Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

Background

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is a 501(c)(3) conservative media organization located in Bismarck, North Dakota that trains journalists and publishes political news and commentary.  Established in January 2009, The Franklin Center “supports and trains investigative journalists to advance transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in local government, and to spotlight free-market, pro-liberty solutions to difficult public policy challenges,” according to its website. The Franklin Center obtained non-profit status in June, 2009. [1], [2]

The Franklin Center was originally launched and funded by the now-defunct Sam Adams Alliance (SAA), a conservative think-tank which encouraged “grass-roots activism.” The group has also been criticized for funding partisan polls, and has ties to the Tea Party training group American Majority. The Center maintains a large and growing number of news bureaus across the United States. [9][10]

When the Center was created, it started with a budget of zero dollars, which by 2009 had jumped to $2.4 million (this being money from the Sam Adams Alliance, the National Journal reports). “That’s a spectacular leap for a nonprofit, especially in Medora,” Jeff Nesbit writes in a 2016 profile of the Franklin Center in Salon. “It was almost as if someone wished to utilize the charter concept of the Franklin Center—developing individual but interlinked news centers across the United States that would all promote the same messages—for other purposes and therefore infused it with a mountain of funding and network support. Intriguingly, this was a year before the Tea Party movement seemingly sprang from nowhere and spread like a prairie fire to the thirty-nine state capitals where the Franklin Center now operates its news sites.” [34]

From 2007/2008, the Franklin Center rapidly grew to become the largest network of local political reporting in the country with  55 news sites generally “from an antitax, antiregulation, or antispending frame,” reports Nesbit. “While each of the sites has its own team of local reporters, they generally tend to share common themes across the entire network of coverage, recent studies have shown.” It describes its network of reporters as “watchdogs.” [34]

The Franklin Center maintains local sites and reporters which adhere to an overarching platform: 

All publications have a mission and a voice. We are unabashed in ours: to spotlight waste, fraud and misuse of taxpayer dollars by state and local governments. We always ask these questions when reporting on events: What does this mean for taxpayers? Will it advance or restrict individual freedom? We look at the bigger picture, provide analysis that’s often missing from modern news stories, and do more than provide ‘he-said, she-said’ reports from the state Capitol. Our journalists look for the back story and offer much-needed perspective on the day’s news.” [34]

Nesbit comments that by maintaining multiple news outlets with the same underlying themes, the Franklin Center can obscure its influence: “The state legislators and local readers also aren’t generally aware that a national center is directing traffic.” 

In many states, the Franklin Center is a large source of political news: 

“Specializing in state and local government, [the] Franklin Center has focused its efforts on reaching maximum penetration within small and mid-sized media markets—on driving a conversation about transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility at the grassroots level and putting a human face on public policy,” it says. “We specialize in reaching a layman’s audience through local media, coordinating our nationwide network to ensure that we are hitting this audience in every state.” [34]

Conservative, Koch, Americans for Prosperity, & Tea Party Connections

The Franklin Center's former president is Jason Stverak, former executive director of the North Dakota Republican Party and former regional field director for the Sam Adams Alliance[34], [35]

The Franklin Center’s director of donor development, Matt Hauck, worked for the Charles G. Koch Foundation. Its senior vice president in charge of strategic initiatives, Erik Telford, worked for the Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity before joining the Franklin Center. The founding board member who set it up was Rudie Martinson, who helped run Americans for Prosperity in North Dakota. Martinson is still on the Franklin Center’s board. One of the founders of the Franklin Center, John Tsarpalas, is a past president of the Sam Adams Alliance and director of the Illinois Republican Party. [34]
 
Jeff Nesbit reports that “Like the Sam Adams Alliance training sessions that were conducted under the umbrella of Americans for Prosperity in the year or so prior to the Chicago Tea Party event, most of the Franklin Center’s training sessions for citizen journalists are likewise conducted in partnership with Americans for Prosperity.”  [34]

Citizen Watchdog

The Franklin Center launched an “activist training program” in 2012 titled Citizen Watchdog with the stated goal of raising “an army of citizen journalists, trained and equipped to serve as watchdogs in their local communities.” [3] The Franklin Center's Watchdog.org promotes the work of its “affiliates” across the country. 

We’re leaders in the new wave of non-profit journalism. We have reporters, news sites, investigative journalists and affiliates across the country—and we’re growing. In addition to our nationwide team of professional journalists, we are expanding our reach into citizen journalism,” the Franklin Center says. “We provide training to these citizen watchdogs so that they can better employ journalistic standards as they keep their local governments accountable through their blogs and Web sites. While distinct from our journalism efforts, this new wave of information activism will help fulfill Franklin’s vision of creating a more vibrant democratic society based on accountability and open government.” [34]

Franklin Center Criticism

While the Center projects itself as being non-partisan, a number of groups have criticized the Franklin Center for a conservative bias and The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism ranked the Watchdog.org group as “highly ideological.” It also maintains other ties to the right: Jason Stverak, former President of the Franklin Center was also the past executive director of the North Dakota Republican Party. The Center's current President, Erik Telford, has previous ties to the right-wing  Americans for Prosperity [4], [5], [6][7], [8]

Reporter Gene Gibbons criticized Watchdog.org's journalism quality in the Nieman Reports (a publication of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard): 

“For the most part, the people in charge of these would-be watchdog operations are political hacks out to subvert journalism in their quest to grab and keep power using whatever means they have to do so. […] At the forefront of an effort to blur the distinction between statehouse reporting and political advocacy is the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity.”  [11]

When Gibbons interviewed Franklin Center President Jason Stverak in the spring of 2010 for the Nieman Foundation report, Stverak told him that the Franklin Center journalists were held to the same journalism ethics as those from traditional newspapers. They should be judged “based upon the content that they produce,” Stverak said.

However, when Gibbons looked further he found “political propaganda dressed up as journalism.” Jeff Nesbit writes at Salon how four months after the interview Gibbons wrote, “The Franklin Center co-sponsored and played an active role in a two-day conference organized by Americans for Prosperity Foundation. The Right Online Agenda conference included such breakout sessions as ‘Intro to Online Activism’ and ‘Killing the Death Tax’ and featured speakers such as conservative U.S. Representative Michele Bachman of Minnesota and Tea Party activist Sharron Angle, a Republican who was then running against Harry Reid in the election for U.S. Senate in Nevada. No Democratic legislators were included in the program. The finale of the Las Vegas conference was a ‘November is Coming Rally.’ ” [34]

Stance on Climate Change

While the Franklin Center does have an official statement on climate change, its affiliated news outlets regularly publishes articles questioning man-made climate change. Some examples below:

December 10, 2015

According to Roy Cordato, who writes in Franklin-Center-affiliated Carolina Journal, “Warming has actually occurred at a pace far below what any climate models have predicted,” (Citing Anthony Watts citing Roy Spencer.) [45]
 
Cordato claims there has been a “[…] 'pause' in warming, that is the flat trend in global temperatures over the last 18 — now going on 19 — years […]” (Citing himself, citing Anthony Watts, who reposted an article written by Christopher Monckton that finally cites Ross McKitrick). [45]
 
Cordato continues, writing that “global warming is not about data points,” but that this is a “a trick pulled by global warming alarmists over the last decade” (citing himself, citing Fred Singer). [45]

2015

“There is a way for Nevada to fight back. Every business owner and electricity consumer in Nevada should encourage both Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt to join 27 other states and fight the Clean Power Plan in federal court.” — Michael Schaus, Nevada Policy Research Institute. [44]

2014

“I continue to contend that 'climate change' is a meaningless phrase because the climate obviously changes. But how? To what effect? It’s like saying 'baby change' about an infant. How? Is he well and growing? Is he ill?
 
“'Climate change' is useful for political activism because, unlike 'global warming,' it can’t be tested.” — John Seiler, CalWatchdog.com. [41]

2013

“There's seemingly nothing anyone can do to appease global warming activists bent on putting the nation’s energy suppliers out of business.” [12]

2012

“Many people will uncritically blame fossil fuel use for recent warm weather. But they are blind to how fossil fuels have reduced climate-related deaths since the 1920s.” —Brian T. Schwartz, Boulder Daily Camera (republished by Independence Institute.org) [43]

2011

“[T]here are rifts in the scientific community – among scientists themselves when it comes to global warming, what — if anything — should be done about it, and a number of climatologists worry their discipline is getting pulled into overtly political directions. “ [13]

“The science is settled? While I got the impression there’s plenty of consensus among the scientists at the Santa Fe conference on a warming planet, there wasn’t much agreement on points beyond that.” [13]

June, 2011

“Hard-nosed physical evidence of man-made global warming has yet to be provided by the promoters of warming, even after a nominal $80 billion dollars have been spent in the attempt to do so.” — Michael Fox, Hawaii Reporter. [42]

Funding

According to research by the Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch,  “Franklin acts as a hub that distributes funding that it receives from right-wing institutions such as the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance.” [17]

The following funding details are based on data collected by the Conservative Transparency Project.  Note that not all of the following funding values have been verified by DeSmogBlog for accuracy. See the attached spreadsheet for more information on the Franklin Center's funding by year (.xls). [33]

Donor Total
Donors Capital Fund $27,131,169
DonorsTrust $4,325,520
The Thirteen Foundation $1,309,775
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $530,500
Searle Freedom Trust $362,500
Wellspring Committee $160,000
Dunn's Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking $155,000
Judicial Education Project $100,000
Castle Rock Foundation $25,000
Friedman Foundation For Educational Choice $10,000
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation $8,702
National Christian Charitable Foundation $1,000
Grand Total $34,119,166

DonorsTrust/Donors Capital Fund

In addition to seed money from the Sam Adams Alliance, The Franklin Center received significant funding from grants channeled through DonorsTrust (DT) over the years, with much of this finding going directly to the center's campaigns against alternative energy and the recognition of climate change. According to the Center for Public Integrity, 95 percent of the Franklin Center's revenue in 2011 came from DonorsTrust. [14][15]

From 2009 to 2013, The Franklin Center received a total of at least $20,257,169 from Donors Capital Fund (DCF), and an additional $4,224,520 from DonorsTrust

Mother Jones magazine described DonorsTrust as the “Dark Money ATM of the Conservative Movement.” DT and DCF allow for anonymous donations from individuals and groups that want to conceal their donor information through “donor-advised funds.” [16] 

990 Forms

 

Franklin Center Contact & Location

The first legal address of the Franklin Center was a taffy shop in Medora, North Dakota. Its second address is a post office box in Bismark, North Dakota, which forwards mail to Old Town Alexandria, near Washington, DC[34]

North Dakota law requires that nonprofits have a “physical address,” not just a forwarding address or a post office box. This was why, for years, the Franklin Center was registered to the taffy shop while the mail was forwarded from the UPS store in Bismarck. [34]

As of May, 2016, the Franklin Center listed the following contact information on its website: [46]

Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity
107 S. West St.
Suite 718
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: (571) 384-2090
Fax: (571) 384-2093

Key People

Board of Directors

  2012[38] 2015 [18] 2016[37]
Blair Thoreson Y    
Doug Loen Y    
Ed McFadden     Y
Erik Telford     Y
Jack Fowler   Y Y
Jason Stverak Y    
John J. Miller   Y Y
Mary Beth Weiss   Y Y
Rudie Martinson Y    

Leadership Team

  2015[19] 2016[39] Description
Erik Telford Y   Past President
Mary Ellen Beatty   Y Chief of Staff
Nicole Neily   Y President
Steve Mullins   Y Chief Financial Officer
Will Swaim Y   Past Vice President of Journalism

Communications & Outreach

  2015[19] 2016[39] Description
Breyana Franklin Y   Past Public Affairs Manager
Josh Kaib   Y Outreach and Content Manager
Kevin Glass Y Y Director of  Outreach and Policy
Spencer Schwartz   Y Outreach & Communications Intern
Victor Nava Y   Past Staff Writer

Development

  2015[19] 2016[39] Description
Christina Pajak Y Y Manager of Investor Relations
John Courts Y Y Development Operations and Research Manager
Matthew Hauck Y Y Director of Development
Megan Ritter Y   Past Grants Manager and Development Writer
Shana Davidson Y   Past Direct Marketing Manager

Marketing & Special Projects (2016) [39]

Name Description
Andrew Collins Digital Media Manager
Kristen Hawley Digital Marketing Manager
Scott Kocen Technology Adviser

Operations/Administration

  2015[19] 2016[39] Description
Alyssa Viscomi Y   Past Executive Assistant
Becky Wessels Y Y Director of Operations

Watchdog Arena (2015) [19]

Name Description
Jackie Bastasch Managing Editor, Watchdog Arena
Josh Kaib Outreach and Content Manager

Watchdog.org

  2015[19] 2016[39]
Amelia Hamilton   Y
Andrew Staub Y  
Arthur Kane Y  
Bruce Parker   Y
Chris Butler Y  
Deena Winter Y  
Eric Boehm Y Y
Evan Grossman Y Y
Heather Kays   Y
James Wigderson   Y
Jason Hart Y Y
John Bicknell Y Y
John Trump Y  
Johnny Kampis Y Y
Jon Cassidy Y Y
Kenric Ward Y Y
Mark Lagerkvist Y  
Mark Lisheron Y Y
Mary Ellen Beatty Y  
Matt Kittle Y Y
Moriah Costa Y  
Paul Brennan Y  
Rob Nikolewski Y  
Steve Wilson Y Y
Tom Steward Y  
Tori Richards Y  
Will Swaim   Y

Past People

Advisory Committee (2012) [40]

Staff (2012 - Partial List) [20]

  • Jason Stverak — President. Past Field Director, Sam Adams Alliance
  • Gwen Beattie — Executive Vice President. Former Director, America's Future Foundation
  • John Connors — Director of Special Projects.
  • Steven Greenhut — Vice President of Journalism.
  • Erik Telford — Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Outreach.
Development and Outreach
  • Alicia Barrett — Manager of Investor Relations
  • Shana Davidson — Direct Marketing Manager
  • Matt Hauck — Director of Development. Former Associate, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
  • Christina Pajak — Manager of Investor Relations.
  • Megan Ritter — Grants Manager and Development Writer.
  • John Courts — Development Coordinator.
  • Kathy McDonald — Senior Director of External Affairs.

Actions

June 13, 2016

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity was listed as a creditor in Peabody Energy's 2016 bankruptcy filings, reports the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD/PRWatch). [47]

While the available bankruptcy documents do not list the scale or dates of funding, they outline Peabody Energy's financial ties to a large network of groups promoting climate change denial. [48]

Prominent individuals appearing in the documents include climate deniers Willie SoonRichard LindzenRoy Spencer and Richard Berman. The long list of organizations also includes groups such as Americans for ProsperityAmerican Legislative Exchange CouncilCFACTInstitute for Energy ResearchState Policy Network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more. [49]

The Guardian also analysed and reported on the Peabody bankruptcy findings: [50]

These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”

The company’s filings reveal funding for a range of organisations which have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change. […]

Among Peabody’s beneficiaries, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has insisted – wrongly – that carbon emissions are not a threat but “the elixir of life” while the American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to overturn Environmental Protection Agency rules cutting emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity campaigns against carbon pricing. The Oklahoma chapter was on the list. […]

The breadth of the groups with financial ties to Peabody is extraordinary. Thinktanks, litigation groups, climate scientists, political organisations, dozens of organisations blocking action on climate all receiving funding from the coal industry,” said Nick Surgey, director of research for the Center for Media and Democracy.

We expected to see some denial money, but it looks like Peabody is the treasury for a very substantial part of the climate denial movement.”

Notable organizations listed in the initial documents include:

Notable individuals named in the initial documents include the following:

May 2, 2016

Kevin Glass, Director of Outreach and Policy at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, wrote an article sympathetic to Duke Energy in Real Clear Markets. [51]

According to Kevin Glass, “shameless green groups are […] running ads in North Carolina vilifying Duke Energy and are ramping up their attacks against the company over coal ash. Their motivation is clear: They want to link Republican Governor Pat McCrory - a former longtime Duke Energy employee - to a contrived 'pollution' scandal.” [51]

Glass says that residents of North Carolina have been “needlessly frightened and misled by both state health officials and by radical environmentalists who will stop at nothing to bring down a trusted, much needed energy producer.” [51]

In 2015, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued a do-not-drink order for residents living near coal ash storage ponds managed by Duke Energy. The state had found water wells were contaminated with the carcinogen hexavalent chromium and vanadium, which is known to harm kidneys and affect blood pressure. While “do not drink” notices were released in April, they were later retracted in March, confusing many residents. [52]

Environmental groups said that pointing out how municipal water is also contaminated doesn’t mean the state should withdraw public health protections from citizens using well water. [52]

While the amounts of hexavalent chromium detected in municipal water supplies in North Carolina are worrisome and show we do need state and federal drinking water standards to catch up to the latest science, some of the levels found in wells near Duke's coal ash sites have been much higher,” said Katie Hicks, Associate Director for Clean Water for North Carolina. [52]

December 13, 2015

Writing as a guest blogger on Watts Up With That, CFACT's executive director Craig Rucker denounced the latest UN climate change agreement: [39]

“This agreement will not meaningfully alter the temperature of the Earth, even under the U.N.’s own computer models.

“The bad news is that it plants the seeds of a new UN climate regime that left unchecked will swell into a bureaucratic behemoth.”

December, 2012 - July 2014

GreenTech Automotive launched a $85 million lawsuit against the Franklin center for Government & Public Integrity after the center's December, 2012 investigative series that attempted to tie the manufacturing company to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.  [21]
 
GreenTech accused the Franklin Center and Watchdog.org Virginia bureau chief Kenric Ward of defamation and business interference, saying that it had lost $85 million in investment capital due to the articles that the center had published.
 
GreenTech's suit cites a number of instances of Watchdog.org's reporting as libelous, including describing the company's headquarters as a “broom closet.” Additional examples include: [22]
  • Quotes from investment advisor Michael Gibson criticizing GTA’s business model “despite the fact Gibson has never seen nor reviewed GTA’s business model” 

  • Statements from Gibson calling GTA’S EB-5 funding project a ‘fraud’”

  • False assertions that EB-5 funding is GTA’s chief source of funding and its long-term plan for continuing capital”; 

  • Allegations that GTA’s plant in Tunica, Miss., is behind schedule in its building and hiring, when both construction and employment goals are on pace to be met; 

  • Statements contending and/or insinuating that federal agencies are investigating or taking “a closer look” at the sources of GTA’s funding.

“There’s no denying that defending the First Amendment rights and responsibilities of our reporters has been costly to us in terms of time, people and money,” Franklin center president Jason Stverak said, “but it’s hard to put a price on defending the Constitution.”
 
The lawsuit was dismissed on July 24, 2014 by a Mississippi federal court.

February, 2013

The Guardian reported that the Franklin Center was at the forefront of a media campaign against wind and solar power that was largely funded by DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. [23]

The Guardian also comments on the $6.3 million that the two funds gave to the Franklin Center in 2011, saying that this “Signals a shift in priorities for the conservative billionaires who are funding the anti-climate cause towards local and state-level organising.”

2012

The Guardian reports that the Franklin Center, along with its affiliated websites and news groups, was involved in a campaign against wind farms and solar projects in the U.S. along with other organizations that have received funding from the secretive DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. [24]

September 12, 2012

Co-sponsored a “Citizen Watchdog Training” event with Americans For Prosperity featuring right-wing activist James O'Keefe who spoke at the event on how “Together, we can begin the hard, but important job of taking back America.”

The event description hints at government conspiracy: “You've heard the egregious examples of waste, fraud, and abuse on a daily basis. We can no longer afford to sit by and wait for the government or mainstream media to fully inform the public about what's going on behind closed doors.” [25]

2011

According to records on file at SourceWatch, The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity was a “Vice-Chairman” level sponsor of the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual conference.  [26], [27]

ALEC maintains ties with some of the largest industry organizations and provides connections to state legislators. The group is primarily responsible for drafting bills and resolutions created by the corporations who finance ALEC.

Notably, one of the Franklin Center's former Directors, Blair Thoreson, was the State Chairman for the North Dakota chapter of ALEC at the time. 

February 24, 2011

The Franklin Center commissioned a poll of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal through WisconsinReporter.com, one of the Center's affiliate websites.

The Franklin Center press release said that “ Poll Shows 71% of Wisconsinites Think Walker's Budget Changes are 'Fair'.” [28]

This high percentage created some skepticism about the poll, while the data was cited by major news sources including MSNBC without further investigation.  [28][9], [29]

December, 2011

Watchdog affiliate New Jersey Watchdog posted an article that pushes for the state to drop a regional emissions reduction program. [30]

Related Organizations

Sourcewatch compiled a list of “Statehouse News Bureaus” associated with the Franklin Center. Note that not all of the following news groups are still in operation: [31]

Franklin Center News Bureaus

*(Click image for full size)

SourceWatch also archived a list of the Franklin Center's previously affiliated “Investigative Reporters” or organizations: [32]

Resources

  1. About,” Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hM9ej87Q

  2. About,” Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Archived June 25, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  3. Elizabeth Hillgrove. “Become a Citizen Watchdog,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, March 1, 2012. Archived October 27, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cbQLWef8

  4. “'Watchdog' website puts a new spin on politics,” Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010. Archived October 27, 215. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cbQUvekt

  5. Allison Kilkenny. “The Koch Spider Web,” truth-out.org, August 4, 2011. Archived October 27, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cbQc4pG8

  6. A Closer Look at Non-Profit News Sites,” Journalism.org. Accessed October, 2015.

  7. Jason Stverak, President,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived October 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ccjcSYup

  8. Franklin Center Names Erik Telford President,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived October 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ccjuEMin

  9. The Conservative Group Behind The Poll Of Walker’s Budget Plan,” TPM, February 24, 2011 Archived October 27, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cbQjbzXN

  10. About,” Sam Adams Alliance. Archived February 16, 2012.

  11. Gene Gibbons. “Statehouse Beat Woes Portend Bad News for Good Government,” Nieman Reports, December 15, 2010. Archived October 29, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ceHl5VCp

  12. Dustin Hurst. “As reds and blues unite behind Keystone, greens prepare for battle,” Watchdog.org, January 31, 2013. Archived October 27, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cbRBYuK3

  13. Rob Nikolewski. ”What I saw at the climate conference; and leading scientist says some colleagues 'endorse Al Gore even though they know what he’s saying is exaggerated and misleading'.” New MexicoWatchDog.org, November 15, 2011. Archived October 27, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cbTBcLp5

  14. Media campaign against windfarms funded by anonymous conservatives,” The Guardian, February 15, 2013. Archived October 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ccis65XR

  15. Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states,” The Center for Public Integrity, February 14, 2013.

  16. Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2013. Archived October 28, 2015. 

  17. Sara Jerving. “Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source,” PR Watch, October 27, 2011. Archived October 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ccwZH3eP

  18. Board of Directors,” Franklin center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived October 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ccxjGaA5

  19. Staff,” Franklin center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived October 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ccxjGaA5

  20. Staff,” Franklin center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived February 21, 2012.

  21. (Press Release). “Judge Throws Out $85 Million Lawsuit Against Franklin Center,” Franklin center for Government & Public Integrity, July 25, 2014. Archived October 29, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ceK5icis

  22. Jim Geraghty. “GreenTech vs. Watchdog.org,” National Review, April 17, 2013. Archived October 29, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ceJuTuQe

  23. Suzanne Goldenberg. “Media campaign against windfarms funded by anonymous conservatives,” The Guardian, February 15, 2013. Archived October 29, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ceIvO8nB

  24. Media campaign against windfarms funded by anonymous conservatives,” The Guardian, February 15, 2013. Archived October 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ccyKZxLe

  25. Citizen Journalist Training With James O'Keefe,” Meetup.com. September 22, 2012. Archived October 28, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ccydcFTo

  26. Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity,” SourceWatch. Archived October 28, 2015.

  27. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011.

  28. “Poll Shows 71% of Wisconsinites Think Walker’s Budget Changes are 'Fair',” Franklin center for Government & Public Integrity, February 21, 2011. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ceC65iCv

  29. YouTube. MSNBC Pushes Right-Wing Wisconsin Poll. YouTube. Accessed February 16, 2013.

  30. Mark Lagerkvist. IT’S CURTAINS FOR RGGI AS NJ’S CAP-AND-TRADE OPERA ENDS,” New Jersey Watchdog, December 9, 2011. Archived October 29, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6ceCFVE2H 

  31. Statehouse News Bureaus,” SourceWatch, accessed October 29, 2015.

  32. Investigative Journalists” (JPG image) Sourcewatch. Accessed October 29, 2015.

  33. Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed May 8, 2016.

  34. Jeff Nesbit. “Inside the right-wing lie factory: Secrets of a Koch-funded propaganda machine more insidious than Fox News,” Salon, April 30, 2016. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMCbJCEy

  35. Jason Stverak,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMEfRrhR

  36. Alyana Alfaro. “Lack of Funding Cited for NJ Watchdog Termination,” PolitickerNJ, December 7, 2015. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMFE0o0r

  37. Board of Directors,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMITWsDW

  38. Board of Directors,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived May 30, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. 

  39. Staff,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMJ5ubq0

  40. Advisory Committee,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived May 30, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogblog.

  41. John Seiler. “Fact-checking Tom Steyer on climate change,” CalWatchdog.com, August 23, 2014. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMM4icKY

  42. Michael Fox. “The Corruption of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: A National Peril,” Hawaii Reporter, June 22, 2011. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMMO9pyv

  43. Brian T. Schwartz. “Fossil fuel use protects us from climate-related risks,” the Boulder Daily Camera, December 15, 2012. Republished by The Independence Institute, December 21, 2012. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMNK83EE

  44. EPA is determined to prove Obama right and make energy prices 'skyrocket',” Nevada Policy Research Institute, December 9, 2015. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URL:  http://www.webcitation.org/6hMNfkYXT

  45. Roy Cordato. “Front-Page Advocacy on Climate Talks,” Carolina Journal, December 10, 2015. Archived May 8, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hMOo5c2H

  46. How to get in touch with Franklin Center,” Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Archived May 29, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6hrI80fDW

  47. Nick Surgey. “Peabody Coal Bankruptcy Reveals Climate Denial Network Funding,” PRWatch, June 13, 2016. Archived June 20, 2016. WebCite URL: http://www.webcitation.org/6iPmXjc4W

  48. In re: Peabody Energy Corporation, et al. Debtors,” United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division,  Case 16-42529, May 27, 2016. Retrieved from DocumentCloud.

  49. Farron Cousins. “Court Documents Show Coal Giant Peabody Energy Funded Dozens Of Climate Denial Groups,” DeSmogBlog, June 13, 2016.

  50. Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengtsson. “Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change,” The Guardian, June 13, 2016. Archived June 20, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6iPnEUG1o

  51. Kevin Glass. “Junk Corporate Activism Victimizes North Carolinians,Real Clear Markets, May 2, 2016. Archived June 25, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6iWFQdIkj

  52. Confusion and Fear in North Carolina As State Ends Drinking Water Safety Warning,” DeSmog, March 16, 2016.

Other Resources

File attachments: