Nevada Policy Research Institute
The Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) describes itself as "a free-market think tank that seeks private solutions to public challenges facing Nevada, the West and the nation. The Institute's primary areas of focus are education and fiscal policy, with the goal of advancing free-market principles in both." NPRI is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN).
The institute made waves during the debate over the Nevada state budget during the 2009 legislative session. Geoffrey Lawrence, the institute's fiscal policy analyst, authored "Nevada's Freedom Budget: The Road to Recovery" which was an alternative state budget proposal that would have purportedly avoided the need for state tax increases.
- 1 News and Controversies
- 2 Ties to the Bradley Foundation
- 3 Ties to the Koch Brothers
- 4 Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
- 5 Funding
- 6 Core Financials
- 7 Personnel
- 8 Contact Information
- 9 Articles and Resources
News and Controversies
NPRI Called Out for Blocking Action on Climate Change
In July of 2016, nineteen U.S. Senators delivered a series of speeches denouncing climate change denial from 32 organizations with links to fossil-fuel interests, including the Nevada Policy Research Institute. Sen. Whitehouse (RI-D), who led the effort to expose "the web of denial" said in his remarks on the floor that the purpose was to,
- "shine a little light on the web of climate denial and spotlight the bad actors in the web, who are polluting our American discourse with phony climate denial. This web of denial, formed over decades, has been built and provisioned by the deep-pocketed Koch brothers, by ExxonMobil, by Peabody coal, and by other fossil fuel interests. It is a grim shadow over our democracy in that it includes an electioneering effort that spends hundreds of millions of dollars in a single election cycle and threatens any Republican who steps up to address the global threat of climate change. . . . [I]t is long past time we shed some light on the perpetrators of this web of denial and expose their filthy grip on our political process. It is a disgrace, and our grandchildren will look back at this as a dirty time in America’s political history because of their work.”
NPRI Produces Questionable Study on Clean Energy in Nevada
A study released by NPRI on June 9, 2016 claiming that Nevada's requirements to use solar, wind and other clean energy sources are killing jobs and hurting jobs has been criticized by energy experts in the state reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Nevada has imposed a mandate called the Renewable Portfolio Standards to get 25% of its energy through renewables by 2025.
"In Nevada, energy prices are expected to climb by nearly 15 percent this year, which will reduce statewide employment growth by more than 11,000 jobs and reduce economic growth by $1.7 billion, said Timothy Considine, a professor with the School of Energy Resources and the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Wyoming," in the NPRI study.
"Chandler Sherman, a spokesman for Bring Back Solar Alliance, said recent studies have shown that rooftop solar decreases costs to NV Energy, saving all customers money. A peer-reviewed study by SolarCity and the Natural Resources Defense Council, released in May, found rooftop solar saves Nevadans $7 million every year, whether or not they have rooftop solar," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Angela Dykema, director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that, "since 2009, Nevada’s Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program has led to the construction of almost 30 renewable power plants, which have led to the creation of more than 4,000 high-paying jobs."
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 grant prepared by CMD. The quoted text was written by Bradley staff.
'2016: $25,000 to support the anti union “National Employee Freedom Week”(NEFW). This would be the Bradley Foundation’s first grant to NPRI. “NEFW is basically an advertising campaign to educate workers about that which they can do with their dissatisfaction about union representation.”
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 Koch Brothers
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.
Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
The Nevada Policy Research 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.
The Nevada Policy Research Institute does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. NPRI's known funders include:
- Americans for Prosperity Foundation: $29,500 (2014)
- Bradley Foundation: $25,000 (2016)
- DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund: $668,405 (2010-2013)
- Total Revenue: $768,427
- Total Expenses: $742,292
- Net Assets: $556,885
- Total Revenue: $874,029
- Total Expenses: $930,711
- Net Assets: $530,750
- Total Revenue: $1,077,298
- Total Expenses: $1,206,368
- Net Assets: $587,462
- Total Revenue: $826,467
- Total Expenses: $901,213
- Net Assets: $717,094
- Total Revenue: $682,549
- Total Expenses: $782,140
- Net Assets: $781,267
- Total Revenue: $603,803
- Total Expenses: $791,558
- Net Assets: $872,043
- Total Revenue: $776,450
- Total Expenses: $654,447
- Net Assets: $1,072,828
- Total Revenue: $659,931
- Total Expenses: $631,363
- Net Assets: $945,002
As of September 2018:
- John Tsarpalas, President
- Steven Miller, Senior Vice President, Nevada Journal Managing Editor
- Robert Fellner, Director of Policy
- Daniel Honchariw, Senior Policy Analyst
- Ellen Hubbard, Regional Development Director
- Michael Schaus, Communications Director
- Kayla Weems, Director of Operations
- Sharon J. Rossie, President
- Andy Matthews, President
- Geoffrey Lawrence, Deputy Policy Director
- Eric Davis, Media Specialist
- Victor Joecks, Communications Director
- Jared Carl, Development Director
- Kyle Gillis, Investigative Reporter
- Jennifer Spoo, Paralegal, CJCL Administrator
- Joseph Becker, Chief Legal Officer, CJCL Director
- Patricia Andrews, Executive Assistant
- Anna Buchner, CJCL Paralegal
- Karen Gray, Citizen Outreach Director
- Daniel Honchariw, Policy Researcher and Analyst
- Matt Smith, Regional Development Director
Board of Directors
As of September 2018:
- Ranson W. Webster, Chairman
- Bryan J. Dziedziak, Secretary/Treasurer
- George Balaban
- Bob Davidson
- Ben Farahi
- David Geddes
- Steve Hardy
- Gary Vause
- Judy Cresanta, NPRI Founder
- Jim Bahan
- Bill Brady
- Maryanne Ingemanson
- Bruce James
- Monte Miller
- Darren Wilson
- William P. Weidner
- Nancy Croom, Vice Chair
- Sherman R. Frederick
Nevada Policy Research Institute
7130 Placid St.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: (702) 222-0642
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
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- The Florida Current, Liberal groups bemoan lobbying by conservative think tanks, November 13, 2013.
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- Progress Michigan, Who's Running Michigan? The Far-Right Influence of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
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- Keystone Progress, Think tanks or corporate lobbyist propaganda mills?, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Texas, TPPF + ALEC, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
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- 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.
- Nevada Policy Research Institute, "About Us", accessed March 2008.
- Sheldon Whitehouse, "Senators Call Out Web of Denial Blocking Action On Climate Change," Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, July 15, 2016.
- Sean Whaley, Study says green energy mandates kill jobs but Nevada experts disagree, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 2, 2016.
- Charles Koch Institute, Partner Organizations, Charles Koch Institute, 2016.
- 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.
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- 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.
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- Americans for Prosperity Foundation, IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 11, 2015.
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- Nevada Policy Research Institute, Staff, Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2018.
- Nevada Policy Research Institute, Board of Directors, Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2018.