A national conservative network (whose backers include the Koch brothers, event sponsors include Facebook, and alumni include Ted Cruz) misrepresented its agenda and activities, and reaped the benefits of mainstream respectability and nonprofit status — while coordinating across states to push a hard-right agenda and enrich its corporate backers — a new report alleges.
Specifically, the report by the Center for Media and Democracy focuses on the State Policy Network, a little-known network. “What we uncovered through our investigation is that SPN along with its affiliates amount to $83 million just flooding into the states to push and promote this agenda …,” CMD director Lisa Graves told reporters on a Wednesday call. “And that money is on the rise.”
The paper was released Wednesday along with a set of state-level reports on SPN affiliates, authored by affiliates of the progressive network ProgressNow.
The CMD report accuses SPN affiliates of mounting “coordinated efforts to push their agenda, often using the same cookie-cutter research and reports, all while claiming to be independent and creating state-focused solutions …” It charges that, “Although SPN think tanks are registered as educational nonprofits, several appear to orchestrate extensive lobbying and political operations to peddle their legislative agenda to state legislators, despite the IRS’ regulations on nonprofit political and lobbying activities.”