Sam Adams Alliance

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The Sam Adams Alliance was a Chicago group that functioned from 2007 to 2012. It claimed to promote political activity among citizens at a grass root level. The goals of the organization included government accountability, government transparency, property rights protection, fiscal responsibility, free speech, and citizen initiative and referendum rights.[1]

According to a 2010 article in AlterNet, the Alliance provides over 75 percent of the funding for the libertarian conservative group American Majority.[2]

Connection to the Franklin Center

In 2009, under the leadership of its CEO Eric O'Keefe, the Sam Adams Alliance helped launch the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, and provided the new organization with "seed money," according to the National Journal.[3] [4] [5] [6]

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that in “its first year, the Franklin Center had a $2.9 million budget, much of it from the libertarian Sam Adams Alliance.” [7]



According to Jane Mayer in Dark Money, "Tax records showed that some 88 percent of the Sam Adams Alliance's funding that year came from a single gift of $3.7 million from a mysterious undisclosed donor."[8]

Founder Eric O'Keefe

As the Center for Media and Democracy/ has reported, SAM’s Chief Executive Office and founder Eric O'Keefe:

“...frequently and positively profiles the Tea Party and attacks health care reform and other progressive ideas. He also helped launch the ‘American Majority’ group which trains conservatives to run for office. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Club for Growth Wisconsin, which ran divisive ads in support of Scott Walker's radical overhaul of collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin workers. He previously worked for David Koch's AFP predecessor group named "Citizens for a Sound Economy," among other roles”[9] [10]

In 2009, Eric O'Keefe was featured as a speaker at Wisconsin’s “Defending the American Dream Summit,” funded by David Koch's right-wing group "Americans for Prosperity" (AFP). [11]

Other Projects

SAM also launched Judgepedia, Ballotpedia, and Sunshine Review, which later became part of the Lucy Burns Institute, which is run by O'Keefe's wife, Leslie Graves. [12]


Board as of 2012:

Staff included:

Contact Details(as of 2012)

Note: As of November 2013, the phone number and website are defunct.

The Sam Adams Alliance & Foundation
20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 3330 (this is also the address for Americans for Limited Government)
Chicago, IL 60606
Tel: 312-920-0080
Fax: 312-920-0090

Articles and Resources


  1. Sam Adams Alliance, About Us", accessed Nov. 25 2013.
  2. George Monbiot, "Are Right-Wing Libertarian Internet Trolls Getting Paid to Dumb Down Online Conversations?" AlterNet, Dec. 15, 2010.
  3. Press release, Sam Adams Alliance Launches New Website
  4. Eric O’Keefe, Chairman and CEO, Sam Adams Alliance, How Understanding Politics Helps in Policy, Liberty Guide, October 18, 2012.
  5. Julie Kosterlitz, Conservative Watchdogs Awake, National Journal, Dec. 12, 2009.
  6. Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, Non-Profit News, accessed December 11, 2013.
  7. Daniel Bice, Conservative outlets write all the news that fits their tilt, August 7, 2011.
  8. Jane Mayer, [Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right], Jane Mayer, 2016.
  9. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right Wing Funds State News Source,, October 7, 2011.
  10. Eric O'Keefe About Eric, Personal Website, accessed December 11, 2013.
  11. Americans for Prosperity, Event Advertisement accessed December 11, 2013.
  12. Hart Williams, Wisconsin Money Laundering, The Moderate Voice, Aug 7, 2011.
  13. Anne Sorock What union protesters and Tea Partiers have in common, The Daily Caller, March 23, 2011

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