Georgia Public Policy Foundation

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The Georgia Public Policy Foundation(GPPF) is a free-market think tank based in Atlanta, Georgia.

On its website it states that it believes that "good public policy is based upon fact, an understanding of sound economic principles and the core principles of our free enterprise system – economic freedom, limited government, personal responsibility, individual initiative, respect for private property and the rule of law."[1]

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation 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.

News and Controversies

GPPF Called Out for Blocking Action on Climate Change

In July of 2016, nineteen U.S. Senators delivered a series of speeches denouncing climate change denial from 32 organizations with links to fossil-fuel interests, including the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.[15] Sen. Whitehouse (RI-D), who led the effort to expose "the web of denial" said in his remarks on the floor that the purpose was to,

"shine a little light on the web of climate denial and spotlight the bad actors in the web, who are polluting our American discourse with phony climate denial. This web of denial, formed over decades, has been built and provisioned by the deep-pocketed Koch brothers, by ExxonMobil, by Peabody coal, and by other fossil fuel interests. It is a grim shadow over our democracy in that it includes an electioneering effort that spends hundreds of millions of dollars in a single election cycle and threatens any Republican who steps up to address the global threat of climate change. . . . [I]t is long past time we shed some light on the perpetrators of this web of denial and expose their filthy grip on our political process. It is a disgrace, and our grandchildren will look back at this as a dirty time in America’s political history because of their work.”[15]


The Georgia Public Policy Foundation does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. GPPF's known funders include:

Core Financials


  • Total Revenue: $408,937
  • Total Expenses: $575,432
  • Net Assets: $78,755


  • Total Revenue: $679,020
  • Total Expenses: $688,859
  • Net Assets: $244,002


  • Total Revenue: $669,643
  • Total Expenses: $554,835
  • Net Assets: $253,841


  • Total Revenue: $660,671
  • Total Expenses: $571,124
  • Net Assets: $138,779


  • Total Revenue: $570,780
  • Total Expenses: $611,182
  • Net Assets: $47,357


  • Total Revenue: $583,209
  • Total Expenses: $634,818
  • Net Assets: $87,759


As of August 2016:[1]

  • Kelly McCutchen, President & CEO
  • Benita M. Dodd, Vice President
  • Ross Coker, Research & Outreach Director

Board of Trustees

As of August 2016:[1]

  • Rogers Wade, Chairman
  • David B. Allman (Regent Partners)
  • Frank Barron (Rome Coca-Cola (retired))
  • Gordon Beckham (McCamish Systems)
  • Roy Fickling (Fickling and Company, Inc.)
  • Robert F. Hatcher, Jr. (H2 Capital, Inc.)
  • Ray Padrón, (Brightworth)
  • Mike Watkins (Watkins Associated Industries)

Senior Fellows

As of August 2016:[1]

  • Ron Bachman
  • Dr. Harold Brown
  • Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald
  • Leonard Gilroy
  • Dr. John Goodman
  • Ross Mason
  • Jim Kelly
  • Nina Owcharenko
  • Bob Poole
  • Dr. Benjamin Scafidi
  • Dr. Frank Stephenson
  • Dr. Christine Ries
  • Baruch Feigenbaum
  • Dr. Eric Wearne
  • Dr. Jeffrey H. Dorfman

Former Staff

  • Mike Klein, former Editor

Contact Information

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation
3200 Cobb Galleria Parkway
Suite 214
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (404) 256-4050

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

Related PRWatch Articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Georgia Public Policy Foundation, "Who We Are", organizational website, accessed August 22, 2016.
  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,, 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 Sheldon Whitehouse, "Senators Call Out Web of Denial Blocking Action On Climate Change," Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, July 15, 2016.
  16. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, 2013 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 15, 2014.
  17. Georgia Public Policy Foundation, 2014 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, September 8, 2015.
  18. Georgia Public Policy Foundation, 2013 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 17, 2014.
  19. Georgia Public Policy Foundation, 2012 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 7, 2013.
  20. Georgia Public Policy Foundation, 2011 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, October 23, 2012.
  21. Georgia Public Policy Foundation, 2010 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, August 12, 2011.
  22. Georgia Public Policy Foundation, 2009 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, October 25, 2010.

External resources

External articles