Institute for Policy Innovation
The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) is a think tank based in Irving, Texas and founded in 1987 by Congressman Dick Armey to "research, develop and promote innovative and non-partisan solutions to today's public policy problems."
The conservative Capital Research Center ranked IPI as amongst the most conservative groups in the US, scoring it as an "eight" on a scale of one to eight. IPI has received funding from corporations like Exxon Mobil and organizations like the Kochs' Claude R. Lambe Foundation, Scaife Foundations, the Bradley Foundation and others.
- 1 State Policy Network
- 2 Ties to the Koch Brothers
- 3 Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
- 4 Focus Areas
- 5 Foundation Funders
- 6 Core Financials
- 7 Personnel
- 8 IPI Media Releases on IPI, Lobbyists and Funding
- 9 IPI Publications
- 10 Contact Information
- 11 External Links
- 12 References
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.
State Policy Network
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 January 2021, 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 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. 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.
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.'"
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.
Ties to the Koch Brothers
The Institute for Policy Innovation received $35,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation in 1998, and since 2010 it has received $145,000 from DonorsTrust, a donor advised fund which has been closely tied to the Koch brothers, but shields the identity of its donors.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
Bartlett Cleland, Director of the Center for Technology Freedom at the Institute for Policy Innovation, represents IPI as a co-chair of ALEC's Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force as of 2011. 
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 ExposedbyCMD.org site.
According to IPI, "Today IPI's work concentrates on such issues as taxation and government spending, economic growth initiatives, and government regulation. Current areas of focus include tax cuts and tax reform, intellectual property, Internet taxes and regulation, pharmaceutical issues, Social Security privatization, and educational choice. We pursue these areas through our IPI Center for Tax Analysis, our IPI Center for Economic Growth, our IPI Center for Technology Freedom, and our IPI Center for Education Freedom. 
The IPI was solicited by tobacco companies in 1995 to submit comments in response to proposed federal regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration restricting the marketing of tobacco products. IP responded by sending comments in favor of the industry to the FDA. 
According to Media Transparency IPI received $ 1,577,575 (unadjusted for inflation) over the period 1990 to 2004. 
Between 1990 and 2006, it received the following:
- Armstrong Foundation $62,500
- Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation $5,000
- Carthage Foundation $245,000
- Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $35,000
- Earhart Foundation $15,000
- Exxon Mobil $22,500
- F.M. Kirby Foundation $97,500
- Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation $2,000
- JM Foundation $40,000
- Jaquelin Hume Foundation $63,000
- John M. Olin Foundation $305,000
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $470,575
- Rodney Fund $5,000
- Roe Foundation $23,500
- Sarah Scaife Foundation $225,000
- Total Revenue: $878,956
- Total Expenses: $884,689
- Net Assets: $(45,259)
- Total Revenue: $957,035
- Total Expenses: $903,210
- Net Assets: $(20,178)
- Total Revenue: $905,263
- Total Expenses: $960,430
- Net Assets: $(74,003)
Board of Directors
As of April 12, 2017:
- Marv Bramlett, Chairman
- David B. Moseley, Jr., Glast, Phillips & Murray, P.C.
- Joseph Sullivan, President, JSA
- Tom Giovanetti
Board of Advisors
- Ernest S. Christian Center for Strategic Tax Reform
- Stephen J. Entin, President and Executive Director Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation
- Stephen Moore, Editorial Board Wall Street Journal
- Gordon Tullock Professor of Law and Economics George Mason University
- James R. Von Ehr, II, President and CEO Zyvex
- Thomas G. West, Professor of Politics Hillsdale College
IPI Media Releases on IPI, Lobbyists and Funding
- IPI Rejects Charges of Endorsing “Pay for Play” Op/eds, Media Release, December 16, 2005.
- Peter Ferrara on Financial Support for His Work, Media Release, December 19, 2005.
- IPI Statement on Think Tank Involvement With Lobbyists, Media Release, December 20, 2005.
- IPI Statement on Relationship with Mrs. Susan K. Finston, Media Release, December 21, 2005.
- IPI Statement on Relationship with Dr. Merrill Matthews, Media Release, December 21, 2005.
- IPI Statements on Think Tank Involvement With Registered Lobbyists Who Publish Op/Eds, Media Release, December 23, 2005.
- IPI and the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) had a co-publication on June 1, 1996 called: "Candidates for Corrections Day: The Ten Worst Regulations of the Federal Government".  Merrick Carey (then president of AdTI) wrote the chapter 'Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Ideology Before the Facts' in which he refered to 'Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination'; a pro-tobacco report published by AdTI in 1994. Some of the other contributors were Steven Milloy and Michael Fumento. It is not clear who paid for this publication but AdTI was at that time receiving donations from the tobacco industry (see AdTI-Funding). While IPI was listed as a co-publisher none of the brief chapters were contributred by its staff.
Employer Identification Number (EIN): 75-2158093
1320 Greenway Drive, Suite 820
Irving, Texas 75038
- Sydney P. Freedberg, "Enron allies helped stave off tax haven crackdown", St. Petersburg Times, January 19, 2002, Saturday, South Pinellas Edition, page 1A.
- Tim Lambert, "When Think Tanks Attack", Deltoid, June 23, 2004.
- Howard Sweeney, "TABOR and Colorado's fiscal future", The Denver Post, May 24, 2005.
- Philip Shenon, "On Opinion Page, Lobby's Hand Is Often Unseen", New York Times, December 23, 2005. (Paid access only).
- Institute for Policy Innovation, "IPI Statements on Think Tank Involvement with Registered Lobbyists Who Publish Op/Eds", Media Release, December 23, 2005.
- Georg Greve, FSFE: IPI to the rescue of Microsoft - IPI wanted to join the EU MS-antitrust case but it was rejected
- Institute for Policy Innovation About the Institute for Policy Innovation, organizational website, accessed June 1, 2011.
- State Policy Network, Directory, organizational website, accessed April 12, 2017.
- Christopher Morris, Patterns in Corporate Philanthropy, Capital Research Center, Aug. 2002, accessed July 9 2011.
- David Armiak, Revenue for State Policy Network and State Affiliates Tops $120 Million, ExposedbyCMD, November 13, 2019.
- 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.
- Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
- Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
- Education archives, ALEC website, accessed July 9, 2011.
- ALEC & IPI Host MEP Member, accessed July 9, 2011.
- IPI, IPI's Cleland to Head ALEC Telecom-IT Task Force, Apr 1, 2011
- American Legislative Exchange Council Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force, organization website, accessed May 31, 2011
- IPI "About Us", accessed July 9, 2011.
- Tobacco Documents FDA COMMENT: NATIONAL CONTACTS, 1995, COMMENTS TO THE DOCKET AND RELATED ACTIVITIES THINK TANK, accessed July 9, 2011.
- Media Matters, IPI Funders, accessed July 9, 2011.
- Institute for Policy Innovation, 2013 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, December 23, 2014.
- Institute for Policy Innovation, 2012 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, December 20, 2013.
- Institute for Policy Innovation, 2011 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, August 3, 2012.
- Institute for Policy Innovation, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed April 12, 2017.
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