Georgia Center for Opportunity
The Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) is a member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing state "think tanks.". It describes itself as "an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to increasing opportunity and improving the quality of life for all Georgians." It was founded in 1990 as the Georgia Family Education and Research Council, but changed its name in March 2013.
Ties to the Bradley Foundation
Bradley detailed the most recent grants in internal documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Below is a description of the grant prepared by CMD. The quoted text was written by Bradley staff.
2015-2016 (Barder Fund): $1.5 million over 3 years to create a multi pronged Health Families Initiative “to measurably increase the number of healthy relationships, strong marriages, and stable families in metro Atlanta.”
In 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of SourceWatch, launched a series of articles on the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, exposing the inner-workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. 56,000 previously undisclosed documents laid bare the Bradley Foundation's highly politicized agenda. CMD detailed Bradley's efforts to map and measure right wing infrastructure nationwide, including by dismantling and defunding unions to impact state elections; bankrolling discredited spin doctor Richard Berman and his many front groups; and more.
Ties to the Kochs
In addition to receiving funding from the State Policy Network and the Donors Capital Fund, both with ties to the Kochs, the Georgia Center for Opportunity is a partner organization in the Charles Koch Institute's Liberty@Work program.
The Georgia Center for Opportunity does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. GCO's funders include:
- State Policy Network: $40,000 (2013)
- Bradley Foundation: $25,000 (2013)
- Donors Capital Fund: $92,400 (2014)
- Total Revenue: $1,340,025
- Total Expenses: $1,523,044
- Net Assets: $100,208
- Total Revenue: $1,309,821
- Total Expenses: $1,467,105
- Net Assets: $283,227
- Total Revenue: $1,595,988
- Total Expenses: $1,616,070
- Net Assets: $440,511
- Total Revenue: $1,446,049
- Total Expenses: $1,070,559
- Net Assets: $460,593
- Total Revenue: $1,327,114
- Total Expenses: $1,426,494
- Net Assets: $85,103
- Total Revenue: $1,427,766
- Total Expenses: $1,520,988
- Net Assets: $184,483
As of September 2017:
- Randy Hicks, President and CEO
- Eric Cochling, Executive Vice President and General Counsel
- Katherine Greene, Healthy Families Initiative Program Specialist
- Katelyn King, Operations Manager
- Jamie Lord, Director of Government Affairs
- Kelly McGonigal, Development Manager
- Kimberly Sawatka, Communications Manager, Contractor
- Dawn Steele, Director of Breakthrough Programs
- Joseph Vega, Development Associate
- Joyce Whitted, HFI Program Manager
- Jason Leming, Digital Strategy
- Brad Wilcox, Senior Advisor, Healthy Families Initiative
- Erik Randolph, Contributing Scholar
- Jonathan Butcher, Contributing Scholar
- Eric Wearne, Contributing Scholar
- Joseph Knippenberg, Contributing Scholar
- Terry T. Tucker, COO and General Counsel
- Danielle LeSure, Director, Education Policy
Board of Directors
As of September 2017:
- Giulio Gianturco, Chairman
- Randy Hickys, GCO CEO & President
- Karin Douglas
- Allen Sells
- Gerald Thames
- Keith Schneider
Former Board Members
- Bill Rodgers, Chairman
- Kevin Loechl, Secretary
- Bryan Crute
- Jeff Feldhahn
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- John Fetz
- Anthony Flynn
- Rose Greene
- Chris Gabriel
- Jason Jones
- Evelyn Rodgers
- Dani Swope
- Rick Swope
- Becky Loechl
- Marilyn Hicks
- Richard Thomas
- Rhonda Thomas
- Cami Fetz
- Kevin Broyles
- Vernadette Broyles
- Mike McBrayer
- Charleen McBrayer
Georgia Center for Opportunity
333 Research Court, Suite 210
Norcross, GA 30092
Phone: (770) 242-0001
Fax: (770) 242-0501
Resources and Articles
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
Related PRWatch Articles
- Brendan Fischer, Why Are the Franklin Center's "Wisconsin Reporter" and "Watchdog.org" Attacking the John Doe?, PRWatch.org, December 19, 2013.
- Rebekah Wilce, The State Policy Network's Cozy Relationship with Big Tobacco, PRWatch.org, December 16, 2013.
- Rebekah Wilce, Did ALEC Found SPN? 1991 Report Suggests So, Exposes SPN Agenda, PRWatch.org, December 12, 2013.
- Rebekah Wilce, Guardian Documents Expose State Policy Network Groups' Intent to Lobby, PRWatch.org, December 5, 2013.
- Rebekah Wilce, State Policy Network: The Stealth Network Dramatically Influencing State Law, PRWatch.org, December 5, 2013.
- Rebekah Wilce, Tracie Sharp: Bursar of Mystery Money and "IKEA Model" Materials to Stink Tanks, PRWatch.org, November 19, 2013.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wall Street Journal, The Spoils of the Republican State Conquest, December 9, 2016, archived by CMD here.
- DeSmog Blog, Stink Tanks: Historical Records Reveal State Policy Network Was Created by ALEC, December 9, 2013.
- The Guardian, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, December 5, 2013.
- Portland Press Herald, "Washington County residents have mixed reactions to plan to eliminate taxes," December 5, 2013.
- The Texas Observer, "The Money Behind the Fight to Undermine Medicaid," December 5, 2013.
- Media Matters, North Carolina Newspapers Largely Ignore Conservative Funding Of Sham Think Tanks, December 3, 2013.
- Shepherd Express, Masters of Manipulation: Right-wing Billionaires, Corporations and the Bradley Foundation Pay for Junk Studies that Prop up Their Agenda, November 27, 2013.
- "Moyers & Company," How a Shadowy Network of Corporate Front Groups Distorts the Marketplace of Ideas, November 19, 2013.
- MSNBC "Rachel Maddow Show," November 18, 2013.
- Free Speech TV "Ring of Fire," Facebook, Microsoft, AT&T and Others Supporting Right Wing Propaganda Machine, November 18, 2013.
- Topeka Capital-Journal, Trabert dismisses report tying KPI to Koch agenda, November 16, 2013.
- The New Yorker (Jane Mayer), Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, November 15, 2013.
- Salon, Ted Cruz and Koch brothers embroiled in shadowy Tea Party scheme, November 15, 2013.
- St. Louis Business Journal, Beyond Sinquefield: Who else is funding the Show-Me Institute?, November 15, 2013.
- The Guardian, Facebook and Microsoft help fund rightwing lobby network, report finds, November 14, 2013.
- Huffington Post, Meet The Little-Known Network Pushing Ideas For Kochs, ALEC, November 14, 2013.
- CBS St. Louis, Show-Me Institute’s Ties Questioned in New Report, November 14, 2013.
- Talking Points Memo, Florida Conservative Group Helping Muck Up Obamacare In Alaska, November 14, 2013.
- Mint Press News, Reports Reveal SPN’s Secret Corporate Agenda Through Use ‘Expert’ Testimony, November 14, 2013.
- Media Matters, Shadowy Right-Wing Group Generates Media Coverage For Conservative Policy From Coast To Coast, November 14, 2013.
- The Institute for Southern Studies, Are conservative think tanks breaking lobbying laws?, November 14, 2013.
- Nonprofit Quarterly, Corporate Money in Network of Right-Wing State Policy Think Tanks, November 14, 2013.
- The Progressive, Right-Wing Think Tanks Push Privatization in the States, November 13, 2013.
- Politico, Report: Think tanks tied to Kochs, November 13, 2013.
- Lawrence Journal-World, Reports released by progressive groups are critical of Kansas Policy Institute, November 13, 2013.
- Maine Insights, Report: Maine Heritage Policy Center’s funding connection to Koch Brothers, November 13, 2013.
- The Florida Current, Liberal groups bemoan lobbying by conservative think tanks, November 13, 2013.
- The Oregonian, Cascade Policy Institute benefits from secretive donor group but says it operates independently, November 13, 2013.
- 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.
- Progress Florida and CMD, Lawmaking Under the Influence of Very Special Interests: Understand the role of Florida ‘think tanks’ in driving a Koch-fueled, ALEC-allied corporate agenda, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Maine's Majority Education Fund, Fooling Maine: How national conservative groups infiltrated Maine politics by founding and funding the Maine Heritage Policy Center, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Michigan, Who's Running Michigan? The Far-Right Influence of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Who's in Charge: How Nationalized Corporate-Run Think Tanks Influence Minnesota Politics, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Missouri, What Missourians Need to Know About the Show-Me Institute, organizational report, updated November 13, 2013.
- Granite State Progress, Bad Bartlett: The Josiah Bartlett Center and NH Watchdog Answer the Call of the Koch Brothers, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- ProgressOhio, Smoke Screen: The Buckeye Institute, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Keystone Progress, Think tanks or corporate lobbyist propaganda mills?, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Texas, TPPF + ALEC, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- One Wisconsin Now, S is for Shill: Inside the Bradley Foundation's Attack on Public Education, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Muncie Voice, Pence and Right-Wing Are Taking Over Public Education, November 13, 2013.
- The Spokesman-Review, Shawn Vestal: Idaho Freedom Foundation pushes limits of word ‘charity’, November 2, 2013.
- AZ Central, When this ‘watchdog’ pitches, taxpayers strike out, October 12, 2013.
- IndyStar, Daniels says speech to partisan group was a mistake, October 10, 2013.
- Muncie Voice, Indiana Policy Review: Not an Independent News Source, October 2, 2013.
- The Spokesman-Review, Idaho Freedom Foundation's charitable status scrutinized, September 15, 2013.
- CounterSpin, Lee Fang on 'The Right Leans In', April 5, 2013.
- FireDogLake, State Policy Network, an umbrella coordinating ALEC, Heritage, Heartland and others, April 4, 2013.
- Thom Hartmann with Lee Fang on MSNBC, The conservative State Policy Network is sneaking into your state & will change America, March 29, 2013.
- Current TV "War Room", Lee Fang discussing the State Policy Network, March 28, 2013.
- The Nation, The Right Leans In, March 26, 2013.
- Democracy Now, Donors Trust: Little-Known Group Helps Wealthy Backers Fund Right-Wing Agenda in Secret, February 19, 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.
- Urban Milwaukee, Stealth Conservatives, October 11, 2012.
- Rome News-Tribune, ANALYSIS: Georgia leaders depend on the same well for ideas, October 2012.
- 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.
- State Policy Network, Georgia Center for Opportunity, organizational website, accessed August 2016.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity, About, organizational website, accessed October 2013.
- Georgia Family Education and Research Council, 2011 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, May 15, 2013.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity, Georgia Family Council has a new name!, Facebook organizational page, March 13, 2013, accessed October 2013.
- Charles Koch Institute, Partner Organizations, Charles Koch Institute, 2016.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity, 2014 990 Form, Georgia Center for Opportunity, May 13, 2016.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity, 2013 990 Form, Georgia Center for Opportunity, May 15, 2015.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity, 2012 990 Form, Georgia Center for Opportunity, May 14, 2014.
- Georgia Family Education and Research Council Inc., 2010 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, August 10, 2012.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity, Team, organizational website, accessed September 2017.
- Georgia Center for Opportunity, Board of Directors, Georgia Center for Opportunity, 2017.