Koch-Funded Franklin Center "Watchdogs" Infiltrate State Capitols - 2013-08-14

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F0.png Koch-Funded Franklin Center "Watchdogs" Infiltrate State Capitols August 14, 2013, Rebekah Wilce, PRWatch

As newsrooms across the country have cut staff reporters -- due in part to slipping ad revenue and corporate media conglomeration -- the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity has rushed to fill the gap, as the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has documented. The Franklin Center has 40 state news websites, with reporters in 34 states so far. Its reporters have received state house press credentials and its stories appear as news in mainstream print newspapers in each state without alerting readers to the heavy right-wing bias of the Franklin-related publications.

Franklin Center Quadruples in Size, Adjusts Strategy

The Franklin Center does not disclose its funders. But based on a review of the annual IRS filings of foundations that fund groups like Franklin, as of 2011 (the most recent available financial data), 95 percent of the group's funding comes from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. These two related entities are "donor-advised funds" that were spun off by the Philanthropy Roundtable and cloak the identity of donors to right-wing causes across the country. Mother Jones has called the combined Donors funds "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement." The Franklin Center received the Donors funds' second-largest donation in 2011. Among the most prominent funders of Donors is the Knowledge and Progress Fund, a Charles Koch-run organization, which contributed nearly $8 million from 2005 to 2011. The Franklin Center has also received funding from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and Searle Freedom Trust. As CMD has previously reported, the Franklin Center received a startup grant from the Tea Party Sam Adams Alliance, run by Eric O'Keefe, who also helped launch American Majority and sits on the board of Club for Growth Wisconsin.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Rebekah | last = Wilce | title = Koch-Funded Franklin Center "Watchdogs" Infiltrate State Capitols | url = https://www.prwatch.org/news/2013/08/12161/koch-funded-franklin-center-watchdogs-infiltrate-state-capitols | work = PRWatch | date = August 14, 2013 | accessdate = April 9, 2022 }}