WASHINGTON — A network of state-level think tanks is pushing a right-wing agenda with support from the American Legislative Exchange Council and funding from the billionaire Koch brothers, according to a new report.
The Center for Media and Democracy released its exposé on the State Policy Networkand affiliated groups on Wednesday. The report details the think tank network’s ties to ALEC, funding from wealthy conservative benefactors, and political and lobbying activities backing right wing positions on health care, education, privatization, labor rights, tax cuts and environmental policy.
“The State Policy Network itself has had tremendous influence, and they have had very little public scrutiny about who they are and what interests they really represent,” Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, said. “They describe themselves in a given state as a nonpartisan independent group or as a think tank academic study group, and, in fact, these groups are very active politically. Many of them are very active before the state legislatures, and a lot of the work they’re doing is very biased and unreliable.”
The report contends that the network cloaks itself as merely a supporter of “market-oriented” research when it is actually part and parcel of the right wing infrastructure to push a nationally designed agenda in statehouses across the country.