The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), an influential right-wing think tank with extensive ties to the state’s Republican politicians, refers to its headquarters in Austin as the “epicenter for liberty in Texas.” TPPF describes its mission as being “to promote and defend liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise in Texas.” States Trust, an affiliated states’ rights organization, is considered a “project of” the think tank.
TPPF is also an affiliate of the State Policy Network, 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.
TPPF employs roughly 100 staff members and fellows, with leadership that overlaps with other right-wing organizations. Its Executive Director and COO Greg Sindelar serves on the board of America First Works (AFW). J.B. Horton, an executive vice president, worked in the George W. Bush White House and spent more than eight years at The Heritage Foundation. Before joining TPPF, Jerome Greener, another executive vice president, served as the Texas state director for Americans for Prosperity (AFP). Two other TPPF executives held previous positions at the right-wing Illinois Policy Institute. Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, who assumed the position in fall 2021, previously led TPPF for five years.
TPPF’s Life:Powered, a pro-fossil fuel initiative, has played a leading role in the fight against ESG investing. In December 2021, it lobbied members of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Energy, Environment, and Agriculture task force to pass the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act model legislation at its 2021 States and Nation Policy Summit. The bill would punish financial companies that stop investing in oil, gas, and coal by barring them from receiving state government contracts or managing state funds.
In December 2022, Life:Powered lobbied for and 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.
Life:Powered is also part of a rightwing coalition promoting the Heritage Foundation’s State Pension Fiduciary Duty Act, model legislation that seeks to ban the consideration of ESG factors in the management of public pensions.
Life:Powered Director Jason Isaac has also delivered remarks critical of ESG as an investment strategy at the Council for National Policy meeting in 2022 and at the SFOF National Meeting in February 2022.
In November 2022, shortly after the GOP won a slight House majority in the midterms, Isaac signed on to an Independent Women’s Forum coalition letter addressed to Republican leaders in Congress urging increased ESG oversight. 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.”
For the past 20 years, TPPF has hosted an influential annual policy summit in Austin. At its 2023 conference in early March, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, an SFOF member, participated in a panel discussion titled “ESG = Everyone’s Suffering Guaranteed.”
- Life:Powered Policy Director Brent Bennett
- Life:Powered Director Jason Isaac
- Life:Powered Attorney Mike Nasi
- Chief Executive Officer Greg Sindelar
- Charles G. Koch Foundation: $5,035,656 (2004–20)
- PEW Charitable Trusts: $4,283,100 (2015–20)
- DonorsTrust: $2,309,019 (2010–21)
- Stand Together Fellowships: $2,090,298 (2015–21)
- Deason Foundation: $1,901,833 (2015–19)
Note: TPPF 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: $26,167,438
- Total expenses: $18,897,177
- Net assets: $20,714,269
Source: 2021 IRS 990 filing
For more information, visit the TPPF page on SourceWatch.