticut since 1984."[1] The YIPP is a member of the State Policy Network

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Yankee Institute for Public Policy has hosted writers from the ALEC-connected Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which screens potential reporters on their “free market” views as part of the job application process.[2] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[3] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[4][5] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."[6]

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).[7] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[8] Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[7]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[9] a conservative grant-making organization.[10]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[11] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[12] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[13] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[14] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.


Board of Directors

As of November 2013:[15]

  • Robert R. Simmons, Chairman
  • Gerald Gunderson, Treasurer
  • Judi Freedman
  • Daniel Gressel (president, Teleos)
  • Ken Boudreau
  • George W. Schiele (president and CEO, 4003 Corporation)
  • Andy Jones (founder, North Star Partners, LP)
  • Kevin North (founder and President, Talcott Realty Investors)
  • Penny Young


As of November 2013:[15]

  • Fergus Cullen, Executive Director (former Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party)[16]
  • Heath Fahle, Deputy Director
  • Jessica Buchanan, Operations Director
  • Zach Janowski, Investigative Reporter

Former Boardmembers

  • Andrew J. Cowin


Yankee Institute for Public Policy
800 Connecticut Blvd
East Hartford, CT 06108

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources


  1. "Yankee Institute", organizational website, accessed October 2012
  2. Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
  3. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  4. Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  5. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
  6. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 27, 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
  8. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  9. Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
  10. The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  11. Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  12. Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  13. Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  14. Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Yankee Institute, About, organizational website, accessed November 2013.
  16. Fergus Cullen Communications, Biography, public affairs firm website, accessed November 2013.