November 14, 2013
For immediate release
Contact: John A. Charles, Jr.
Cascade Policy Institute Responds to Challenges from the Center for Media and Democracy
PORTLAND, ORE. – A self-described “progressive watchdog group” has launched a questionable campaign to discredit limited government, free-market oriented public policy research groups across the country, including Oregon’s own Cascade Policy Institute.
Taking a page out of the late Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is personally attacking both those who work for and those who help fund these organizations.
Two of the Rules for Radicals state: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon” and “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” CMD is following both these rules by posting supposedly inflammatory information and accusations on its derisively named website, www.StinkTanks.org.
Oregonian senior political reporter Jeff Mapes wrote a story yesterday about CMD’s claim that Cascade Policy Institute “…and dozens of like-minded think tanks around the country receive major funding from secretive national donors to push a conservative agenda.”
Cascade’s president, John A. Charles, Jr. responded, saying, “It is ludicrous to think that Cascade is operating in lockstep with other organizations to promote any specific policy agenda. As a free-market think tank, we don’t believe in central planning, either in government or in the non-profit sector.”
Charles continued, “We set our own research agenda, approved by an Oregon-based board of trustees, which promotes individual liberty, economic opportunity, and personal responsibility.”
As to the charge that some of Cascade’s funding comes from a group of “secretive donors,” Charles notes that the IRS allows anonymity for donors to non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, including charities, schools, churches, think tanks, and others.
“We respect the privacy of our donors, whether they are large national funders or the individual Oregonians that make up the bulk of Cascade’s supporters. Contrary to the mistaken belief of CMD, we don’t promote the agenda of our donors; they voluntarily choose to support our agenda of personal and economic freedom.”
Charles noted in conclusion, “The timing of this attack is almost comical given the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare. Now more than ever, the country needs public policies that respect the dignity of individuals to run their own lives. Cascade will continue to be the leading voice for self-governance in Oregon, and we welcome financial support from donors regardless of where they live.”