Pacific Research Institute

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The Pacific Research Institute (PRI), officially the "Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy," is a think tank founded in 1979 whose stated vision is the promotion of "the principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility. The Institute believes these principles are best encouraged through policies that emphasize a free economy, private initiative, and limited government." The institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, and had $4.8 million in revenue in 2012.[1] The Pacific Research Institute has associated with other think-tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute, including filing joint briefs in major legal cases.

News and Controversies

Disinformation about Single-Payer Healthcare

The Pacific Research Institute has long campaigned against single-payer healthcare systems. President and CEO Sally Pipes has largely been at the forefront of this initiative. In 2004, Pipes published Miracle Cure: How to Solve America’s Health Care Crisis and Why Canada Isn’t the Answer, a book disparaging the Canadian healthcare system. Wendell Potter, the former Vice President of Cigna and whistleblower against the healthcare industry, states the book's falsified claims were used to sell "Americans a lie about Canadian medicine."[2] Pipes has since published various other articles and books condemning single-payer healthcare. In 2011, Pipes published "Doctors Say Obamacare Is No Remedy For U.S. Health Woes," in Forbes and in 2014, Pipes published "The Many Failures of Single Payer" in the National Review. Both pieces were disputed. Dr. James Burdick, a professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, accused Pipe's latter article of being "untruthful."[3][4]

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Pipes used the coronavirus to continue to campaign against single-payer healthcare. In an article on PRI's website, Pipes claimed that "countries with single-payer health care may have a more difficult time."[5] As of August, the U.S. has seen the most deaths due to COVID-19.

In a hearing for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging in 2014, Pipes said she did not believe that access to healthcare was a right in the United States.[6]

PRI 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 Pacific Research Institute.[7] 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.”[7]

According to DeSmog, a figure suggesting that electric vehicles tax-credits are regressive, that “disproportionately subsidizes wealthy buyers,""has been repeated ad nauseum is typically attributed to a report by Wayne Winegarden of the Pacific Research Institute." The figure has been used in numerous articles which are in opposition to actions combatting climate change. The coverage brought DeSmog to the conclusion that "clearly, the Koch network’s investments in the Pacific Research Institute are paying off."[8]

The Golden Fleece Awards

The Business and Economic Studies program of the Pacific Research Institute used to give out the California Golden Fleece award. The award, given out every 3 months by PRI, denounced a state or local program that it deemed to have wasted money. PRI oftentimes uses the award to promote anti-union sentiments. In 2003, PRI gave the award to Institute for Labor and Employment for popularizing unions.[9] In 2004, PRI gave the award to the California State Legislature for its treatment of the California Union of Safety Employees (CAUSE).[10]

Placed Anti-Environmentalism Ad on Environmental Website

In 2004, PRI publicized an advertisement on the website of E/The Environmental Magazine. The ad, however, did not stay posted for long. PRI also intended to publish a now-canceled ad in the print magazine. The magazine's publisher explain the ad's cancelation, saying "P.R.I.'s materials do not fit with our ad policy, because they suggest that green activities on behalf of the planet are unnecessary, counterproductive and a waste of time (and -- this is crucial -- supporting this conclusion with dubious science). If E were a magazine for horse lovers, we would not run ads for horse slaughterhouses, and P.R.I.'s ad and materials are similar in relation to E's environmental mission."[11]

Ties to the State Policy Network

The Pacific Research Institute is a member of the right-wing State Policy Network, a network of right-wing "think tanks." 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 April 2023, SPN's membership totals 163. 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 2022 analysis of SPN's main members IRS filings by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that the combined revenue is over $152 million.[12] 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.[13]

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.'"[14]

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.[15]

President and CEO Sally Pipes serves on SPN president's advisory council.[16] In 2004, Pipes was awarded SPN's Roe Award. The Roe Award, named after SPN's founder Thomas Roe, "pays tribute to those in the state public policy movement whose achievements have greatly advanced free-market philosophy and policy solutions."[17]

The Madison Group

Founded in 1979, the Pacific Research Center was one of the earliest conservative think-tanks to appear at the state level. The PRI had already existed for 7 years by the time that The Madison Group first gathered in the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Madison Group was an early iteration of the State Policy Network. By 1991, the Group had 73 associated member organizations including the Pacific Research Institute. A year later in 1992, the Madison Group formally became The State Policy Network; PRI was among the founding members.[18][19][20]

Ties to the Bradley Foundation

Through 2016 the Pacific Research Institute received $1,376,000 from the Lynde and Harry 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: (Recommended) $75,000 to support the Center for Health Care and the work of a senior fellow. The fellow is Wayne Winegarden, a senior fellow in business and economics. The Center, led by Sally Pipes, is expected to continue its “fight” against the Affordable Care Act. Bradley calls PRI and CHC, along with [[[Benjamin Rush Institute]]] and Galen, “one of the most influential and effective voices in the fight against the burgeoning government monopoly over health care in the country.”

2015: $75,000, $50,000 to support the California Pension Reform Project and $25,000 to support the Health Care Communications Strategy.

2014: $25,000 to support its Center for Health Care (CHC) in its public education efforts. Pipes focused on the following aspects of the ACA in 2014:

  • The 2.3% medical device tax
  • The health insurance tax
  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)
  • The 3.8% tax on unearned income
  • The excise tax on drug companies

Pipes also prepared amicus briefs in many pending lawsuits.

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

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

PRI's Director of Health Care Studies, John R. Graham, spoke at a Workshop at the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting. The Workshop was titled, "Rationing By Any Other Name: Medicare's Independent Payment Advisory Board." According to his biography on the PRI webpage, he is also a "Senior Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Adjunct Scholar of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and member of the Board of Visitors of the Benjamin Rush Society of medical students and physicians."[21] ALEC, Pacific Research Institute, the National Center for Policy Analysis, and the Macinac Center are all members of the State Policy Network, which was one of the sponsors of 2011 ALEC Annual meeting.[22][23]

The Pacific Research Institute also has ties to several ALEC "task forces," including the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, the Health and Human Services Task Force, the Education Task Force, and the Civil Justice Task Force.

John Clemens, former research director, is listed as private sector member of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force representing PRI at the 2010 Spring Task Force Summit and John Graham was listed as a speaker/advisor at that same meeting.[24] Graham gave a report titled, “What ObamaCare Means for State Budgets.”

John Graham has also represented PRI on the Health and Human Services Task Force. He gave a presentation on his book Medical Tort: Ranking in the 50 States to the task force at the 2010 Annual Meeting.[25]

Vicki Murray, former Education Studies Senior Policy Fellow, is a member of the Education Task Force. At the ALEC 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit she presented “10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask About Higher Education.” [26]

Lawrence McQuillan, Director of Business and Economic Studies, has participated in the Civil Justice Task Force. He was part of a presentation on ranking state tort systems, the “2010 Tort Liability Index,” during the 2010 Annual Meeting.[27]

Please see SPN Ties to ALEC for more.

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, and check out breaking news on our site.

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Pacific 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.[28] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[29] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[30][31] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."[32]

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).[33] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[34] Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[33]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[35] a conservative grant-making organization.[36]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[37] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[38] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[39] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[40] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.

PRI and the tobacco industry

In February 1987 Philip Morris executive Roy E. Marden sent a memo to other PM staff following a discussion with the then PRI President Chip Mellor "concerning their project on advertising and the market process." Marden noted the project was partially funded by Philip Morris."[41]

In 1998 Philip Morris was canvassing possible organizations that might be an ally in its Youth Smoking Prevention programs. A memo from Roy Marden described the Pacific Research Institute as "I am vice chairman of this SF policy group. They have recently begun an effort on child development/reduction of welfare dependency/etc., & I could explore with them if/where YSP could be involved. We are long-time donors."[42]

PRI and Healthcare

PRI head Sally Pipes, a Canadian residing in the United States, frequently speaks and writes against universal health care. Her bio lists as healthcare topics she had addressed "the false promise of a single-payer system as exists in Canada, pharmaceutical pricing, solving the problem of the uninsured, and strategies for consumer-driven health care." She also authored a 2004 book titled Miracle Cure: How to Solve America’s Health Care Crisis and Why Canada Isn’t the Answer. [1]

On the FOX News show "The O'Reilly Factor" on January 10, 2007, Pipes spoke against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to provide all state residents with healthcare. She warned that, "[I]f we provide health insurance, just like we provide welfare and education for illegal aliens, think about people that are illegal in other states. We're going to get a huge influx of illegal immigrants into California. And that's going to make it even more expensive [than the current system]." [2]

On December 26, 2011 Pipes posted the article "Doctors Say Obamacare is No Remedy for US Health Woes," to Forbes. In the article Pipes claims that nearly two-thirds of doctors expect the quality of care in this country to decline. Pipes cites the a recent survey done by the consulting giant Deloitte as evidence to her claims, but does not include the survey in her article. [43] Forbes contributor Rick Ungar responded to Pipes with the article "Koch Brothers Financed 'Research' Institute Steps Up Misleading Obamacare Attacks," in which Unger finds that Pipes incorrectly analyzed the survey results. [44]

PRI and Water Policy

PRI is based out of California, and has been involved in the water policy debate in that state. A publication released by PRI in December of 2008 suggested that the "problem for California is not lack of [water] supply but uneven distribution." PRI criticized California's current plan for facilitating distribution, which was based on state funded water projects. Instead, PRI suggested that distribution would be more properly managed through water markets, with consumers paying for water as any other consumable good. [45]

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.

Areas of Work

PRI lists the following as their research areas:[46]

  • Healthcare - Articles include: "Small Business Owners Are Foolishly Supporting ‘Medicare For All’", and "Medicare For All Means Medicare For None". Other topics include prescription drug pricing, telemedicine, and gene therapies.
  • Business and Economics - Articles include "NEW ISSUE BRIEF: Damon Dunn Shares Stories From His Rise From Poverty, Makes The Case For Why Socialism Doesn’t Work", "Workers’ Freedom At Risk In California", "This Labor Day, Celebrate America’s Job Creators As Well As Our Workforce", "Democratic Socialism Will Take Away Job Opportunities For Many" and "Other Factors, Not Socialism, Triggers Northern Europe’s Success."
  • Education – Articles include: "Charter Schools Don’t Fiscally Distress Regular Public Schools", "Post-Janus, How Unions Keep Teachers Trapped", and "#Charterswork School : Profile Clayton Valley Charter High School."
  • California - Articles include: "New PRI Study: Free-Market Reforms, Private Charities Key To Addressing San Francisco’s Growing Homeless Crisis", and "California Needs To Go Nuclear – Again"
  • Environment – Articles include: "CAPITAL IDEAS: Cracking Down On Fracking In California— Is It The Smart Thing To Do?" "The Rush To Renewable Energy Defies Science, Economics, And Common Sense" and "Giving Rural California A Bigger Voice."

As of Sept. 2019, PRI no longer has a Technology research area listed.

PRI said these were their accomplishments in 2006:

  • Reached an audience of more than 475 million through print and online outlets throughout the year
  • On average, more than 100 articles citing PRI’s research published each month, 1,254 in total
  • Articles placed in all of the top 10 daily newspapers in the nation and in all papers nationwide, including USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post.
  • Website page visits totaled over half a million, with 1.3 million pages viewed
  • Reached more than 40 million through radio and television nationwide

Core Financials


  • Total Revenue: $5,240,992
  • Total Expenses: $3,657,441
  • Net Assets: $14,662,398


  • Total Revenue: $4,716,157
  • Total Expenses: $6,339,545
  • Net Assets: $13,323,098


  • Total Revenue: $4,937,746
  • Total Expenses: $3,551,430
  • Net Assets: $14,736,182


  • Total Revenue: $5,195,278
  • Total Expenses: $3,120,463
  • Net Assets: $13,296,894


  • Total Revenue: $6,840,418
  • Total Expenses: $3,586,064
  • Net Assets: $3,263,975


  • Total Revenue: $6,681,127
  • Total Expenses: $3,276,929
  • Net Assets: $7,968,020


  • Total Revenue: $4,727,196
  • Total Expenses: $3,609,998
  • Net Assets: $4,568,937


  • Total Revenue: $4,706,288
  • Total Expenses: $4,904,662
  • Net Assets: $3,450,596


  • Total Revenue: $3,923,123
  • Total Expenses: $5,257,310
  • Net Assets: $3,601,719


  • Total Revenue: $4,707,728
  • Total Expenses: $4,962,507
  • Net Assets: $4,834,041


The Pacific Research Foundation is not required to disclose its funders. A list of its funders can be found through a quick search of IRS filings.

  • Aqua Foundation: $1,000 (2016)
  • Arthur and Barbara Bloom Foundation: $2,000 (2016-2017)
  • Arthur and Carlyse Ciocca Charitable Foundation: $10,000 (2018)
  • Atel Foundation: $10,000 (2018)
  • Banbury Fund: $9,400
  • Bancroft-Clair Foundation: $7,000 (2010-2018)
  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation: $100 (2015)
  • Barnes Family Foundation: $1,000 (2017-2018)
  • Barney Family Foundation: $60,000 (2013-2018)
  • Ben Schwartz Family Foundation: $75,000 (2016-2018)
  • Bradley Impact Fund: $20,000 (2018)
  • Briggs Foundation: $400 (2016-2017)
  • Campbell Family Foundation: $1,500
  • Challenge Foundation: $25,000 (2017)
  • Charles Koch Foundation: $150,000 (2013-2016)
  • Chase Family Foundation: $80,000
  • Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation: $150,000 (2011-2012)
  • Community Foundation of Louisville: $85,000 (2015)
  • Cox Foundation: $6,002 (2013-2015)
  • Cynthia and Merrill Magowan Family Foundation: $75,000 (2010-2018)
  • David and Annette Jorgenson: $50,000 ($50,000)
  • David H. Koch Foundation: $150,000 (2017)
  • Deborah J. and Peter A. Magowan Family Foundation: $45,000 (2015-2018)
  • Don and Lorraine Freeberg Foundation: $90,000
  • Earhart Foundation: $75,000 (2010-2012)
  • Edward and Barbara Hulac Charitable Foundation: $1,250 (2017)
  • Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund: $2,547,521 (2016-2017)
  • Fiel Foundation: $1,000 (2011)
  • Fisch Family Foundation: $25 (2011)
  • Gailliot Family Foundation: $20,000 (2011-2015)
  • Gale Family Foundation: $10,000 (2012-2018)
  • George E. Coleman Jr. Foundation: $125,750 (2010-2018)
  • Gleason Family Foundation: $250,000 (2016-2017)
  • Greater Horizons: $19,000 (2015-2016)
  • The Haberman Foundation: $9,180 (2013-2017)
  • Hickory Foundation: $39,000 (2014-2016)
  • Holman Foundation: $75,000 (2014-2018)
  • Hugh and Hazel Daring Foundation: $200,000 (2012-2017)
  • It Takes A Family Foundation: $1,000 (2013)
  • Jean and E. Floyd Kvamme Foundation: $15,000 (2014-2017)
  • Jim Hicks Family Foundation: $9,000 (2016-2017)
  • Justin and Michelle Hughes Foundation: $200 (2016-2017)
  • Killgallon Foundation: $5,000 (2016)
  • Kurt and Julie Hauser Foundation: $5,000 (2018)
  • Leland and Kathleen Kaiser Charitable Foundation: $700 (2014-2017)
  • Margaret M. Bloomfield Family Foundation: $190,000 (2017-2018)
  • Marin Community Foundation: $43,250 (2014-2016)
  • McAvoy Family Foundation: $26,658 (2017)
  • National Philanthropic Trust: $27,500 (2017)
  • National Christian Charitable Foundation: $17,000 (2012-2017)
  • New Hope Charitable Foundation: $20,000 (2017)
  • Orange County Community Foundation: $194,757 (2014-2016)
  • Oshay Family Foundation: $1,000 (2018)
  • Palo Hills Foundation: $2,000 (2013)
  • Percy Fund: $30,000 (2017-2018)
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America: $310,000 (2014-2018)
  • Pierre F. and Enid Goodrich Foundation: $80,000 (2015-2018)
  • Ravizza Family Foundation: $5,000 (2014-2018)
  • Rebud Foundation: $75,000 (2018)
  • Reiling Family Foundation: $2,000 (2017)
  • Richard F. Aster Jr. Foundation: $54,000 (2010-2011)
  • Robert and Alice Bridges Foundation: $4,000 (2010-2013)
  • Russell G. Redenbaugh Foundation: $1,000 (2016)
  • Rutter Foundation: $10,000 (2018)
  • Lawrence and Sandra Post Family Foundation: $100 (2016)
  • Schulman Foundation: $35,000 (2014-2018)
  • Schwab Charitable Fund: $218,750 (2014-2017)
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation: $23,500 (2017)
  • State Policy Network: $25,000 (2017)
  • Swartz Foundation Trust: $4,550
  • Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation: $30,000 (2011)
  • Thomas G. Klingstein Fund: $59,622 (2013-2018)
  • Thomas W. Smith Foundation: $625,000 (2014-2017)
  • Winiarski Family Foundation: $50,000 (2011-2018)
  • W. K. Kellogg Foundation: $50,000 (2017)
  • Woodword Foundation: $3,000 (2010-2018)
  • Sarah Scaife Foundation: $3,872,000 (1985-2012)
  • Searle Freedom Trust: $1,410,000 (2003-2012)
  • Donors Capital Fund: $1,210,001 (2007-2012)
  • Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation: $1,136,000 (1987-2012)
  • William H. Donner Foundation: $955,000 (1998-2012)
  • Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation: $905,000 (1992-2012)
  • Jaquelin Hume Foundation: $773,750 (1999-2012)
  • William E. Simon Foundation: $759,250 (2002-2012)
  • John M. Olin Foundation: $735,000 (1986-2002)
  • Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation: $625,000 (2002-2012)

Funding From Koch-Tied Sources

PRI has received grants directly from the Koch family foundations, as well as significant amounts of funding from the Koch conduits DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. The David H. Koch Foundation gave PRI $400,800 between 1986 and 2001, the Charles G. Koch Foundation gave $377,000 between 1986 and 2011, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation gave $905,000 between 1992 and 2012.

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 DonorsTrust, a Koch Conduit

PRI was given $1,210,001 by the Donors Capital Fund between 2007 and 2012, and $579,000 by DonorsTrust between 2002 and 2014.

DonorsTrust is considered a "donor-advised fund," which means that it divides its funds into separate accounts for individual donors, who then recommend disbursements from the accounts to different non-profits. Funds like DonorsTrust are not uncommon in the non-profit sector, but they do cloak the identity of the original donors because the funds are typically distributed in the name of DonorsTrust rather than the original donors.[56] Very little was known about DonorsTrust until late 2012 and early 2013, when the Guardian and others published extensive reports on what Mother Jones called "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement."[57][58]

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.[59]



As of August 2020:[60]

  • Sally C. Pipes, President and CEO; Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy
  • Rowena Itchon, Senior Vice President
  • Tim Anaya, Director of Communications
  • Lance T. Izumi, Senior Director, Education Studies; former Koret Senior Fellow in Education Studies
  • Ben Smithwick, Vice President of Development
  • Makaila Warga, Development and Events Manager
  • Evan Harris, Media Relations and Outreach Manager

Former Staff

  • Sally Stegeman, Vice President
  • Vickie Nelson, Director of Events
  • Dana Beigel, Art Director
  • Barbara Hetherington, Administration
  • Mary Long, Bookkeeper
  • Stephanie Watson, Development and Events Coordinator
  • Laura Dannerbeck, Director of Events and Marketing
  • Daniel R. Ballon, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Technology Studies
  • Christine Hughes, Vice President
  • John Seller, Managing Editor
  • William H. Mellor, President

Board of Directors

As of August 2020:[61]

  • Katherine H. Alden, Owner Woodside Hotels & Resorts
  • Peter C. Farrell, Ph.D., AM, President and CEO, ResMed
  • Clark S. Judge, Chairman; Managing Director, White House Writers Group
  • Daniel M. Kolkey, Partner, Gibson Dunn
  • Hon. Daniel Oliver, Chairman Emeritus, Senior Advisor, White House Writers Group
  • Richard A. Wallace, Consultant, Freedom Communications
  • Christopher Wright, President & CEO, Liberty Resources, LLC
  • Russell A. Johnson, Partner at KPLI Ventures
  • Sean M. McAvoy, Cofounder and Managing Member at Hillair Capital Management
  • Sally C. Pipes, President & CEO, Pacific Research Institute
  • Steven Dennis, M.D., Orthopedic Medicine
  • Hon. Larry Siskind, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP
  • Richard Samuelson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, California State University, San Bernardino
  • Paul Tosetti, Latham & Watkins

Former Board Members

  • Larry C. Boyd, Executive Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel, Ingram Micro Inc.
  • Hon. Christopher Cox, Partner, Bingham McCutcheon
  • F. Christian Wignall, former Vice Chairman, Capstan, LLC
  • Katherine E. Boyd, Interior Designer
  • James B. Hawkins, President & CEO, Natus Medical, Inc.
  • Christine Hughes
  • Nersi Nazari, Pacific General Ventures, The Hasbun Nazari Charitable Trust
  • Daniel Oliver, Chairman Emeritus
  • Jean R. Wente, Wente Vineyards
  • Robert J. Ernst, III, Attorney at Law
  • James T. Farrell, Managing Director, Calera Capital, LLC
  • George M. Savage, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Proteus Biomedical, Inc.
  • Ted Ullyot, Attorney at Law
  • Thomas C. Magowan, Secretary/Treasurer, Club Minibar, Inc.
  • Sandra Gale, Retired Business Owner
  • David H. Keyston, Former Emeritus Board Member

Emeritus Board Members

Fellows and Scholars

As of August 2020:[62]

  • Damon Dunn, Business and Economics
  • Kerry Jackson, California Studies
  • Robert P. Murphy, Ph.D, Business and Economic Studies
  • Steven F. Hayward, Ph.D
  • Chris Rufo, California Studies
  • Erik S. Jaffe, Legal Studies
  • Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D, Business and Economics
  • Henry Miller, MD, Health Studies
  • Benjamin Zycher, Ph.D, Economic Studies
  • Bartlett Cleland, Tech and Innovation
  • Kenneth P. Green, Ph.D, Environmental Studies
  • Joseph Tartakovsky

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
PO Box 60485
Pasadena, CA 91116

San Francisco Headquarters:
New Address Coming Soon as of August 2020

Sacramento Office:
2110 K Street, Suite 28
Sacramento, CA 95816
Tel 916-389-9774

Pasadena Office:
680 E. Colorado Blvd.
Suite 180
Pasadena, CA 91101

Phone: 415-989-0833
Fax: 415-989-2411

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings






Case Studies

External Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 2012 Form 990], organizational IRS filing, August 2, 2013. Accessed June 3, 2014.
  2. Wendell Potter The health care scare Washington Post, August 6, 2020
  3. Dr. James Burdick, Single payer criticism often untruthful The Baltimore Sun, Feb 9, 2015
  4. Rick Ungar Koch Brothers Financed Forbes, Dec 27, 2011
  5. Sally Pipes, Coronavirus could break ‘Medicare-for-all’ PRI, FEBRUARY 10, 2020
  6. Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING Government Hearing, March 11, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sheldon Whitehouse, "Senators Call Out Web of Denial Blocking Action On Climate Change," Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, July 15, 2016.
  8. Ben Jervey [How the Koch Network's ‘Social Change' Strategy Is Built to Kill the Electric Car] DeSmog Blog, Sept 19, 2019
  9. David Bacon, Class Warfare, The Nation, DECEMBER 24, 2003
  10. K. Lloyd Billingsley and Lawrence J. McQuillan, Golden Fleece Article, The Heartland Institute, September 1, 2004
  11. Felicity Barringer MediaTalk New York Times, May 10, 2004
  12. David Armiak, State Policy Network and Affiliates Raises $152 Million Annually to Push Right-Wing Policies, ExposedbyCMD, September 30, 2022.
  13. 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.
  14. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  15. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  16. Pacific Research Center, Sally Pipes Organizational Website, accessed: August 20, 2020
  17. State Policy Network, Roe Award, Organizational Website, accessed August 20, 2020
  18. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Special Report: Burgeoning Conservative Think Tanks, organizational report, Spring 1991
  19. State Policy Network, SPN History, Organizational Website, accessed: August 20, 2020
  20. Ann C. Fitzgerald, State-Level Think-Tanks Masters Thesis at Indiana University, August 2011
  21. John R. Graham Pacific Research Institute. Accessed Aug. 11, 2011.
  22. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors and Workshops, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  23. Directory, State Policy Network. Accessed Aug. 11, 2011.
  24. American Legislative Exchange Council, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force meeting agenda and materials, July 1, 2010, on file with CMD
  25. American Legislative Exchange Council, Health and Human Services Task Force meeting agenda and materials, October 27, 2010, on file with CMD
  26. American Legislative Exchange Council, Education Task Force meeting agenda and materials, March 31, 2011, on file with CMD
  27. American Legislative Exchange Council, Civil Justice Task Force meeting agenda and materials, July 1, 2010, on file with CMD
  28. Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
  29. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  30. Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  31. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
  32. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source,, October 27, 2011.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
  34. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  35. Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
  36. The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  37. Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  38. Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  39. Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  40. Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  41. R.E. Marden, Philip Morris Pacific Research Institute/Advertising Project Memorandum. 1 pp. February 26, 1987. Philip Morris Bates No.2023646840
  42. Roy Marden YSP ally possibilities Email to Tina Walls. October 22, 1998. Bates No. 2069615360
  43. Sally Pipes Doctors Say Obamacare is No Remedy for US Health Woes, Forbes, December 26, 2011
  44. Rick Ungar Koch Brothers Financed Research Institute Steps Up Obamacare Attacks, Forbes, December 27, 2011
  45. "Why Water Markets Should be Part of the Vision for the Delta and all of California" Pacific Research Institute Publication, December 2008.
  46. Research Areas, organizational website, accessed September 2019.
  47. Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 2018 Form 990], organizational IRS filing, accessed: August 18, 2020
  48. Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 2017 Form 990], organizational IRS filing, July 23, 2018
  49. Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, [paper copy 2016 Form 990]], organizational IRS filing, October 27, 2016.
  50. Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, [paper copy 2015 Form 990]], organizational IRS filing, October 27, 2016.
  51. Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 2014 Form 990], organizational IRS filing, November 16, 2015.
  52. Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 2013 Form 990], organizational IRS filing, July 3, 2014.
  53. Pacific Research Institute, 2011 Form 990, organization's IRS filing, October 18, 2012.
  54. Pacific Research Institute, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
  55. Pacific Research Institute, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
  56. 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,, April 4, 2013.
  57. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, "Mother Jones", February 5, 2013, accessed June 2014.
  58. Suzanne Goldenberg, Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks, The Guardian, February 14, 2013, accessed June 2014.
  59. Paul Abowd, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, The Center for Public Integrity, February 14, 2013, accessed July 1, 2014
  60. Pacific Research Institute, "Staff," organizational website, accessed August 2020.
  61. Pacific Research Institute, Board of Director, organizational website, accessed August 2020.
  62. PRI, Scholars Organizational Website, accessed: August 20, 2020

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