The Lucy Burns Institute (LBI) is a Madison-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2006 and named after a significant leader of the women’s suffrage movement. The organization sponsors three websites: Ballotpedia, which tracks elections and ballot measures at the state level; WikiFOIA, which provides Information on how to use Freedom of information laws at the state and local level; and Judgepedia, which provides information on the nation’s judges and court systems.
Lucy Burns is what one could call a front group for or subsidiary of the Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams receives its funding from a cut-out organization that is funded by Charles Koch, and in turn, it funds the Tea Party Patriots and other conservative groups. Lucy Burns took over the wikis from Sam Adams and receives funding from them. So the money flow goes:
Charles Koch → Claude R. Lambe Foundation → State Policy Network → Sam Adams Alliance → Lucy Burns Institute.
Why a non-profit should be able to fund another non-profit is beyond me. It becomes impossible to determine whether contributions which received a tax exemption for being charitable are used for charitable purposes. But such is the state of our tax law.
There are many other ties to the Kochs. For example:
LBI’s board of directors also includes right-wing and Koch ties. LBI’s secretary, Jack McHugh, is a senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The Mackinac Center is a right-wing think tank, which has received some funding from the Kochs and is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Also, interesting to those of us who follow the blogosphere:
Erick Erickson, the Chairman of the Board and Managing Editor of Redstate, is a board member of LBI. Redstate is the “leading conservative news blog for right of center online activists.” Breitbart TV describes Erickson as a “right wing hero.”
The Kochs apparently think they can buy the truth. They have created an immense and difficult to detect propaganda apparatus that influences journalists too busy or too sloppy to do primary source research. One has to be careful to believe only what one can independently confirm, because they have well and truly polluted the well.