Illinois Policy

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Illinois Policy, (IP) formerly Illinois Policy Institute (IPI), is a conservative think tank based in Illinois. It is a member of the State Policy Network. IP describes itself as "an independent organization generating public policy solutions aimed at promoting personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois."[1] IP's main listed priorities are:[1]

  • An honest, efficient and transparent government
  • Access to educational opportunities that prepare each child for the future
  • A fair and cost-effective criminal justice system that enhances public safety
  • The right to earn a living
  • Economic policies that create jobs and opportunity
  • Limited taxation

IP has two related non-profit organizations: the Liberty Justice Center and the Government Accountability Alliance.[2] IP CEO John Tillman also serves on the Board of Directors of America’s Future Foundation.[3]

News and Controversies

Opposition to Illinois Progressive Taxation Ballot Measure

A November 3, 2020 ballot amendment in Illinois would change the state constitution to allow for a graduated tax rate rather than a flat tax rate. Illinois Policy, along with Americans for Prosperity and other right-wing groups, opposes this amendment, arguing: "... a graduated income tax will put Illinois at a competitive disadvantage to other states and will discourage investment and job creation."[4]

Lawsuit Against Expanding Mail-in Voting

In August 2020, Liberty Justice Center, a right-wing litigation group founded by IP, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Cook County, IL Republicans "alleging Illinois' expanded vote-by-mail program is a 'partisan scheme' to help Democrats get votes and could open the door to election fraud."[5] The lawsuit challenges changes made in 2018 to Illinois's mail-in voting procedures, which include making Election Day a government and school holiday, allowing local authorities to create secure drop-off boxes for ballots, and sending vote-by-mail applications to residents who have voted since 2018.[5]

Lawsuit Against Municipal Debt Payments

On August 6, 2020, an Illinois appellate court ruled to reinstate a lawsuit filed by Tillman to block payments on Illinois's municipal debt. The complaint alleged Illinois had taken on more debt than constitutionally allowed and had broken state rules prohibiting debt financing.[6] The lawsuit stated: "Debt service payments on unconstitutional debt like the challenged bonds are an unconstitutional misuse of public funds that will cause irreparable harm to Illinois taxpayers."[6]

Listed as a Defender and Beneficiary of the Tobacco Industry

A 2019 Guardian investigation asserted that "more than 100 free-market think tanks have argued against tobacco control policies or accepted donations from the tobacco industry." The investigation names IP as a group that has done both. In addition, IP has "argued repeatedly against cigarette taxes in 2017 and 2018" and "called cigarette taxes 'regressive' for the poor, a position the World Bank has repeatedly debunked." IP has also accepted funding from Altria Group, Marlboro's manufacturer's parent company every year from 2011 to 2017.[7]

Anti-Union Efforts Following Janus

IP is a part of "a massive effort to convince union members to stop paying dues" by the State Policy Network.[8] The Mackinac Center, Commonwealth Foundation, Yankee Institute for Public Policy, Center of the American Experiment, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Nevada Policy Research Institute, Freedom Foundation, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, Education Action Group and IP all have launched online projects to instruct union members how to stop paying dues.[8]

Leavemyunion.com is IP's contribution to this effort. According to IP, the site is meant as an educational resource to help people "understand their options" because "unions have tried to make 'opting out' of membership a tricky process."[9] The site purports to be a resource to answer questions such as "What does the Janus v. AFSCME decision mean?" and "When can I end my union dues or fees?" It also promotes Association of American Educators, a group described as, "well-positioned to help further weaken the unions and their political goals", as an alternative to unions.[10]

IP operates websites giving instructions for employees to leave their specific unions, all of which are copies of the leavemyunion.com site, but with a header tailored to individual union's name and links to instructions on the top right-hand side of the page.

  • leaveafscme.com targets the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union members.
  • leavectu.com targets Chicago Teachers Union members.
  • leaveiea.com targets Illinois Education Association union members.
  • leaveufea.com targets Unit Five Education Association union members.

Investigative journalist Nick Surgey uncovered literature which IP is disseminating to further this cause:

Leave AFSME

Mark Janus Hired as Senior Fellow

IP "helped bankroll" Mark Janus of Janus vs. AFSCME, U.S. Supreme Court Case. Janus replaced Bruce Rauner as the plaintiff in the anti-union case once a judge said the Illinois Governor had no legal standing. Less than a month after the decision came down on June 27, 2018, Janus quit his job as a public school teacher and announced that he would be a "senior fellow" at IP. Janus earned $71,000 as a public school teacher, IP did not disclose the former school teacher's salary but did say he would function as a spokesperson for their causes. "Their staff is working to turn around the state of Illinois," Janus said in a statement announcing his new job, "I am grateful for the opportunity to spend the remainder of my career doing something I believe in."[11]

The move was likened by some to that of Janus's plaintiff predecessor, Rebecca Friedrichs of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, who took a position at the State Policy Network after her case was finished.[12][13]

Tillman May have Violated Nonprofit Tax Code

While IP "attacked political insiders for profiting off the system, current CEO John Tillman was able to increase his own bottom line, parlaying a small-government message into growing paychecks for himself and other top staff members",[14] according to a joint investigation from ProPublica and The Chicago Sun-Times. As the investigation asserts, "Through an often-dizzying series of transactions Tillman and his associates have moved millions of dollars around five interconnected nonprofits they run– while steering money to for-profit ventures they have a stake in and growing their paychecks."[14] The investigation remarked that Tillman's "transactions raise ethical questions and could violate the federal tax code for nonprofits." [14]

Following this report, Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, a former financial supporter of IP, vowed to cut ties with the organization. "I’m very troubled, very troubled by what I’ve learned. And I certainly would not give them any more money," said Rauner.[15] The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board wrote, "the arrangements smell, and we urge state Sen. Chris Nybo, a Republican, to follow through on his threat to push for investigations by the FBI and the IRS ... we have to wonder why the Illinois Policy Institute and the other nonprofits still qualify for tax-exempt status. Intentional or not, this looks like tax-dodging"[16]

Following the joint investigation, Democratic U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski called upon the Internal Revenue Service to investigate IP.[17]

Funding of Project Six

Project Six, an organization created by former Chicago City Council Inspector General Faisal Khan, launched in 2016 as an "anti-corruption" and "independent and nonpartisan" group. However, almost all of the start-up money for Project Six came from IP.[18] In 2018, Center for Media and Democracy reported "according to a 2016 IRS filing, IP gave Project Six $623,789 for sharing 'the same principles as Illinois Policy Institute.' This is over 98% of the $634,341 that Project Six raised in 2016."[19]

In addition to funding from IP, Project Six founder Khan "hired Illinois Policy Institute staffer Nate Hamilton as Project Six’s director of marketing and communications. Three of the organization’s initial board members also had connections to the institute."[18]

Connection to "Pro-Rauner Propaganda"

As highlighted by a 2017 investigation, "When people in Carbondale, DuPage, Chicago, Kankakee, Rock Island, Will County and other Illinois communities pick up the local newspaper or click on a website, they are promised traditional journalistic values... What readers get is a strong pro-Republican, pro-Rauner, anti-Michael Madigan slant manufactured by the interlocking group of media organizations revolving around the free-market, anti-tax, anti-union Illinois Policy Institute (IPI)."[20]

IP President and COO Hired as Chief of Staff for IL Gov

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner fired his Chief of Staff Richard Goldberg and replaced him with IP President and COO Kristina Rasmussen on July 10, 2017.[21]

Local Right to Work and Lawsuits in Illinois

The village board of Lincolnshire, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, passed a local "Right to Work" ordinance in December 2015. On February 18, 2016, a federal lawsuit was filed by four unions challenging the legality of the ordinance. One of the unions also filed a lawsuit in Lake County alleging that the village board had violated open meetings laws when it passed the ordinance. In January 2016, Liberty Justice Center, a law firm affiliated with the Illinois Policy, "entered into an agreement with the village hall... to provide Lincolnshire with pro-bono legal representation in its defense of the ordinance," according to Chicago Tribune.[22] LJC lawyers confirmed to the Chicago Tribune in April 2016 that they would represent Lincolnshire in the two lawsuits related to the ordinance.[23] At that time, the lawsuits had not yet been resolved.

Ties to the Bradley Foundation

Illinois Policy has received at least $520,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation through 2018.

Bradley detailed a 2015 grant 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: $150,000 to support a Criminal Justice Center. As of this grant, IP has received $170,000 from the Bradley Foundation. “IPI’s Criminal Justice Center provides an important opportunity to develop meaningful policy ideas and the most meaningful messaging ways to reach a market segment where the reform message resonates most. If successful, the Center’s efforts will lay a foundation to replicate elsewhere throughout the country.”

Bradley Files

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.

Find the series here at ExposedbyCMD.org.

Ties to the Koch Brothers

IP has received $843,000 from Donors Capital Fund and $790,456 from DonorsTrust between 2010 and 2015.

A report by the Center for Public Integrity exposes a number of DonorsTrust funders, many of which have ties to the Koch brothers. One of the most prominent funders is the Knowledge and Progress Fund, a Charles Koch-run organization and one of the group's largest known contributors, having donated at least $8 million since 2005. Other contributors known to have donated at least $1 million to DonorsTrust include the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation, Searle Freedom Trust, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation.[24]

Since its inception in 1999, DonorsTrust has been used by conservative foundations and individuals to discretely funnel nearly $400 million to like-minded think tanks and media outlets.[24] According to the organization's tax documents, in 2011 DonorsTrust contributed a total of $86 million to right-wing organizations. Many recipients had ties to the State Policy Network (SPN), a wide collection of conservative state-based think tanks and media organizations that focus on shaping public policy and opinion.

In 2013, the Center for Media and Democracy released a special report on SPN. Those who received DonorsTrust funding included media outlets such as the Franklin News Foundation and the Lucy Burns Institute, as well as think tanks such as SPN itself, Heartland Institute, Independence Institute, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, South Carolina Policy Council, American Legislative Exchange Council, Manhattan Institute , Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and Cascade Policy Institute.[25]

Koch Wiki

Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

IP is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). IP was on the host committee for the 2013 ALEC Annual Conference,[26] and “Vice Chairman” level sponsor of the 2013 ALEC Annual Conference ($25,000).[27]

In 2011, Brian Costin, IP's Director of Outreach, and Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of Policy, represented IP on ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. At the 2011 Annual Meeting, Costin introduced the "Local Government Transparency Act" model legislation, and Dabrowski introduced the "Pension Funding and Fairness Act" model legislation for adoption by the task force. The latter was adopted and proceeded to the ALEC Board of Directors for approval.[28]

IP is also a member of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC's 2011 annual meeting.[29] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IP. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit.[30]

About ALEC
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 State Policy Network

Illinois Policy is a member of the State Policy Network and has received at least $717,300 from SPN between 2012-2017.

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.[31] 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.[32]

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.'"[33]

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.[34]

Ties to the Franklin News Foundation

In 2018, IP transferred ownership of The Illinois News Network to Franklin News Foundation.[35] The Illinois Policy 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.[36] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[37] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[38][39] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."[40]

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).[41] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[42] Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[41]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[43] a conservative grant-making organization.[44]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[45] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[46] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[47] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[48] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.

Funding

Illinois Policy does not list its funders publicly. Its website states: "Because the Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, our supporters’ names are kept private, although donors are free to share their reasons for supporting our efforts."[49]

A 2019 investigation revealed that Altria has contributed funds IP every year from 2011-2017.[7]

IP's known funders identified through IRS filings or other means include:

Core Financials

2018[51]

  • Total Revenue: $7,757,101
  • Total Expenses: $5,871,517
  • Net Assets: $2,537,734

Grants Distributed

2017[52]

  • Total Revenue: $8,560,352
  • Total Expenses: $8,692,900
  • Net Assets: $808,841

Grants Distributed

2016[53]

  • Total Revenue: $6,592,870
  • Total Expenses: $6,963,067
  • Net Assets: $941,389

Grants Distributed

2015[54]

  • Total Revenue: $5,819,542
  • Total Expenses: $4,971,904
  • Net Assets: $1,311,586

Grants Distributed

2014[55]

  • Total Revenue: $3,535,075
  • Total Expenses: $3,856,029
  • Net Assets: $463,948

Grants Distributed

2013[2]:

  • Total Revenue: $3,424,206
  • Total Expenses: $3,091,020
    • Reported Lobbying Expenditures: $25,777
  • Net Assets: $784,902

Grants Distributed

2012[56]:

  • Total Revenue: $3,701,372
  • Total Expenses: $3,658,188
    • Reported Lobbying Expenditures: $18,616
  • Net Assets: $451,716

Grants Distributed

2011[57]:

  • Total Revenue: $2,875,519
  • Total Expenses: $2,643,618
    • Reported Lobbying Expenditures: $13,678
  • Net Assets: $408,532

Grants Distributed

2010[58]:

  • Total Revenue: $1,791,057
  • Total Expenses: $1,732,183
  • Net Assets: $176,631

2009[59]:

  • Total Revenue: $1,469,110
  • Total Expenses: $1,327,172
  • Net Assets: $117,757

Personnel

Staff

Staff as of September 2020 [60]

  • John Tillman, CEO and Chairman
  • Matt Paprocki, IP President and chairman of the Illinois Policy PAC[61]
  • Adam Schuster, Director Of Budget And Tax Research
  • Amy Korte, vice President of Policy
  • Andy Gowdy, External Relations Officer
  • Ari Shroyer, Government Affairs Coordinator
  • Austin Berg, Vice President of Marketing
  • Ben Szalinski, Writer
  • Brad Weisenstein, Editor
  • Bradley Warren, Director Of External Relations
  • Bryce Hill, Senior Research Analyst
  • Cinda Pensabene, Human Resources Manager
  • Eric Allie, Editorial Cartoonist
  • Jim Long, Vice President Of Government Affairs
  • Joe Barnas, Writer
  • Joe Tabor, Senior Policy Analyst
  • Joe Josko, Data Analyst
  • Jordan Schneider, Executive Assistant
  • Khim Goh, Data Analyst
  • Laurel Daly, Investor Relations Associate
  • Mailee Smith, Staff Attorney and Director of Labor Policy
  • Melanie Krakauer, Media Relations Manager
  • Michelle Mathia, Facilities Coordinator
  • Mindy Ruckman, Government Affairs Legislative Analyst
  • Natalie Bezek, Director Of Investor Relations
  • Nicholas Farrar, Development Research Manager
  • Rachel Wittel, Communications Associate
  • Robert Brutvan, Marketing Intern
  • Orphe Divounguy, Chief Economist
  • Rachel Wittel, Communications Associate
  • Robert Isham, External Relations Officer
  • Samantha Wright, Director of Operations
  • Vincent Caruso, Community Manager
  • Zack Urevig, Director of Development Operations
  • Emily Rose Mccallister, Vice President of External Relations
  • Hilary Gowns, Vice President of Communication
  • William Rohe, Chief Financial Officer
  • David Camic, Senior Fellow
  • Erik Randolph, Senior Fellow
  • Mark Janus, Senior Fellow
  • Mike Shedlock, Senior Fellow
  • Nicholas Horton, Senior Fellow

Board of Directors

As of September 2020:[60]

  • Art Margulis, Board Member
  • Craig S. Mankse, Board Member
  • Dick Weiss, Board Member
  • Ed Bachrach, Board Member
  • Mark Miller, Board Member
  • Sara Albrecht, Board Member
  • Sherry Street, Board Member
  • John Tillman, CEO

Former Staff

  • Chris Lentino, Director Of Outreach
  • Jordan Sperando, Executive Assistant
  • Kayla Weems, Media Relations Manager
  • Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of Policy and Spokesman
  • Kristina Rasmussen, President and COO
  • Michael Lucci, Vice President of Policy
  • Jacob Huebert, Senior Attorney
  • Diane Rickert, Vice President of Communications
  • Rebecca Kohn, Senior Manager of External Relations
  • Brian Costin, Director of Government Reform
  • Paul Kersey, Director of Labor Policy
  • Jonathan Ingram, Director of Health Policy and Pension Reform
  • Craig Lesner, Budget and Tax Research Director
  • Benjamin VanMetre, Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst
  • Josh Dwyer, Director of Education Reform
  • Jean Hutton, Operations Manager
  • Roxane Tyssen, External Relations Associate
  • Jen Dillman, Regional Director of External Relations, Central and Southern Illinois
  • Scott Reeder, Journalist in Residence
  • MaryAnn McCabe, External Relations Associate
  • Jane McEnaney, Policy Outreach Manager
  • Heather Wilhelm, Senior Fellow, Communications
  • J. Scott Moody, Senior Fellow for Budget and Tax Policy
  • Jerry Agar, Multimedia Fellow
  • Don Soifer, Senior Fellow, Education
  • Andrew Busch, Senior Fellow, Finance and Markets
  • Leonard Gilroy, Senior Fellow, Regulation and Privatization
  • Donna Arduin, Senior Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
  • John Hill, Senior Fellow, Energy Policy
  • Jim Porterfield, Senior Fellow, Health Care Policy
  • Marc Levine, Senior Fellow, Pension and Investment Policy
  • John Stephen, JD, Senior Fellow, Health Care Policy
  • Jonathan Bean, Southern Illinois University
  • Rik Hafer, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
  • William J. Kresse, Saint Xavier University
  • Patrick Mullen, University of Illinois - Springfield
  • Robert Podlasek, Bradley University
  • Brendan Bakala, Marketing Associate
  • Judi Willard, External Relations Coordinator
  • Pat Hughes, External Relations Advisor
  • F. Vincent Vernuccio, Senior Fellow
  • Ben Paoletti, Government Affairs Intern
  • Bill Reveille, Policy Analyst
  • Eric Kohn, Marketing Manager
  • Jean Hutton, Director of Operations
  • Louis Stone, Chief Financial Officer
  • Mathew Quinn, Motion Graphic Artist
  • Remo Wakeford, Video Production Specialist
  • Sherry Street, External Relations Officer

Former Directors

Contact Details

Employer Identification Number (EIN): 41-2057028

Chicago Office
Illinois Policy
190 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-346-5700
Fax: 312-212-5277

Springfield Office
Illinois Policy
802 South 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62704
Phone: 217-528-8800
Fax: 312-212-5277

Website: https://www.illinoispolicy.org
Email: info@illinoispolicy.org
Facebook: @illinoispolicy
Instagram: @illinoispolicy
Twitter: @illinoispolicy
YouTube: @illinoispolicy

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Our Story", organizational website, accessed September 9, 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 Illinois Policy, 2013 Form 990, organizational tax filing.
  3. "Staff and Board", America's Future Foundation, Accessed September 3, 2020.
  4. Don Weiner, "Right-Wing Groups Oppose Historic Illinois Progressive Income Tax Ballot Measure", PR Watch, September 4, 2020, accessed September 10, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sophia Tareen, "Republicans say expanded mail voting in Illinois is partisan 'scheme'", Daily Herald, August 10, 2020, accessed September 10, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Andrew Scurria, "Challenge to $14 Billion in Illinois Debt Revived", Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2020, accessed September 10, 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jessica Glenza, Sharon Kelly and Juweek Adolphe "Free-market groups and the tobacco industry - full database" Guardian accessed Jan 23, 2019
  8. 8.0 8.1 David Armiak "State Policy Network Unleashes Wave of Front Groups to Attack Public Union Membership" Exposed By CMD, July 13, 2018, accessed September 9, 2020
  9. Illinois Policy, [Leavemyunion.com Leave My Union], organizational website, accessed August 2018
  10. Mary Bottari, "Weaponized Philanthropy: Document Trove Details Bradley Foundation’s Efforts to Build Right-Wing “Infrastructure” Nationwide, Center for Media and Democracy, May 5th, 2017.
  11. Mitchell Armentrout,"Mark Janus quits state job for conservative think tank gig after landmark ruling" Chicago Sun-Times, June 20, 2018, accessed September 10, 2020.
  12. Heritage Foundation "Protecting Public Employees’ First Amendment Rights: Major Cases Challenging 'Abood'", organizational website, August 24, 2017, accessed September 10, 2020.
  13. Hamilton Nolan "America's Most Despised Coworker Gets New Job With Other Despicable People" Splinter News, July 23, 2018, accessed September 10, 2020.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Mick Dumke and Tina Sfondeles As Conservative Group Grows In Influence, Financial Dealings Enrich Its Leaders, Pro Publica and The Chicago Sun-Times, Feb 8, 2018.
  15. Kim Geiger, "Rauner won't give 'another nickel' to former ally Illinois Policy Institute", Chicago Tribune, Feb 8, 2018, accessed September 10, 2020.
  16. Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board, "EDITORIAL: Illinois Policy Institute nonprofit tax status begs for FBI probe", Chicago Sun-Times, Feb 8, 2018, accessed September 10, 2020.
  17. Mick Dumke and Tina Sfondeles "Congressman Calls For Investigation Of Conservative Think Tank", ProPublica and Chicago Sun-Times, Feb 15, 2018, accessed September 10, 2020.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Mick Dumke and Dan Mihalopoulos, "‘Independent’ city watchdog Khan’s secret backer? Right-wing policy group", Chicago Sun-Times and ProPublica, Feb 7, 2018, Archived from the original on April 3, 2019, accessed September 10, 2020.
  19. David Armiak "Chicago’s 'Independent' Project Six Funded By Illinois Policy Institute", Center for Media and Democracy, Jan 19, 2018, accessed September 10, 2020.
  20. Nathaniel Dean Fortmeyer, William Recktenwald and William H. Freivogel, ["'Hyperlocal' news written from afar"], Gateway Journalism Review, Nov 28, 2017. Archived from the original on September 15, 2018, accessed September 10, 2020.
  21. Fox Illinois News Team, "Gov. Rauner names new chief of staff", Fox Illinois, July 10, 2017, accessed September 10, 2020.
  22. Ronnie Wachter, "Lincolnshire faces state and federal lawsuits over right-to-work law", Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2016, accessed September 10, 2020.
  23. Ronnie Wachter,"Conservative think tank confirms it will defend Lincolnshire in two lawsuits brought by unions", Chicago Tribune, April 19, 2016, accessed September 10, 2020.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Paul Abowd, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, The Center for Public Integrity, February 14, 2013, accessed July 1, 2014.
  25. DonorsTrust,GuideStar.org IRS Form 990, annual organizational tax filing, 2011, accessed June 2014.
  26. Lisa Graves, More Corporations Drop Off ALEC’s Conference Brochure, PRWatch, August 15, 2013.
  27. Lisa Graves, ALECexposed: List of Corporations and Special Interests that Underwrote ALEC’s 40th Anniversary Meeting, PRWatch, August 15, 2013.
  28. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Meeting," agenda and meeting materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD
  29. American Legislative Exchange Council, Health and Human Services Task Force meeting agenda and materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD
  30. American Legislative Exchange Council, Education Task Force meeting agenda and materials, April 6, 2012, on file with CMD
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  34. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  35. Greg Hinz "Media shift on political right as IPI sheds statehouse unit" Crain's Chicago Business, January 23, 2018, accessed September 10, 2020.
  36. Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
  37. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  38. Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  39. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
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