library tile Think Tanks
Notes from the literature for the Information Evaluation Class

Definitions of Think Tanks | Liberals | Conservatives | 527s | Neoconservatives | Progressives | Moderates

List of Think Tanks and Similar Organizations:

AMERICA COMING TOGETHER - liberal 527 (David Corn. "The Trouble With 527s." The Nation, Apr. 26, 2004, 6). "..a collaboration between labor unions and issues groups, led by Malcolm and Rosenthal, is organizing grassroots voter contact and mobilization" (John Nichols. "The Beat-Bush Brigades." The Nation, Apr. 26, 2004, 13).

AMERICA VOTES - liberal 527 - "..an umbrella organization financed by contribtutions from more than two dozen unions" (John Nichols. "The Beat-Bush Brigades." The Nation, Apr. 26, 2004, 13). AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE - neoconservative - "a conservative think tank" ("The Nonsense of Twisted Intelligence." The Washington Spectator, April 1, 2004, 2). "The Bush Administration's hawks and their neoconservative allies at the AEI... they possess a level of fanaticism.. that is truly awesome" (Robert Dreyfuss and Laura Rozen. "Still Dreaming of Tehran." The Nation, April 12, 2004, 16). "..dogmatically partisan think tanks where researchers are paid to assemble evidence and arguments for preconceived policies... the American Enterprise Institute and other simplification factories.." (Stephen Holmes. "The National Insecurity State." The Nation, May 10, 2004: 25).

AMERICANS FOR JOB SECURITY (AJS) - neoconservative/far right wing -"..champions of free enterprise... run so-called third-party "issue advocacy" ads, purportedly to educate voters... watchdog group Campaigns for People filed a letter of complaint with Travis County..."AJS has been on the edge of--if not violating--the law.." (Jake Bernstein. "Meet the Attack Dogs." Texas Observer, 3/12/04, 8-9).

AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM - neoconservative - "one of the New Right's most successful organizers" (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 22).

BROOKINGS - moderal/liberal -"..the group that any Democratic candidate would turn to if elected President" (Frances Fitzgerald. "The Goldwater Parallel." The Nation, March 29, 2004, 18).

CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE - "founded in the 1990s to yank the party back [to the left] -- toward its base in organized labor, minorities and the working class.." (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 22).

CATO INSTITUTE - neoconservative - "Well-funded right-wing think tanks (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 18).

CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS - moderate/liberal (Frances Fitzgerald. "The Goldwater Parallel." The Nation, March 29, 2004, 18).

CENTER FOR PUBLIC JUSTICE - "a well-known right-wing group" (Elisabeth Sifton. "The Battle Over the Pledge." The Nation, April 5, 2004, 14).

CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES - liberal (Emily Pyle. "Fund and Games." Texas Observer, 12/19/03: 16).

CENTER ON BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES - "older centrist-to-left groups.." (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 20).

CENTURY FOUNDATION - moderate/liberal (Frances Fitzgerald. "The Goldwater Parallel." The Nation, March 29, 2004, 18).

CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE - conservative watchdog - "A Washington watchdog group... [that] publishes an annual almanac detailing the spoils [of pork barrel practices] largely ignored by the mainstream media" (Washington Spectator, May 1, 2004: p. 4). CAGW.

COMMON CAUSE - reform group - "..a decades old, nonpartisan reform group based in Washington" (Washington Spectator, April 15, 2004: p. 1).

COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS - moderal/liberal -"..the group that any Democratic candidate would turn to if elected President" (Frances Fitzgerald. "The Goldwater Parallel." The Nation, March 29, 2004, 18).

CROPLIFE AMERICA - lobby group for genetically modified foods - "The pro-Frankenfood forces were led by the bucolic-sounding CropLife America... It's a lobbying front funded by.. Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Bayer, and other multibillion-dollar biotechies" (Jim Hightower. Hightower Lowdown, April 2004: 2).

Definition of Think Tanks from Disinfopedia: "many think tanks are little more than public relations fronts, usually headquartered in state or national seats of government and generating self-serving scholarship that serves the advocacy goals of their industry sponsors"

ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE - "older centrist-to-left.." (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 20).

FEDERALIST SOCIETY - neoconservative - "Well-funded right-wing think tanks (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 18).

HERITAGE FOUNDATION - neoconservative - "Well-funded right-wing think tanks.." (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 18). "Heritage backed many ideas that were once considered viable only by wild-eyed radicals but that became part of George W. Bush's campaign platform, among them dismantling public education through vouchers and charter schools, radical tax reform, a huge military buildup and missile defense system" (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 22).

INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES - "older centrist-to-left groups.." (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 20).

JUDICIAL WATCH - Conservative -"Larry Klayman, the conservative lawyer/provocateur who spent much of the 1990s suing Clinton-related targets via his Judicial Watch... partly underwritten by Richard Mellon Scaife, the right-wing millionaire" (David Corn. "Klayman Watch." The Nation, March 29, 2004, 7).

KENNEDY SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT - moderal/liberal -"..the group that any Democratic candidate would turn to if elected President" (Frances Fitzgerald. "The Goldwater Parallel." The Nation, March 29, 2004, 18).

MEDIA FUND - liberal 527 (David Corn. "The Trouble With 527s." The Nation, Apr. 26, 2004, 6). "..Media Fund, headed by Ickes, which serves as the coalition's television advertising arm" (John Nichols. "The Beat-Bush Brigades." The Nation, Apr. 26, 2004, 13).

MoveOn.org - liberal 527 (David Corn. "The Trouble With 527s." The Nation, Apr. 26, 2004, 6).

NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD - liberal - "has defended progressive political protesters, monitored the police during demonstrations and stood up for the right to dissent" ("Comment." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 5).

OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE - liberal - "Soros's.. anti-Bush political organization" (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 20).

PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION - "a conservative outfit" (Elisabeth Sifton. "The Battle Over the Pledge." The Nation, April 5, 2004, 14).

PROGRESSIVE POLICY INSTITUTE - "older centrist-to-left groups like the DLC's Progressive Policy Institute" (Robert Dreyfuss. "An Idea Factory for the Democrats." The Nation, March 1, 2004, 20).

PROJECT FOR THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY (PNAC) - neoconservative (Michael Lind. "A Tragedy of Errors." The Nation, Feb. 23, 2004, 24). "Since 1992 the biggest booster of war with Iraq has been... PNAC... a group of hard-liners, mostly not from military backgrounds... they have promoted an extremely hawkish American foreign policy and annual increases in military spending" (Washington Spectator, May 1, 2004: p. 1). Project for the New American Century.

ROCKRIDGE INSTITUTE - progressive - "In 2000 Lakoff and seven other faculty members from Berkeley and UC Davis joined together to found the Rockridge Institute, one of the few progressive think tanks in existence in the U.S. The institute offers its expertise and research on a nonpartisan basis to help progressives understand how best to get their messages across" (Bonnie Azab Powel. "Framing the issues." UC Berkeley News, Mar. 11, 2004).

TAX FOUNDATION - conservative anti-tax (Washington Spectator, May 1, 2004: p. 4). Tax Foundation.

TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION - "extremely right-wing" (Molly Ivins. "How to Sink a School System." Texas Observer, 3/26/04, 14).

Think Tanks, Definition of from Disinfopedia: "many think tanks are little more than public relations fronts, usually headquartered in state or national seats of government and generating self-serving scholarship that serves the advocacy goals of their industry sponsors"

THUNDER ROAD GROUP - liberal 527 - ".. named for a Bruce Springsteen song and led by Jordan, is responsible for research and coordinating rapid responses to Bush campaign attacks" (John Nichols. "The Beat-Bush Brigades." The Nation, Apr. 26, 2004, 13).


Neoconservatives

"Neoconservatism--the term was Michael Harrington's--originated in the 1970s as a movement of anti-Soviet liberals and social democrats...

"..in the 1980s.. its growing contempt for international law and its exaggeration of the Soviet threat. Today's neocons are a shrunken remnant of the original broad neocon coalition...

"..the example of Israel has inspired American neocons to embrace tactics like preventive war and "targeted assassination"..

"..the naton has value only as the host or carrier of a potentially universal ideology, which must be spread abroad by force of arms and subversion... kind of crusading secular messianism...

"The redefinition of American patriotism as zealotry... disrespect for actual American institutions...

"The neocons claim to be Wilsonians, but it's hard to see much of Wilson in their celebration of Kipling-style imperialism" (Michael Lind. "A Tragedy of Errors." The Nation, Feb. 23, 2004, 23-29).

For more, see Neoconservatives.


527s

"...527s--those new organizations used primarily by Democrats (so far) to skirt the McCain-Feingold legislation passed in 2002... groups unconnected to the party or any candidate. These 527 outfits (named after a provision in the tax code) could accept soft money and run the sort of ads previously produced by the Democratic Party" (David Corn. "The Trouble With 527s." The Nation, Apr. 26, 2004, 6).


Liberals

Liberals traditionally are defined as people interested in change. They are usually pro-union and in favor of a social net and interested in environmental issues.


Conservatives

Conservatives are traditionally defined as those who want to keep things the same - laissez faire. They are referred to as "right wing" and are usually interested in business success and self-reliance.


Progressives

Progressives are liberals, but much more so. They are considered far left, edging into the territory of socialists.


Moderates

Moderates are "in the middle," not extreme, neither right wing (conservative) nor left wing (liberal). They do not consistently vote for any party. They are sometimes referred to as the "swing vote" or mugwumps (fence sitters).


Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS
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