Ashbrook Center

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The Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs is a right-wing educational center located at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and is an associate member of the State Policy Network (SPN).[1]

Named after Republican politician John Ashbrook, the Ashbrook Center's describes its mission as "to restore and strengthen the capacities of the American people for constitutional self-government. To fulfill this mission, Ashbrook offers educational programs for students, teachers, and citizens."[2]

Ties to the State Policy Network

Ashbrook Center is an associate member of the State Policy Network (SPN). Ashbrook Center's Tim Haglund and Patrick Maloney attended the 2019 SPN Annual Meeting.[3]

SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” and tax-exempt organizations in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and the United Kingdom. As of August 2020, SPN's membership totals 162. Today's SPN is the tip of the spear of far-right, nationally funded policy agenda in the states that undergirds extremists in the Republican Party. SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told the Wall Street Journal in 2017 that the revenue of the combined groups was some $80 million, but a 2019 analysis of SPN's main members IRS filings by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that the combined revenue is over $120 million.[4] 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.[5]

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.'"[6]

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.[7]

Funding

The Ashbrook Center is not required to disclose its funders. Its major contributors, however, can be found through a search of the IRS filings.

Core Financials

2019[8]:

  • Total Revenue: $7,052,513
  • Total Expenses: $5,863,592
  • Net Assets: undisclosed

2018[9]:

  • Total Revenue: $6,636,639
  • Total Expenses: $4,877,203
  • Net Assets: undisclosed

2017[10]:

  • Total Revenue: $6,092,888
  • Total Expenses: $4,674,491
  • Net Assets: undisclosed

2015-2016[11]:

  • Total Revenue: $6,101,765
  • Total Expenses: $5,751,783
  • Net Assets: undisclosed

2014-2015[12]:

  • Total Revenue: $4,663,601
  • Total Expenses: $4,663,601
  • Net Assets: undisclosed

Personnel

As of June 2020:[13]

Staff

  • Ali Brosky, Teacher Programs & Special Projects Coordinator
  • Carrie Clever, Events & Donor Communications Coordinator
  • Katherine Fossaceca, Student Programs Coordinator
  • Jeremy Gypton, Teacher Programs Manager
  • Tim Haglund, Manager of Strategic Partnerships
  • Danielle Howell, Major Gifts Manager
  • Victoria Hughes, Senior Director
  • Michelle Hubenschmidt, Teacher Programs Manager
  • Ben Kunkel, Director of Student Programs
  • Gordon Lloyd, Senior Fellow
  • Tyler MacQueen, Major Gifts Officer/Creative Projects Manager
  • Patrick Maloney, Deputy Director
  • Monica Moser, Teacher Programs Administrator
  • Chris Pascarella, Director of the MAHG Program
  • Cristi Putman, Teacher Programs Administrator
  • Brent Rossman, Donor Communications Manager
  • Sally Schramm, Director of Development
  • Jeffrey Sikkenga, Executive Director
  • Sarah Morgan Smith, Director of Faculty
  • Jason Stevens, Director of Teacher Programs
  • Ann Stiteler, Office Manager
  • David Tucker, Senior Fellow
  • Ellen Tucker, Publications Editor
  • Ray Tyler, Teacher Programs Manager
  • Stacey Zion, Development Manager

Resident Faculty

  • Christopher Burkett, Associate Professor of Political Science, Ashland University; Co-Director of the Ashbrook Scholar Program, Ph.D., M.A., University of Dallas; B.A., Ashland University.
  • David Foster, Professor of Political Science; Chair, Department of History and Political Science, Ashland University, Ph.D., University of Toronto; M.A., University of Toronto; B.A., McMaster University.
  • Gregory McBrayer, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ashland University; Director, Ashland University Core Curriculum, Ph.D., University of Maryland; M.A., University of Georgia; B.A., Emory University.
  • Gordon Lloyd, Senior Fellow, Ashbrook Center, Ph.D., M.A., Claremont Graduate School; B.A., McGill University.
  • John Moser, Professor of History, Ashland University; Co-Chair, MAHG Program, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; B.Sc., Ohio University; B.A., Ohio University.
  • René Paddags, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ashland University; Assistant Director, Ashbrook Scholar Program, Ph.D., University of Maryland-College Park; M.A., Johns Hopkins University; M.A., University of Erlangen-Nuremberg; B.A., University of North Dakota.
  • Jeffrey Sikkenga

Professor of Political Science, Ashland University; Co-Director of the Ashbrook Scholar Program, Ph.D., M.A., University of Toronto; B.A., University of Virginia.

  • Sarah Morgan Smith, Fellow, Ashbrook Center; General Editor for Core Document Curriculum, Ashbrook Center; Co-director, Ashbrook’s Religion in American History and Politics project, Ph.D., Rutgers University; M.A., Ashland University; B.A., Grove City College
  • Jason Stevens, Director of Teacher Programs, Ashbrook Center; Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and History, Ashland University; Academic Advisor, MAHG Program, Ph.D., University of Dallas; M.A. University of Dallas; B.A. Ashland University.
  • David Tucker, Senior Fellow, Ashbrook Center; Director of Faculty for Teacher Programs, Ashbrook Center, Ashland University. Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School; B.A., Marlboro College.
  • Brianne Wolf, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ashland University; Director of and Thomas W. Smith Professor of the Political Economy Program, Ashland University, Ph.D., M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A., University of Chicago; B.A., Michigan State University.

Master’s Program Faculty

  • William B. Allen, Emeritus Dean and Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University, Ph.D., M.A., Claremont Graduate School
  • J. David Alvis, Associate Professor of Political Science, Wofford College, Ph.D., Fordham University; M.A.
  • William J. Atto, Associate Professor of History, University of Dallas, Ph.D., M.A.
  • Jeremy D. Bailey, Professor of Political Science, University of Houston, Ph.D., Boston College
  • Dennis K. Boman, Adjunct Professor of History, Lindenwood University, Ph.D., M.A., University of Missouri
  • Suzanne Hunter Brown, Resident Scholar, Dartmouth College, Ph.D. – University of Pennsylvania
  • Sarah Burns, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, Ph.D., M.A., Claremont Graduate University
  • Andrew E. Busch, Crown Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow, Claremont McKenna College, Ph.D., M.A., University of Virginia
  • John Dinan, Professor of Politics, Wake Forest University, Ph.D., M.A., University of Virginia
  • Joshua Dunn, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, University of Colorado; Director of the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual, University of Colorado, Ph.D. – University of Virginia
  • Todd Estes, Professor of History, Oakland University, Ph.D., University of Kentucky.
  • Joseph R. Fornieri, Professor of Political Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, Ph.D., Catholic University of America; M.A., Boston College
  • Jay Green, Professor of History, Covenant College, Ph.D., Kent State University; M.A., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Lauren Hall, Associate Professor of Political Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, PhD, MA – Northern Illinois University
  • Jason Jividen, Associate Professor of Politics, McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government, Saint Vincent College, Ph.D., University of Northern Illinois; M.A., Marshall University
  • Jennifer Keene, Chair and Professor of History, Chapman University, Ph.D., Carnegie-Mellon University; M.A., The George Washington University
  • Sarah Beth V. Kitch, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Northern Illinois University, Ph.D., M.A., Louisiana State University
  • Stephen Knott, Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College; Thomas & Mabel Guy Professor of American History & Government, Ashland University, Ph.D., Boston College
  • David F. Krugler, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Ph.D., M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Marc K. Landy, Edward & Louise Peterson Professor of American History & Government, Ashland University; Professor of Political Science, Boston College, Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Ken Masugi, Visiting Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D., M.A., The New School for Social Research
  • Robert M.S. McDonald, Professor of History, United States Military Academy, Ph.D., M.A., University of North Carolina; M.St., Oxford University
  • Peter McNamara, Associate Professor of Political Science, Utah State University, PhD, Boston College
  • Dan Monroe, John C. Griswold Distinguished Professor of History, Millikin University, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; M.S., Illinois State University
  • Lucas E. Morel, Professor of Politics and Head of the Politics Department, Washington and Lee University. Ph.D., M.A., Claremont Graduate School
  • Peter C. Myers, Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Ph.D., Loyola University, Chicago
  • Robert J. Norrell, Professor of History and Bernadotte Schmitt Chair of Excellence, University of Tennesee. Ph.D.
  • Kathy Pfeiffer, Professor of English, Oakland University, Ph.D., Brandeis University
  • Eric Pullin, Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, Carthage College, Ph.D., Univesity of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A., Northern Illinois University
  • Eric C. Sands, Associate Professor of Government and International Studies, Berry College, Ph.D., M.A., University of Virginia
  • Gregory Schneider, Professor of History, Emporia State University, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago; M.A., Ohio University; B.A., Drake University.
  • Adam Seagrave, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
  • Abbylin Sellers, Associate Professor of Political Science, Azusa Pacific University, Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University; M.A., Regent University
  • James Stoner, Professor and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute in the Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University, Ph.D., M.A., Harvard University
  • Sean Sutton, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, Ph.D., University of Dallas
  • Natalie Taylor, Associate Professor of Government, Skidmore College, Ph.D., M.A., Fordham University
  • Stephen Tootle, Associate Professor of History, College of the Sequoias, Ph.D., Ohio University; M.A., California State, Fresno; B.A., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
  • Jace Weaver, Franklin Professor of Native American Studies and Religion and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Georgia, J.D. Columbia Law School of Columbia University; Ph.D. Union Theological Seminary in New York
  • David Wrobel, Professor of History, University of Oklahoma; Chair of Western American History, University of Oklahoma, Ph.D., M.A., Ohio University
  • Scott Yenor, Professor of Political Science, Boise State University, Ph.D., Loyola University.

Board of Directors

  • Marvin J. Krinsky, Chair of the board
  • William G. Batchelder, Former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives
  • James Buchwald, Founder of Areil Corporation
  • David M. Bush, Former President and CEO of Adena Corporation
  • Carlos Campo, President of Ashland University
  • David J. Eichinger, First Vice-President of Merrill Lynch
  • D. Rex Elsass, President of Strategy Group, Inc.
  • Jeffrey S. Gorman, President of the Gorman-Rupp Company
  • Jennifer Guy, Former President of the Association of Community Cancer Centers
  • Jay Hartz, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of the Kentucky State Senate
  • Steven F. Hayward, professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University
  • Charles R. Kesler, Editor of the Claremont Review of Books
  • Robert D. Kessler, President of Kessler Sign Company
  • William Kristol, Editor-at-Large of the Weekly Standard
  • Richard Lowry, Editor of the National Review
  • Bob McEwen, Executive Director of the Council for National Policy
  • Dustin Ness, First Vice-President and Resident Direct at Merrill Lynch
  • Joseph Robertson IV, Managing Director of Ross, Sinclaire & Associates LLC
  • Mark Romanchuk, Owner/President PR Machine Works
  • Jeffrey Sikkenga, Executive Director Ashbrook Center
  • Paula Steiner, President of Compass Point Advisors
  • Thomas B. Whatman

Former Directors

  • Robert Alt, President and CEO of the Buckeye Institute
  • Roger L. Beckett, Executive Director of the Ashbrook Center
  • Elizabeth Bundy, Secretary and Treasurer of Bundy Baking Solutions
  • Christopher Flannery, Professor of Political Science at Azusa Pacific University
  • Mindy McLaughlin, Alumni Representative, Manager of Foreign Direct Investment at JobsOhio
  • Samuel H. Miller, Co-chairman Emeritus of Forest City Enterprises, Inc.

Contact Information

Ashbrook Center at Ashland University
401 College Avenue
Ashland, Ohio 44805
Phone: (419).289.5411
Email: info@ashbrook.org
Twitter: @AshbrookCenter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashbrookcenter/

References

  1. State Policy Network, Directory, organizational website, accessed January 6, 2017.
  2. Ashbrook Center, Mission, organizational website, accessed January 6, 2017.
  3. David Armiak, Koch Network Dominates SPN Annual Meeting Attendees, ExposedbyCMD, Oct 31, 2020.
  4. David Armiak, https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2019/11/13/revenue-state-policy-network-state-affiliates-tops-120-million/ Revenue for State Policy Network and State Affiliates Tops $120 Million], ExposedbyCMD, November 13, 2019.
  5. 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.
  6. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  7. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  8. Ashbrook Center, IRS 2019 Annual Report, organizational document, 2019.
  9. Ashbrook Center, 2018 Annual Report, organizational document, 2018.
  10. Ashbrook Center, 2017 Annual Report, organizational document, 2017.
  11. Ashbrook Center, 2015-2016 Annual Report, organizational document, 2016.
  12. Ashbrook Center, 2014-2015 Annual Report, organizational document, 2015.
  13. Ashbrook Center, About, organizational website, accessed June 2020.