The State Policy Network (SPN) is a web of right-wing think tanks and tax-exempt organizations pushing far-right policy agendas throughout the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.. SPN and its affiliates aim to privatize education, block healthcare reform, eviscerate workers’ rights, roll back environmental protections, and create a tax system that benefits only the most wealthy. SPN has more than 40 employees, and in 2021, the network had a total revenue of $185 million.
SPN groups operate as the policy, communications, and litigation arm of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), providing the cookie-cutter ALEC agenda the veneer of academic legitimacy and state-based, “grassroots” support. SPN shares many of the same sources of funding as ALEC, including from Koch’s Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and other Koch family funding vehicles.
Tracie Sharp, president of SPN since 2000, had previously served on its board of directors for 14 years. In 1991, she helped found the Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s SPN affiliate, and then served as its executive director through 1999. SPN’s board of directors reads like a rolodex of right-wing operatives, including chairman Carl O. Helstrom of the Bradley Foundation; Lawson Bader of DonorsTrust; Bridgett Wagner of The Heritage Foundation; and Elise Westhoff of the Philanthropy Roundtable.
SPN presented a panel discussion titled “Everything States Should Know About the Dangers of ESG” at its 2022 Annual Meeting featuring SFOF CEO Derek Kreifels, Nebraska State Treasurer John Murante, and Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball.
SPN is included as an “educational resource” at the bottom of SFOF’s homepage.
- Board member Bridgett Wagner
- DonorsTrust: $38,849,677 (2014–21)
- Donors Capital Fund: $12,476,260 (2014–20)
- Searle Freedom Trust: $6,988,143 (2014–21)
- Walton Family Foundation: $4,025,000 (2014–21)
- Sarah Scaife Foundation: $2,215,000 (2016–21)
Note: SPN 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: $21,031,105
- Total Expenses: $21,083,831
- Net Assets: $18,709,708
Source: 2022 IRS 990 filing
For more information, visit the SPN page on SourceWatch.