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Exposed! State Policy Network

April 27, 2011

You want to know why Democrats are so woefully ill equipped to deal with Republican Libertarian party? Don’t fool yourself, that IS the Republican party – Libertarians in the style of the late Senator from Arizona, Barry Goldwater. Whenever I see the Cato Institute in any reporting, I know we are talking hard core Libertarians. Who backs the Cato Institute? The Koch brothers, the Coors Foundation, and the Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation. Libertarians have taken over the Republican party.

Andy Kroll should be awarded a Pulitzer prize for this story. It rips the cover right off the conservative-Libertarian-Republican movement.

According to a April 25th article in Mother Jones: Conceived by the same conservative ideologues who helped found the Heritage Foundation, the State Policy Network (SPN) is a little-known umbrella group with deep ties to the national conservative movement. Its mission is simple: to back a constellation of state-level think tanks loosely modeled after Heritage that promote free-market principles and rail against unions, regulation, and tax increases. By blasting out policy recommendations and shaping lawmakers’ positions through briefings and private meetings, these think tanks cultivate cozy relationships with GOP politicians. And there’s a long tradition of revolving door relationships between SPN staffers and state governments. While they bill themselves as independent think tanks, SPN’s members frequently gather to swap ideas. “We’re all comrades in arms,” the network’s board chairman told the National Review in 2007.

Founded in 1992 by businessman and Reagan administration insider Thomas Roe—who also served on the Heritage Foundation’s board of trustees for two decades—the group has grown to include 59 “freedom centers,” or affiliated think tanks, in all 50 states. SPN’s board includes officials from Heritage and right-wing charities such as the Adolph Coors and Jacqueline Hume foundations. Likewise, its deep-pocketed donors include all the usual heavy-hitting conservative benefactors: the Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation, which funds the Cato Institute and Heritage; the Castle Rock Foundation, a charity started with money from the conservative Coors Foundation; and the Bradley Foundation, a $540 million charity devoted to funding conservative causes. SPN uses their contributions to dole out annual grants to member groups, ranging from a few thousand dollars to $260,000, according to 2009 records.

Read entire article, click here

See list of the 59 organizations, click here

Sourcewatch.org: The State Policy Network is a professional service organization for the “state-based free market think tank movement.” Its founding chairman was Thomas A. Roe, who died in 2000. He was succeeded by Gaylord K. Swim, who died in 2005. The current board members are listed below.

Check out State Policy Network for yourself, click here

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