Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy

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The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy (JBCPP) is a think tank "focused on state and local public policy issues that affect the quality of life for New Hampshire’s citizens founded in 1993."[1] The center states as its mission to promote policy that supports its core beliefs of "individual freedom and responsibility, limited and accountable government, and an appreciation of the role of the free enterprise system" through "information, research, and analysis."[1] JBCPP is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN).

News and Controversies

JBCPP President to Serve on NH Governor-Elect's Transition Team

New Hampshire Republican Governor-elect Chris Sununu named JBCPP president Charlie Arlinghaus as chief budget advisor for his transition team the Union Leader reports.[2] Arlinghaus said he was unlikely to stay on beyond the transition period, "I agreed to help with the transition, but I am remarkably fond of the Josiah Bartlett Center.”[2]

According to the Union Leader, "The center has many connections to the Sununu family. The governor-elect’s brother, James, is on the board of directors. His father, John H. Sununu, is a board member emeritus. [Jamie] Burnett is also on the board. Attorney Gordon MacDonald, with the firm Nixon Peabody of Manchester, is a Bartlett Center Board member and a potential nominee for attorney general in a Sununu administration."[2]

Blocked Medicaid Expansion

In September 2013, JBCPP President Charlie Arlinghaus was on the New Hampshire Study Commission on Medicaid Expainsion. According to a report by Granite State Progress, Arlinghous has a long history of opposing health care reform measures, with particular opposition to the Affordable Care Act. In conjunction with other conservative members of the Commission, Arlinghaus complained about the lopsided representation of speakers in favor of expansion. JBCPP affiliated NH Watchdog editor Grant Bosse used his weekly column in the Concord Monitor to rail against supporters of expansion.[3]

Ties to the State Policy Network

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy is an affiliate member of the State Policy Network (SPN). SPN contributed $23,250 to JBCPP in 2013. 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 2022, SPN's membership totals 166. 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.[4] 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.[5]

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.'"[6]

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.[7]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

JBCPP has worked to support and push legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), including legislation on school vouchers. During the 2011-2012 legislative session, New Hampshire passed legislation to divert taxpayer dollars to private and religious schools.

In 2013, when the school voucher legislation came under review, organizations including Granite State Progress testified to the connections between it and ALEC. Then-president of JBCPP, Charlie Arlinghaus, dedicated part of his testimony time to attempting to discredit this accusation, telling policymakers the school voucher legislation was his own idea and mocking those who raised concerns that it was part of ALEC's agenda in multiple states.[3]

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 ExposedbyCMD.org site.

Ties to the Franklin News Foundation

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public 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.[8] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[9] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[10][11] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."[12]

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).[13] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[14] Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[13]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[15] a conservative grant-making organization.[16]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[17] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[18] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[19] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[20] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.

New Hampshire Watchdog

In 2008, JBCPP hired former radio-host Grant Bosse to create New Hampshire Watchdog, a "new investigative project for the free market think tank." Bosse is a known Republican and has also served as a policy aide in both the NH State House and in Congress for Sen. John Sununu.[21] The organization pitched the new auxiliary site as a conservative investigative reporting site focusing on the state legislature and as a place for the Center to release it's groundbreaking news reports.

NH Watchdog is the New Hampshire affiliate of the Franklin News Foundation and holds similar standards to its sister groups across the nation, eschewing ethical and journalistic standards in favor of functioning as a right-wing news feed. Franklin Center affiliates have a known history of manufacturing stories and subpar reporting.[22] A report by Granite State Progress highlights NH Watchdog's failure to provide unbiased reporting, showing their lack of commitment to true journalistic integrity. Both JBCPP and NH Watchdog are funded by right-wing supporters and push a particular policy agenda.[3]

Bosse continues his partisan work, even as he claims to be editor and founder of the NH Watchdog. While reporting for the NH Watchdog and the Concord Monitor, he worked on think tank policy reports on legislation under consideration, testified as an expert in front of legislative committees. Bosse has held professional journalism in disregard, voicing his contempt for ethical standards in regards to conflicts of interest. In a op-ed piece for sister network, the Montana Watchdog, he wrote "Journalism is an activity, not a club. If you are reporting news, the you are a reporter, and employment at a news paper or membership in a trade association grants you no more rights than every other American citizen."[3]

Former NH Watchdog Head Becomes Editor of NH Union Leader's Editorial Section

Grant Bosse was hired as the new editor for the editorial pages of the New Hampshire Union Leader in September 2015, after spending five years heading NH Watchdog.[23]

Core Financials

2018[24]

  • Total Revenue: $153,775
  • Total Expenses: $151,938
  • Net Assets: $41,001

2017[24]

  • Total Revenue: $85,850
  • Total Expenses: $62,503
  • Net Assets: $24,132

2015-2016

  • Information unavailable

2014[25]

  • Total Revenue: $208,143
  • Total Expenses: $221,553
  • Net Assets: (left blank)

2013[26]

  • Total Revenue: $209,521
  • Total Expenses: $225,044
  • Net Assets: $11,241

2012[27]

  • Total Revenue: $258,651
  • Total Expenses: $267,339
  • Net Assets: $26,739

2011[28]

  • Total Revenue: $247,808
  • Total Expenses: $301,301
  • Net Assets: $34,217

2010[29]:

  • Total Revenue: $228,770
  • Total Expenses: $241,723
  • Net Assets: $87,642

2009[30]:

  • Total Revenue: $315,887
  • Total Expenses: $323,502
  • Net Assets: $103,124

Funding

JBCPP is not required to disclose its funders but major foundation supporters can be found through their IRS filings. Here are some known contributors:

Personnel

As of April 2021:[31]

Staff

  • Andrew Cline, President[32]

Former Staff

  • Joshua Elliott-Traficante, Policy Analyst and Transparency Director
  • Charles M. Arlinghaus, President

Board of Directors

  • James Sununu, Businessman, North Hampton
  • Eugene M. Van Loan, III
  • Peter Angerhofer, Businessman, Durham
  • Marc Brown, New England Ratepayers Association, Newfields
  • Edward Dupont, The Dupont Group, Concord
  • Tom Eaton, Former Senate President, Keene
  • Dan McGuire, investor, former state representative, Epsom
  • Sara Shirley, Shirley Farm, Goffstown
  • Emeritus, Gov. John H. Sununu, Former Governor, Hampton Falls

Former Directors

  • Rich Ashooh, Former Chairman
  • Mike Murray, Financial Consultant, Portsmouth
  • James Shirley, Attorney, Goffstown
  • Anna ‘Bobbie’ Barbara Hantz, Vice Chair
  • Jamie Burnett, Businessman, Concord
  • Patricia G. Humphrey, NH Center for Innovative Schools, Chichester
  • Peter Josephson PhD, Professor: Saint Anselm College
  • John Kayser PhD, Professor: UNH, Durham
  • Bruce Keough, Businessman, Dublin
  • Gordon MacDonald, Attorney, Nixon Peabody, Manchester
  • Emily M. Mead, Co-Founder, Etna
  • Jayne Millerick, Marcucci Consulting, Bow
  • Emeritus, Colin D. Campbell, Prof. Emeritus, Dartmouth College, Hanover

Founding Trustees

  • Stephen P. Farrar, Guardian Industries Corporation, Auburn Hills, MI
  • Joan P. Fowler, Hanover
  • Janice B. Kitchen, Small Business Development Center, Gilford
  • Johannes Kuttner, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann *Arbor, MI
  • Dennis E. Logue, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ledyard Financial Group
  • Mary H. Mead, Artist, Warner
  • Mark Lennon, New London

Contact Information

The Josiah Bartlett Center For Public Policy
PO Box 897
Concord, NH 03301

EIN: 22-3235650
Phone: (603) 715-0076
Email: info@jbartlett.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JosiahBartlettCenter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jbartlett_nh

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings

2018

2014

2013

2012

Related SourceWatch

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, "About Us", organizational website, accessed November 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dave Solomon, Arlinghaus to lead Sununu budget effort during transition, Union Leader, November 15, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Granite State Progress, The Josiah Bartlett Ceter and NH Watchdog Answer the Call of the Koch Brothers, organizational report, Nov. 2013
  4. David Armiak, Revenue for State Policy Network and State Affiliates Tops $120 Million, ExposedbyCMD, November 13, 2019.
  5. 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.
  6. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  7. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  8. Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
  9. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  10. Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  11. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
  12. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, PRWatch.org, October 27, 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
  14. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  15. Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
  16. The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  17. Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  18. Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  19. Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  20. Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  21. Grant Bosse, Bartlett Center Launches Investigative Project, Josiah Barlett Center for Public Policy, organization press release, Nov. 20, 2008
  22. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source, prwatch.org, Oct. 27, 2011
  23. "Grant Bosse named new editor of Editorial Page," New Hampshire Union Leader, September 12, 2015.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, 2018 Form 990, organizational IRS filing, October 25, 2019.
  25. Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, 2014 Form 990, organizational IRS filing, August 11, 2015.
  26. Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, 2013 Form 990, organizational IRS filing, April 2, 2014.
  27. Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, 2012 Form 990, organizational IRS filing, August 23, 2013.
  28. Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, 2011 Form 990, organizational IRS filing, October 1, 2012.
  29. Josiah Bartlett Center For Public Policy, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
  30. Josiah Bartlett Center For Public Policy, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
  31. Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, About Us, organizational website, accessed April 5, 2021.
  32. Andrew Cline Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy hires Andrew Cline as Interim President Blog Post/Press Release, July 28, 2017