The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy is a Wisconsin-based think tank and a member of the State Policy Network (SPN). According to its website, the MacIver Institute promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government and aims to "produce a new generation of ideas to make Wisconsin great again." According to One Wisconsin Now, the MacIver Institute is "a pro-corporate organization founded in 2009 to advance conservative ideas and values."
MacIver operates the website WisconsinOpenGov.org, which it says “provides you with one location for data on Wisconsin public employee salaries, benefits and labor contracts. We have worked hard to not just allow 'access' the way many government information sites do, but to give you all of the data in a format that allows you to select and sort the information as you see fit.”
- 1 News and Controversies
- 1.1 MacIver Institute Files Lawsuit Against John Chisholm One Week Before His Primary
- 1.2 Despite Wisconsin Job Loss, MacIver Institute Insists the Governor’s plan “Is Working”
- 1.3 The MacIver Institute Suggests Invalid Signatures Will Be Included by the GAB
- 1.4 Critics Claim that John MacIver Would Not Approve of the Distortions Being Made in His Name
- 1.5 Irregularities in the MacIver Institute "Doctor's Note" Video
- 1.6 MacIver Reporter Fails to Reveal his Identity to Interviewees
- 2 MacIver: An ALEC Ally in Wisconsin
- 3 Ties to the Bradley Foundation
- 4 Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
- 5 Ties to the Kochs
- 6 Background
- 7 Funding
- 8 Core Financials
- 9 Personnel
- 10 Contact Information
- 11 Articles and Resources
- 12 External Resources
- 13 References
News and Controversies
MacIver Institute Files Lawsuit Against John Chisholm One Week Before His Primary
The MacIver Institute filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, as well as former members of the non-partisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board for their role in the John Doe II probe into illegal campaign coordination between Governor Scott Walker and right wing dark money groups. The lawsuit was filed on August 1, 2016, eight days before Chisholm's primary against Verona Swanigan, who is being backed by GOP operative Craig Peterson and Eric O'Keefe's dark money group, Milwaukeeans for Self-Governance.
"In the suit, MacIver says Chisholm and the now-defunct GAB illegally seized their digital records, violating the Stored Communications Act... The suit asks for monetary damages and for a confidential copy of the records seized to be returned to MacIver," according to The Cap Times.
In May a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Cindy Archer and O'Keefe's attorneys against Chisholm. Archer claimed to have been a victim of a renegade prosecutor, but she was a top Walker aide caught up in Chisholm's investigation of a sordid bid-rigging scheme detailed by the Center for Media and Democracy. Cindy Archer's claims of abuse were later disproved by a recording of the search of her home, which demonstrates that investigators read her the search warrant, Mirandized her and treated her cordially.
Despite Wisconsin Job Loss, MacIver Institute Insists the Governor’s plan “Is Working”
In February 2012, the MacIver Institute released an advertisement that makes a variety of claims about how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s programs are “working.” The ad asked Wisconsinites not to believe what they see going on around them and instead to fall for the spin developed by Walker’s messaging team. This ad came at a time when the state of Wisconsin had lost jobs for six months running. Madison’s Capital Times reported that “It” may be working, but if Walker keeps at it, Wisconsinites won’t be working.
The MacIver Institute Suggests Invalid Signatures Will Be Included by the GAB
‘The Capital Times’ reported that the MacIver Institute suggested that the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) would deem recall signatures from “Mickey Mouse” or “Hitler” to be valid when counting signatures signed to recall Wis. Gov Scott Walker. The GAB made it clear that it would review petitions with an eye toward disqualifying false or inappropriate signatures. Additionally, a judge defined parameters for the review process.
Critics Claim that John MacIver Would Not Approve of the Distortions Being Made in His Name
'The Capitol Times' reported that the institute that is named for John MacIver "appears to be taking its lead from hyper-partisan out-of-state interests that have little interest in Wisconsin’s civic -- and civil -- traditions. That’s not the way John MacIver, an old-school Wisconsin Republican whose memory we well regard, operated." MacIver was a Milwaukee lawyer and political campaigner who played an important role in electing moderate leaders such as former Governor Warren Knowles. He was a classic mainstream Republican, with close ties to Tommy Thompson and George H.W. Bush. MacIver was a UW-Madison graduate who was always active in civic and state affairs; he frequently served on boards and commissions. And he is well recalled for his work with Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, to create Wisconsin’s Commission on Judicial Elections and Ethics. "[MacIver] would be shocked by what is being done in his name," said the Capitol Times.
Irregularities in the MacIver Institute "Doctor's Note" Video
The MacIver Institute created a video in which the organization claimed to have caught doctors in white coats in February, 2011 directing Madison, Wisconsin protesters to places where they could obtain absentee excuses for the time they were out of work marching in protest of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's "budget repair" bill. However, irregularities were found in the report. The absentee letters listed the doctor as "Kathy Orton," but no Kathy Orton was found to be listed as a Wisconsin doctor. Also, the contact listed on the doctors notes was "Badgerdoctors@gmail.com," but there was no listing for "Badgerdoctors," which one would presume would be the name of the medical group or association that the "doctors" were from. Usually in protest situations, the final negotiation with employers forgives the days missed for protests, but this information was not mentioned in MacIver's "report." It was also revealed that the videographer who shot the "doctor's note" footage was Christian Hartstock, a friend of the late Andrew Breitbart, who is known for putting misleading videos on his web site, BigGovernment.com.
Brett Healy reported on Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com web site on May 4, 2011 that the video "won an award for their reporting of the labor unrest at the State Capitol. MacIver beat out international competition to win the Grand Prize in the ‘Lights Camera, Liberty’ contest, which was presented at The Atlas Experience conference in Dallas, Texas last week. 'We congratulate the leadership and staff of the MacIver Institute for their tremendous achievements in reaching large audiences through video communications and for the critical role they continue to play educating citizens of Wisconsin and the nation,' said Brad Lips, Chief Executive Officer of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. The award winning video. . . was narrated and produced for the MacIver News Service by investigative reporter Bill Osmulski."
MacIver Reporter Fails to Reveal his Identity to Interviewees
Former television reporter Bill Osmulski works for the MacIver Institute. In 2009, he was charged with obtaining interviews with two elected Wisconsin officials under false pretenses by failing to disclose his affiliation with MacIver. Osmulski led the two officials he spoke with to believe he was conducting the interview for a local television station. When asked about the incident, Osmulski claimed he did not reveal his affiliation because the officials did not ask him for it, but Stephen Ward, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Journalism Ethics, said reporters have a duty to disclose their affiliation and the purpose of their interview prior to conducting the interview. "You should be open about all your affiliations in advance," Ward said.
MacIver: An ALEC Ally in Wisconsin
In 2011-2012, the MacIver Institute teamed up with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) member Americans for Prosperity to produce a multi-million dollar TV "issue ad" campaign called "It's Working!" in support of Governor Scott Walker.
The MacIver/AFP ads told Wisconsinites that Walker brought thousands of jobs to Wisconsin, but omitted the facts that Wisconsin is ranked 50 out of 50 in the nation in job creation and that the state lost at least 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012.
In April 2013, MacIver again published misleading information regarding Wisconsin job growth under Walker, claiming greater job growth than even Walker himself had reported. The piece, titled "Gov. Scott Walker More than Halfway to 250,000 Jobs Goal", claims that 137,372 jobs have been created since Walker took office. The non-partisan fact-checking organization PolitiFact gives this claim "Pants on Fire" status, showing that their conclusions are severely flawed on several levels. First, the MacIver report uses partial years in their calculation, a method which is known to be an extremely poor measure of trends because of seasonal job market fluctuation. Secondly, the MacIver report does not account for the existing jobs at the start of Walker's term, which consequently inflatedly the number by 65,401 jobs that should not have been included. Reports from the Capital Times and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel estimate that the true number of jobs created from January 2011 to February 2013 was closer to 64,500.
On November 24, 2010, just weeks after Walker was elected governor, the MacIver Institute published an editorial by Brian Fraley calling for the newly-elected governor and legislature to repeal public sector collective bargaining and make Wisconsin a “Right to Work” state. Walker never mentioned attacking collective bargaining rights during the campaign. The editorial was published two weeks before Walker first raised the subject publicly at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon.
Fraley was MacIver’s Director of Communications and the former private sector co-chair of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force.
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.
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 grants prepared by CMD. The quoted text was written by Bradley staff.
2016: $170,000 to support general operations. According to the grant proposal record, “In the coming year, McIver plans to put its resources behind a push for a 3 percent flat income tax for Wisconsin; a change in the mandatory sentencing rules for 17 year-olds; to continue the Raising up Wisconsin: How Minimum Wage Jobs Turned into Family Supporting Careers series; and a study on how to cut a billion dollars from state spending. At the same time, MacIver will continue its rapid response and fact-checking of the progressive movement.
2015: $19,640 to support a special project. This grant was to fund Brett Healy’s update to The Progressive Non-Profit Movement in Wisconsin which will include information on the “Left’s new infrastructure, its funding, and its leadership.”
2014: $170,000 for general operations. The Bradley grant proposal notes that MacIver is active on labor issues, supporting Gov. Walker’s Act 10 and in the “education reform” arena, mentioning a report it published on “Florida’s K-12 reforms that were the basis for many of the reforms debated (in 2014) … MacIver has done a lot of work documenting the ‘protestors’ at the north woods mining sites… It is doubtful these stories would have been covered at all had MacIver not been present.” MacIver also collaborated with David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin on It’s Working, Wisconsin.
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 Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
Matt Kittle Joins MacIver After Franklin's Wisconsin Watchdog Closes Doors
The MacIver Institute 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. The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states. Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias. On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."
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). Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article. Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.
The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM), a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network, which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation. Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation. SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.
Method of Operation and Reporting Irregularities
The MacIver Institute claims to be a news service, but it actually gathers -- and in some cases seems to create -- "news" footage designed to advance a conservative, anti-worker agenda.
Ties to the Kochs
ThinkProgress reported that the MacIver Institute has numerous ties to the billionaire Koch Brothers, billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries, which has numerous business interests in Wisconsin. ThinkProgress writes that "Mark Block, the Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin state director and a key figure in the alleged voter suppression plot, sits on MacIver’s board of directors. MacIver and AFP Wisconsin also share two other board members, David Fettig and Fred Luber. MacIver also works closely with AFP Wisconsin as part of the Wisconsin Prosperity Network, along with another group with ties to Koch funding, American Majority. The think tank also participates in the Koch-funded Institute for Humane Studies’ Koch Summer Fellows Program and is a member of the Koch-funded State Policy Network."
The MacIver Institute teamed up with Americans for Prosperity to purchase $700,000 worth of television ads in Wisconsin. The ad claimed that by eliminating collective bargaining, Walker had "put taxpayers back in control" and praised his record. Groups registered as 501(c)(3)s can do some lobbying for or against legislation (but not candidates), so long as this is “an insubstantial part” of their overall activities, a threshold the IRS has not clearly defined. Most groups that engage in issue advocacy opt for a different tax status, 501(c)(4), according to Wisconsin journalist Bill Lueders. Lueders characterized the ad campaign's legality as "close to the line."
As of January 2017, the MacIver Institute is also listed as a "partner organization" in the Charles Koch Institute's Liberty@Work program.
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.
According to the Eye on Wisconsin blog, the domain name maciverinstitute.com was privately registered in December, 2008, "with no one willing to lay public claim to the new org[anization]."
The MacIver Institute is not required to disclose its funders. Its major foundation funders, however, can be found through a search of the IRS filings. Here are some of the known funders:
- DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund: $168,000
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation: $1,250,640 (2008-2016)
- State Policy Network: $46,600 (2014)
- Total Revenue: $466,434
- Total Expenses: $459,618
- Net Assets: $329,193
- Total Revenue: $474,506
- Total Expenses: $455,948
- Net Assets: $323,230
- Total Revenue: $398,830
- Total Expenses: $480,359
- Net Assets: $303,910
- Total Revenue: $509,474
- Total Expenses: $528,194
- Net Assets: $387,684
- Total Revenue: $632,359
- Total Expenses: $504,410
- Net Assets: $406,404
- Total Revenue: $404,334.00
- Total Expenses: $496,830.00
- Net Assets: $278,455.00
- Total Revenue: $584,944.00
- Total Expenses: $384,756.00
- Net Assets: $370,951.00
As of January 2017:
- Brett Healy, President
- Chris Rochester, Communications Director
- William Osmulski, Investigative Reporter
- Ola Lisowski, Research Associate
- Matt Kittle, Investigative Reporter
- Jack Laufenberg, Research Associate
The MacIver Institute has a quick staff turnover, and the staff listing on its contact page sometimes doesn't quite keep up with its press releases about staff replacements. A selection of current and former staff is below:
Cory Liebmann of the Eye on Wisconsin website discovered that former Republican Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen had written press releases for the MacIver Institute, even though his name is not on the releases and the Institute has denied that Jensen is formally involved with the organization. Jensen's authorship of the releases, Liebmann writes, can be discovered by accessing one of the organization's press releases, right-clicking on it and observing the document properties (e.g. "Author:Scott Jensen"). Jensen also authored a PowerPoint presentation on the Institute's web site.
Jensen is controversial because he was the subject of an eight-year criminal case for misconduct while he was in office in Wisconsin. The case concluded in December, 2010 after Jensen agreed to pay a $5,000 civil forfeiture fine and reimburse the state of Wisconsin $67,174 in legal fees initially borne by taxpayers, according to a plea deal. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Patrick L. Snyder found Jensen guilty of an ethics code violation related to his using his government position for illegal gain. Felony charges against Jensen were dropped under the deal. Jensen also has a 2006 misdemeanor conviction in Dane County for violating the public trust. In 2002, Jensen (along with other GOP leaders in the State Assembly) was charged with using taxpayer dollars to run a secret, illegal campaign machine out of the Capitol.
The president of the MacIver Institute is Brett Healy, who worked for Scott Jensen for 12 years and was Jensen's Chief of Staff during the time Jensen was brought up on criminal charges. During Jensen's trial, Healy contradicted testimony offered by two staffers he supervised, Leigh (Himebauch) Searl and Carrie (Hoeper) Richard -- that Jensen was fully aware of the campaign work they and others did on behalf of Taxpayers for Jensen while at the office. In testimony given prior Healy's in the trial, Leigh (Himebauch) Searl said that for four months in 2000, she worked on Jensen's campaign while drawing a state salary and occupying an office at the Republican Party of Wisconsin. Healy testified that he was unaware of that arrangement. Healy went on to become a lobbyist for School Choice Wisconsin in Milwaukee. 
MacIver's former Director of Communications, Nick Novak', previously a regional field manager for the Republican National Committee, director of operations for Eric Hovde's 2012 U.S. Senate campaign, external relations coordinator for Governor Scott Walker. Former Directors of Communications have included Sean Lansing, Press Secretary for Governor Bobby Jindal (R-Louisiana) as of February 2012, and Brian Fraley, who served as the Senior Vice President for State Affairs at America's Health Insurance Plans in Washington, D.C. Fraley was also the national Health and Human Services Task Force Private Sector Chairman for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
The Institute's former treasurer, Mark Block, was State Director of the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity. Block was banned from politics and fined $15,000 for participating in an illegal scheme in the campaign of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jon Wilcox. Block served as Wilcox's campaign manager. Block illegally coordinated $200,000 worth of campaign activity with a group that pretended to be operating independently. The person who ran that "independent" group was fined $35,000 and was also banned from Wisconsin state politics for five years. Justice Wilcox also paid a $10,000 fine. The fines were the largest ever assessed against a campaign in Wisconsin's history
The Institute's former Educational Policy Analyst, Christian D'Andrea, was formerly a Policy Analyst and State Program Director with the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, which was named after free market economist Milton Friedman. That organization, which has since changed its name to the Foundation for Educational Choice, advocates the use of voucher systems for education, a system that allows taxpayer funds to flow to private schools.
Other prominent Wisconsin Republican operatives connected to the organization include Bill Klauser, a top administrator for Governor Tommy Thompson, and Michael Grebe, head of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.
Board of Directors
As of July 2018:
- Steve Fettig, Vice Chair
- Laurie McCallum, former First Lady of Wisconsin
- Gerardo (Jerry) H. Gonzalez
- James (Jim) Leef
- Brett Healey, President
- Carl Kuehne of Green Bay (Secretary of the Green Bay Packers and a member of its Executive Committee)
- Fred Luber, Board Chair
- Jim Troupis of Madison. James Troupis is a Republican lawyer-for-hire who has been tied up with the gerrymandering scandal. He has worked for Wisconsin State Supreme Court’s David Prosser, Michael Gableman, and Anette Ziegler. Troupis was also the legal mastermind behind Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s decision to issue arrest warrants to the 14 Democrat senators who left the state of Wisconsin to in opposition to Walker’s "Collective Bargaining Bill."
44 East Mifflin Street, Suite 201
Madison, WI 53703
Articles and Resources
Related Sourcewatch Resources
- 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.
- Anne Landman, Consider the Source: MacIver News Service, PRWatch.org, March 15, 2011
- Lisa Graves, A CMD Special Report: Who Are the Headliners at Koch-Funded AFP Conventions?, PRWatch.org, March 29, 2011
- Center for Media and Democracy, Center for Media and Democracy Submits Amicus Brief Defending Campaign Disclosure Rules, PRWatch.org, March 9, 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.
- Don Walker Groups seek emails of Democratic lawmakers, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 31, 2011
- MacIver Institute About, organizational web page, accessed March 11, 2011.
- MacIver Institute, State Budget, organizational "news service" web site, accessed March 10, 2011.
- Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now, Progressive Alert: MacIver Institute's Phony 'Reporting', organizational blog, January 8, 2010.
- Beverly Betula, Bev Betula: Wisconsin Open Government, Wisconsin Law Journal (blog), March 8, 2011.
- Katelyn Ferral, MacIver Institute files class action suit against John Chisholm, former GAB members, The Cap Times, August 1, 2016.
- Katelyn Ferral, Updated: Federal judge rules against former Scott Walker aide in civil suit, allows John Doe evidence to be preserved, The Cap Times, May 27, 2016.
- Mary Bottari, Scott Walker's Legacy of Double-Dealing for Friends and Donors Revealed in New John Doe Emails, PRWatch.org, November 12, 2015.
- Brendan Fischer, Scott Walker Aide's Claim of Prosecutorial Abuse Refuted by New Audio, PRWatch.org, August 4, 2015.
- John Maciver Would not Approve of the Distortions being Made in His Name, Capital Times editorial, January 21, 2012.
- Tom Held, Doctor's excuses for protesting teachers in Madison draws scrutiny, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, February 21, 2011.
- Karoli Wisconsin Protesters Breitbarted Over Bogus Teachers' Excuses, Crooks and Liars, February 19, 2011
- Priscilla Fox News Gets Punked By Breitbart Pal?, NewsHounds, February 20, 2011
- Brett Healy, MacIver’s Fake Doctors’ Notes Video Report Garners Atlas Award, Andrew Breitbart presents Big Government (blog), May 4, 2011.
- Jason Stein Claims of misrepresentation in reporter's first MacIver story, Wisconsin State Journal, September 5, 2009.
- Gov. Scott Walker More than Halfway to 250,000 Jobs Goal, Brett Healy, MacIver Institute, April 9, 2013.
- MacIver Institute Says Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is More Than Halfway to Goal of Creating 250,000 Private Sector Jobs, James B. Nelson, Politifact, April 17, 2013.
- MacIver Institute Ideologues Manage to Turn Lemonade Into Lemons, Mary Bottari, PRWatch, April 18, 2013.
- Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC Exposed in Wisconsin: The Hijacking of a State, organizational report, May 2012.
- David Armiak and Mary Bottari, Bradley Foundation Floated Wisconsin Watchdog While Franklin Center Floundered, ExposedbyCMD, May 25, 2017.
- Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
- The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
- Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
- Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
- Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 27, 2011.
- Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
- Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
- Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
- The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
- Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now, Progressive Alert: MacIver Institute's Phony 'Reporting', organizational blog, January 8, 2010.
- Josh Dorner Koch-Backed Groups Helped Kill Law Designed To Prevent Voter Suppression Plot Hatched By Koch-Backed Groups ThinkProgress.org, September 22, 2010
- Eric Kleefeld, "Koch-Backed Americans For Prosperity Puts $700,000 Into Wisconsin," Talking Points Memo, February 22, 2012.
- Bill Lueders, "Ad Campaign comes close to the line", Inside Milwaukee blog, December 2011.
- Charles Koch Institute, Partner Organizations, Charles Koch Institute, 2017.
- Cory Liebmann, Introducing the Scott Jensen Chain Gang, Eye on Wisconsin (blog), March 4, 2009.
- Nonprofit explorer, 2015 IRS Form 990 ProPublica, April 10, 2017. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "2014 990" defined multiple times with different content
- MacIver Institute, 2013 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, February 16, 2015.
- MacIver Institute, 2012 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, December 12, 2013.
- MacIver Institute, IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, January 7, 2013.
- MacIver Institute, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
- MacIver Institute, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
- MacIver Institute, Contact, Maciver Institute, 2017.
- MacIver Institute, Contact, organizational website, accessed March 2013.
- MacIver Institute, MacIver Institute Adds New Communications Director, organizational press release, February 20, 2013.
- Mike Johnson and Jason Stein, Jensen settles misconduct case; felonies dropped; He is likely barred from running for office, must pay fine, court costs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 20, 2010.
- Democratic Party of Wisconsin, EXPOSED: Indicted Felon Scott Jensen Crafting Message for MacIver Institute: MacIver Institute Caught Lying to Public About Jensen’s Role, Documents Show, political party website, March 16, 2009.
- Cary Liebmann What MacIver Forgot to Mention Today, Eye on Wisconsin (blog) March 13, 2009
- Greg Bump Healy Next on the Stand, WisPolitics.com, WisCourtWatch (blog), March 6, 2006
- Dee J. Hall Jensen Didn't Know, 3 suggest Aides Testify as Defense Starts its Presentation, Madison.com, March 7, 2006
- Nick Novak, Nick Novak, LinkedIn.com career profile, accessed March 2013.
- Brian Fraley, MacIver Institute Hires Fraley to Lead Communications Efforts, Press release, April 22, 2009
- xoff, Block, Nixon are not convicted crooks, Uppity Wisconsin (blog), June 14, 2010.
- The XOff Files, Being a married heterosexual means never having to say your partner's guilty, blog, July 12, 2006.
- Xoff, New anti-tax group features familiar face, blog, February 17, 2006.
- Greg Forster, Christian D'Andrea, Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Empirical Issues in the State: An Empirical Evaluation of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, organizational report, August 2009.
- The Foundation for Educational Choice, Milton Friedman bio, organizational website, accessed March 15, 2011.
- Cory Liebmann Introducing the Scott Jensen Chain Gang, Eye on Wisconsin blog, February 28, 2012.
- MacIver Institute, About, Maciver Institute, 2017.
- MacIver Institute About Board Members, organizational web page, accessed March 15, 2011
- MacIver Institute, Anything but a News Service, Cognidissidence blog, accessed February 27, 2012.