Summary: The Thomas Jefferson Institute is using the same talking points and attacks as its fellow State Policy Network members in other states. The group’s revenue comes from dark money funds with clear ties to Charles Koch.
The Thomas Jefferson Institute is an anti-labor, anti-environment libertarian group that is part of the State Policy Network, a Koch-backed web of right-wing think tanks working within states to promote climate science denial and other policy positions that benefit corporate donors.
The TJI does not disclose its donors, but tax records reveal that the group has received funding from Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust, two pass-through funds that have been called the “dark-money ATM of the conservative movement,” and which are known to mask donations from foundations controlled by Charles Koch.
The Institute routinely promotes climate science denial, and was called out by name on the floor of the U.S. Senate as one of 32 organizations that take money from fossil fuel interests to deceive the public on climate science.
The group has a history of attacking clean energy and environmental policies, and in 2019 turned its attention to TCI. In its efforts to combat TCI, it has released a highly-biased poll and commissioned a misleading report that is easily debunked and cites dubious sources like the Koch-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation and notorious climate science denier Steve Milloy.
Lately TJI has been pushing a junk “study” done in part with the Beacon Hill Institute, a Koch funded “policy” front group. The Beacon Hill Institute study is very similar to one that BHI conducted for Mass Fiscal in Massachusetts, and was written by the same authors and includes copy-and-pasted sections in the introduction.