Wednesday, October 26, 2022

New Legislation to Impact Republican-leaning Think Tanks More?

Legislation that is working its way through the US Congress, which is largely being pushed by Republicans, may impact conservative think tanks more than liberal ones.

Here is more from Politico:

For all the joy that conservative pols have taken at Brookings’ latest turn in the barrel, conversations with people around the industry reveal an irony: Any potential new wave of government-mandated disclosure rules, especially those that go beyond foreign money, would actually represent a bigger cultural change at right-wing organizations, some of which historically have tended to see donations as a form of free speech. Establishmentarian center-left outfits like Brookings already share significant pieces of that information — thanks in part, it should be noted, to previous funding imbroglios, and their reliance on corporate dollars. (The Heritage Foundation, by contrast, says less than two percent of its income comes from corporate sources.)

The last spate of transparency efforts, which followed a blockbuster set of New York Times reports in 2014 and 2016 about donor influence at think tanks, was embraced “way more on the left than the right,” one longtime conservative think tank figure tells me. (To be clear, this veteran of fundraising told me, that’s because it was centrist and liberal outfits that had been caught out.) While a visitor to Brookings’ website can today peruse annual reports that identify top donors, the American Enterprise Institute says it doesn’t provide that information as a matter of course.


Of course, the various proposals floating around Congress may never become law, and even if something passes, certain loopholes may be be included in any final package.