The State Policy Network (SPN) is an umbrella group of right-wing “think tanks” across the country.

The Grassroot Institute is SPN’s cookie-cutter think tank in Hawaii. While the institute claims to be focused on issues important to the people of Hawaii, it actually pushes an agenda dictated by its national right-wing funders and partners.

 

Oppose common-sense regulations on corporations, including the maritime regulations in the Jones Act Block access to affordable healthcare and oppose the Affordable Care Act   Lower corporate taxes

Oppose raising the minimum wage

Defund and privative Hawaii’s public schools through voucher programs   Promote anti-worker measures such as so-called “Right to Work” Oppose renewable energy sources and repeal pollution protections

“Rowland and Akina insist that the institute is nonpartisan, though Rowland acknowledges that it continues to work with the conservativeleaning Hawaii Reporter and Republican state Sen. Sam Slom.”
[Honolulu Civil Beat, 6/19/2013]

The Grassroot Institute, accessed 9/19/2013

While the Grassroot Institute is not required to disclose its donors to the public, and does not do so voluntarily, the identities of the few known Grassroot funders reveal the institute is largely funded by national right-wing foundations based outside of Hawaii. The largest known Grassroot funder is the Koch-funded Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, which are known as the “dark money ATM of the conservative movement.” The Donors groups keep their own funders anonymous, adding another layer of secrecy behind the organization. Funding from just the Donors groups in just the three years between 2009 and 2011 made up nearly 50% of the Grassroot Institute’s total revenue. All of the Grassroot Institute’s known funders are based outside of Hawaii and have deep ties to the national right-wing network:
FUNDER Donors Trust/Donors Capital Fund The Roe Foundation Jaquelin Hume Foundation JM Foundation The Cato Institute Searle Freedom Trust State Policy Network BASED Virginia South Carolina California New York Washington, D.C. Illinois Virginia AMOUNT $952,299 $115,000 $105,000 $40,000 $40,000 $25,000 $2,500 YEARS 2002-2011 2005-2011 2005-2010 2003-2007 2006 2008 2003

[American Bridger Conservative Transparency; Cato Institute IRS 990, 2006; Grassroot Institute IRS 990s, 2009-2011]