A report from the Center for Media and Democracy, the State Policy Network (SPN) is nothing more than a conglomerate of 64 thinktanks that purport themselves to be “free-market” but in-fact only serve to promote radical right-wing positions.
The group(s) are responsible for agendas that include denying and opposing climate change legislation, the reduction and denial of labor and worker protections, opposing minimum wage standards, the privatization of education, increased restriction of voters rights and lobbying for the tobacco industry.
The report further outlined that the group has an annual budget of $83.2 million which comes primarily from major donors. These donors include AT&T, Time Warner, Verizon, Altria, Kraft, GlaxoSmithKline, Facebook and Microsoft, among others.
In defense of its position, Tracie Sharp, the president of the SPN, stated that the network provides “State-based, free-market thinktanks with the academic and management resources required to run a non-profit institution. … every thinktank, however, rallies around a common belief: the power of free markets and free people to create a healthy, prosperous society.”
Microsoft has come forward to state that it, as a “large company”, has many and varied political interests and for this reason it associates with many and varied groups behind specific initiatives focused on technology policy work.
SPN is further supported by a large network of private investors as well. Not the least of which include the billionaire Koch brothers and the Waltons.
The full report from the Center for Media and Democracy is available here.