Thursday, July 14, 2016

Possible Trump Veep Pick Pence a Think Tanker

A little-known fact about Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), a possible vice presidential pick for Donald Trump, is that he has a deep connection to think tank land.

From 1991 to 1994, Pence ran the Indiana Policy Review Foundation (IPR), a conservative, state-level think tank that was founded in 1989 by Craig Ladwig.

In fact, Pence apparently claimed in 2012 that he helped found the think tank.  In 2008 Pence said: "I was part of what we called the seed corn Heritage Foundation was spreading around the country in the state think tank movement.  We actually called our little foundation in Indiana the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, very much as a homage to Policy Review magazine of Heritage, and we modeled on the state level what Heritage had done before."

Policy Review was a conservative journal that was published from 1977 to 2013.  In 2001 it was acquired by the Hoover Institution, a Stanford University-based conservative think tank.

Here is more about the Indiana Policy Review Foundation from its own website:
Our mission is to marshal the best thought on governmental, economic and educational issues at the state and municipal levels. We seek to accomplish this in ways that:
  • Exalt the truths of the Declaration of Independence, especially as they apply to the interrelated freedoms of religion, property and speech.
  • Emphasize the primacy of the individual in addressing public concerns.
  • Recognize that equality of opportunity is sacrificed in pursuit of equality of results.
The Indiana Policy Review Foundation is a non-profit education foundation focused on state and municipal issues. It is free of outside control by any individual, organization or group. It exists solely to conduct and distribute research on Indiana issues. Nothing written here is to be construed as reflecting the views of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before the legislature or to further any political campaign.
The foundation’s white papers are intended to make scholarly research on Indiana issues more widely available to policy analysts and researchers. White Papers represent research in progress and are published to invite comment and discussion as preparation for their submission to academic journals and other professional publications. The authors are solely responsible for the content of their research and analysis.

But besides IPR, it is a little-known fact that Pence has been a non-staff member of the conservative Heritage Foundation.  Pence has spoken at Heritage on several occasions, including this 2005 talk on journalists, and this 2006 talk on immigration reform.  Pence has also written special guest posts for Heritage, including this one remembering 9/11.

Pence also has allies at Heritage, including policy analyst Katie Tubb, who was once at intern for Pence when he was in the US Congress.

In 2015, Heritage wrote a piece entitled "What Are Mike Pence's Prospects for a 2016 Presidential Run?"

Pence has also spoken at other think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).  In fact, in 2005, Pence took part in an AEI conference along with Newt Gingrich, another possible VP pick for Trump.