Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.
The Libertas Institute(LI) is a state think tank member of the State Policy Network, a web of state pressure groups that drive a right-wing agenda in statehouses nationwide. The non-profit was founded by Connor Boyack in 2011. The group defines its mission as advancing "the cause of liberty in Utah using a holistic approach that includes accountability for elected officials, liberty-based legislation, strategic litigation, and effective and widespread education."
- 1 Activities
- 2 Funding
- 3 Core Finances
- 4 Personnel
- 5 Contact Information
- 6 Articles and Resources
- 7 References
Libertas Institute Sued Utah Over Donor Disclosure Legislation
The Libertas Institute, along with the Utah Taxpayers Association, sued the state of Utah over a law passed in 2013 that required non-profits to disclose information on donors contributing over $750 a year. The state decided to settle after Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes decided that sections of the law were "constitutionally problematic."
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that, "Under the settlement, the state will not enforce the law against nonprofit groups 'engaging in constitutionally protected political advocacy and political issues advocacy,' according to the plaintiffs' statement. 'The state agreed that doing so would be unconstitutional, unless those organizations are political action committees or political issues committees.'"
The Liberty Cap Award
Each year, the Libertas Institute distributes an award to an individual "whose efforts have furthered the Institute’s objectives in a recognizable and significant fashion."
- 2015: Christine Stenquist
- 2014: Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy
- 2013: John Dougall
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.
- Total Revenue: $475,320
- Total Expenses: $460,886
- Net Assets: $32,027
- Total Revenue: $309,187
- Total Expenses: $316,293
- Net Assets: $12,665
- Total Revenue: $130,210
- Total Expenses: $121,410
- Net Assets: $19,771
- Total Revenue: $30,752
- Total Expenses: $19,781
- Net Assets: $10,971
As of September 2018:
- Connor Boyack, President
- DJ Schanz, Vice President
- Nichelle Aiden, Director of Communications
- Chris Jones, Director of Development
- Michael Melendez, Director of Policy
- Molly Davis, Policy Analyst
- Catherine Hess, Director Development
- Josh Daniels, Policy Advisor
- Jonathan Hayes, Operations Manager
- Lynée Fife, Children’s Entrepreneur Market Manager
- Audrey Mortensen, Policy Analyst
- Lilli Hartvigsen, Administrative Assistant
Board of Trustees
As of September 2018:
- John Pestana, Chairman
- Jonathan Johnson, Trustee
- Jeffrey Harmon, Trustee
- D. Ty Brewer, Trustee
- Connor Boyack, Trustee
- Ryan Money, Trustee
785 East 200 South
Lehi, UT 84043
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
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- 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.
- Media Matters, North Carolina Newspapers Largely Ignore Conservative Funding Of Sham Think Tanks, December 3, 2013.
- Shepherd Express, Masters of Manipulation: Right-wing Billionaires, Corporations and the Bradley Foundation Pay for Junk Studies that Prop up Their Agenda, November 27, 2013.
- "Moyers & Company," How a Shadowy Network of Corporate Front Groups Distorts the Marketplace of Ideas, November 19, 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.
- 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.
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- The Oregonian, Cascade Policy Institute benefits from secretive donor group but says it operates independently, November 13, 2013.
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- Progress Florida and CMD, Lawmaking Under the Influence of Very Special Interests: Understand the role of Florida ‘think tanks’ in driving a Koch-fueled, ALEC-allied corporate agenda, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Maine's Majority Education Fund, Fooling Maine: How national conservative groups infiltrated Maine politics by founding and funding the Maine Heritage Policy Center, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Michigan, Who's Running Michigan? The Far-Right Influence of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Who's in Charge: How Nationalized Corporate-Run Think Tanks Influence Minnesota Politics, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Progress Missouri, What Missourians Need to Know About the Show-Me Institute, organizational report, updated November 13, 2013.
- Granite State Progress, Bad Bartlett: The Josiah Bartlett Center and NH Watchdog Answer the Call of the Koch Brothers, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- ProgressOhio, Smoke Screen: The Buckeye Institute, 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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- CounterSpin, Lee Fang on 'The Right Leans In', April 5, 2013.
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- 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.
- Libertas Institute, About, Libertas Institute, 2016.
- Christopher Smart, Utah gives in to First Amendment lawsuit, Salt Lake Tribune, July 18, 2016.
- Libertas Institute, Liberty Cap Award, Libertas Institute, 2016.
- Libertas Institute, [paper copy 2015 990], Libertas Institute, November 14, 2016.
- Libertas Institute, 2013 990, Libertas Institute, April 18, 2014.
- Libertas Institute,2012 990, Libertas Institute, July 25, 2013.
- Libertas Institute, Staff, Libertas Institute, 2016.
- Libertas Institute, Board of Trustees, Libertas Institute, 2016.