Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy
The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy (TJI) is a state-based think tank in Virginia "dealing with the issues of improving education, government reform, economic development and environmental stewardship." The Institute states as its mission "to provide Virginia's political, business, academic, community and media leadership with thoughtful, realistic, useful and non-partisan analysis of public policy issues confronting our Commonwealth.". Its "alternative policy ideas focus on state and local issues and are based on the Institute's belief in free markets, limited government and individual responsibility," according to the organization's website.
- 1 News and Controversies
- 2 Ties to the Bradley Foundation
- 3 Ties to the Koch Brothers
- 4 Funding
- 5 Core Financials
- 6 Personnel
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 Articles and Resources
News and Controversies
TJI's Director of the Center for Environmental Stewardship Named to President-elect Trump's EPA Transition Team
David Schnare, director of the Center for Environmental Stewardship at the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, has been tapped to serve on President-elect Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) team. Schnare is also the director of Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FMELC), general counsel at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (EELI). Schnare is a climate change denier and is well-known among climate scientists for his intimidation campaigns.
TJIPP 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 Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. 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.”
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.
2015: $50,000 to support the State Energy Policy Summits. The Thomas Jefferson Institute has received a total of $150,000 from Bradley as of this grant. “In September TJI will hold a summit meeting prior to the SPN annual meeting in Grand Rapids. Attention will be focused on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and the free market case for offshore gas and oil exploration in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Discussion will also be entertained on issue of Keystone Pipeline in several Plain states.”
2014: $50,000 to support its Leadership Roundtables on Energy & Environmental Stewardship. “Planned and put on in close cooperation with the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), the roundtables allow state think tanks to better promote free market energy and environmental policies… During the past three years, TJI has filled what it justifiably saw as an important, unfilled niche by convening and hosting energy roundtables twice a year – one before Brady-supported Heritage Foundation’s Annual Resource Bank meeting in Spring and another before the annual SPN meetings in the Fall – for conservative state think-tank leaders and policy analysts. At September’s SPN meeting, about 60 people attended the roundtable.”
2013: $50,000 in first-time support for its energy roundtables.
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
TJI has ties to the Koch brothers. The organization has received funding from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. TJI also received funding from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. (See below.)
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.
The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy is not required to disclose its funders. Its major foundation funders, however, can be found through a search of the IRS filings. Here are some of the known funders:
- Charles G. Koch Foundation: $2,500
- Chase Foundation of Virginia: $48,770 (2001-2012)
- Donors Capital Fund: $214,450 (2007-2010)
- DonorsTrust: $5,000 (2009-2010)
- Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice: $31,100 (2005, 2010, 2012)
- Heritage Foundation: $150,000 (2022)
- Jaquelin Hume Foundation: $295,000 (2001-2012)
- JM Foundation: $110,000 (1998, 2001, 2004, 2008-2009, 2012)
- Neal and Jane Freeman Foundation: $20,000 (2002-2003)
- NFIB Research Foundation: $20,000 (2011-2012)
- PhRMA: $7,500 (2010)
- The Roe Foundation: $183,000 (1998-2012)
- William E. Simon Foundation: $1,000 (2002)
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation: $150,000 (2013-2015)
- State Policy Network: $87,200 (2002, 2007, 2011, 2014)
- Total Revenue: $201,878
- Total Expenses: $230,223
- Net Assets: $-11,256
- Total Revenue: $240,331
- Total Expenses: $267,750
- Net Assets: $15,320
- Total Revenue: $269,944
- Total Expenses: $239,348
- Net Assets: $45,279
- Total Revenue: $315,473
- Total Expenses: $272,805
- Net Assets: $26,376
- Total Revenue: $279,151
- Total Expenses: $286,741
- Net Assets: -$18,304
- Total Revenue: $259,018
- Total Expenses: $277,803
- Net Assets: $32,094
- Total Revenue: $306,376.00
- Total Expenses: $298,312.00
- Net Assets: $50,869.00
- Total Revenue: $224,363.00
- Total Expenses: $266,545.00
- Net Assets: $42,815.00
As of September 2018:
- Michael W. Thompson, Chairman and President
- Christian N. Braunlich, vice president (also Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Association of Manufacturers, president of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, and vice president of the Center for Education Reform)
- Leonard Gilroy, Senior Fellow on Government Reform (Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation)
- David Schnare, Director of TJI's Center for Environmental Stewardship (also American Tradition Institute attorney)
- Stephen D. Haner, Senior Fellow, State and Local Taxes
As of September 2018:
- Michael W. Thompson, Chairman and President
- Randal C. Teague, Secretary, Treasurer and Counsel
- John Alderson
- William W. Beach
- James Beamer
- W. Stephen Cannon
- Stephan Q. Cassaday
- Tom Davis
- Rebecca Donatelli
- James W. Dyke, Jr
- John Hager
- Robert v. L. Hartwell
- Alan I. Kirshner
- Joseph Ragan
- John Rust
- John G. Ryan
- Robert W. Shinn
- Dr. Robert F. Turner
- Keith Fulton
- Jay Poole
- Mr. Todd A. Stottlemyer
- Robert W. Woltz, Jr.
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy
9035 Golden Sunset Lane
Springfield, VA 22153
Phone: (703) 440 9447
Fax: (703) 455 1531
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
- Randal C. Teague
- David W. Schnare of American Tradition Institute
Related PRWatch Articles
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- Rebekah Wilce, Guardian Documents Expose State Policy Network Groups' Intent to Lobby, PRWatch.org, December 5, 2013.
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- 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.
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- Topeka Capital-Journal, Trabert dismisses report tying KPI to Koch agenda, November 16, 2013.
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- Salon, Ted Cruz and Koch brothers embroiled in shadowy Tea Party scheme, November 15, 2013.
- St. Louis Business Journal, Beyond Sinquefield: Who else is funding the Show-Me Institute?, November 15, 2013.
- The Guardian, Facebook and Microsoft help fund rightwing lobby network, report finds, November 14, 2013.
- Huffington Post, Meet The Little-Known Network Pushing Ideas For Kochs, ALEC, November 14, 2013.
- CBS St. Louis, Show-Me Institute’s Ties Questioned in New Report, November 14, 2013.
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- The Florida Current, Liberal groups bemoan lobbying by conservative think tanks, November 13, 2013.
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- Granite State Progress, Bad Bartlett: The Josiah Bartlett Center and NH Watchdog Answer the Call of the Koch Brothers, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
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- Keystone Progress, Think tanks or corporate lobbyist propaganda mills?, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
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- One Wisconsin Now, S is for Shill: Inside the Bradley Foundation's Attack on Public Education, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
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- Muncie Voice, Indiana Policy Review: Not an Independent News Source, October 2, 2013.
- The Spokesman-Review, Idaho Freedom Foundation's charitable status scrutinized, September 15, 2013.
- CounterSpin, Lee Fang on 'The Right Leans In', April 5, 2013.
- FireDogLake, State Policy Network, an umbrella coordinating ALEC, Heritage, Heartland and others, April 4, 2013.
- Thom Hartmann with Lee Fang on MSNBC, The conservative State Policy Network is sneaking into your state & will change America, March 29, 2013.
- Current TV "War Room", Lee Fang discussing the State Policy Network, March 28, 2013.
- The Nation, The Right Leans In, March 26, 2013.
- Democracy Now, Donors Trust: Little-Known Group Helps Wealthy Backers Fund Right-Wing Agenda in Secret, February 19, 2013.
- Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, Consider the Source, February 14, 2013.
- John R. Mashey, Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax 2, DeSmog Blog report, updated October 23, 2012, p. 74.
- Urban Milwaukee, Stealth Conservatives, October 11, 2012.
- Rome News-Tribune, ANALYSIS: Georgia leaders depend on the same well for ideas, October 2012.
- Andy Kroll, The Right-Wing Network Behind the War on Unions, Mother Jones, April 25, 2011.
- Guidestar, State Policy Network, IRS filings and other organizational information about SPN.
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- John J. Miller, Fifty Flowers Bloom: Conservative think tanks — mini–Heritage Foundations — at the state level, National Review, November 19, 2007.
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- Ben Jervey, The Trump Administration Is Filling Up With Koch Allies, the energy collective, December 22, 2016.
- Lee Fang, He Waged Intimidation Campaigns Against Climate Scientists; Now He’s Helping Trump Remake the EPA, The Intercept, December 9, 2016.
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- Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, 2014 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, August 13, 2015.
- Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, 2013 Form 990, annual organizational IRS filing, August 7, 2014.
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