The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) is a right-wing think tank founded in 2011 and based in Naples, Florida. It is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN), an extensive web of right-wing think tanks that play an integral role in ensuring that legislation gets passed at the state level—by providing academic legitimacy when called on to testify at hearings, producing “studies” or model legislation, and attracting media attention.
FGA promotes strictly limited government and through Opportunity Solutions Project (OSP)—its 501(c)(4) organization, which is officially registered as FGA Action—it has advocated for kicking people off of Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps), and unemployment benefits. In fact, since its inception it has opposed Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs.
FGA has significant institutional ties to other right-wing organizations, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In December 2022, it endorsed the Eliminate Political Boycotts Act, a proposed piece of model legislation introduced by ALEC that would authorize state governments to blacklist corporations promoting either ESG or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives—or both.
On August 16, 2023, FGA published a video with Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R) on “ESG ‘Nonsense.’”
FGA is directed by founder Tarren Bragdon, a former Maine legislator. In February 2023, he signed an Advancing American Freedom coalition letter to Congress asking it to “overturn the Biden administration’s dangerous ESG rule through the Congressional Review Act.” In March 2023, he also signed an Advancing American Freedom “The Woke 401(k) Rule Must Be Repealed” letter following President Biden’s veto.
Jonathan Bechtle, FGA’s COO and general counsel, formerly served as an executive at the Freedom Foundation, a libertarian think tank. FGA’s five-member board of directors includes Stephen Pryor, former president of ExxonMobil, and Bridgett Wagner, executive director of the Edwin J. Feulner Institute at The Heritage Foundation and a member of SPN’s board of directors.
- President and CEO Tarren Bragdon
- Ed Uihlein Family Foundation: $17,850,000 (2014–21)
- DonorsTrust: $10,898,351 (2014–21)
- Vanguard Charitable Endowment: $5,264,000 (2015–20)
- Donors Capital Fund: $3,814,100 (2012–16)
- Sarah Scaife Foundation: $3,200,000 (2016–21)
Note: FGA is not required by law to disclose its donors. The Center for Media and Democracy identified its top funders through an examination of IRS filings.
- Total revenue: $13,152,294
- Total expenses: $10,919,520
- Net assets: $11,489,208
Source: 2021 IRS 990 filing