MacIver Institute Receives Right Wing Circle Jerk Award

The MacIver Institute.jpeg
Eager to trumpet their resounding successes in Wisconsin even as Governor Scott Walker feels the heat from law enforcement breathing down his neck, the MacIver Institute issued an ebullient press release this morning about their Big Award given for the First Time Ever by their parent, the State Policy Network.

"It was important to celebrate the pivotal role Brett Healy and the MacIver Institute played in Wisconsin's recent victories," said SPN President Tracie Sharp. "Our network recognizes that Wisconsin is gaining ground toward becoming the freest and most prosperous state in the country."

This year marked the first time that SPN has awarded one of its member organizations with this distinction.

"We at MacIver are truly humbled and honored to be recognized by our peers and free market advocates nationwide who have looked to the recent successes in Wisconsin for inspiration in their own fight to reform governments all across our country," said Healy. "Our work is far from over, but I believe we have created a blue print in our state for fiscal responsibility and economic growth."

Of the Koch Brothers, by the Koch Brothers, for the Koch Brothers. In billionaires we trust.

MacIver was responsible for such stellar accomplishments as leading the challenge to all of the signatures on the Scott Walker recall petition so they could harass and shame teachers who signed it, for example. They also ran the propaganda wing of Walker's campaign, right alongside Americans for Prosperity.

Oh, and their communications director was one of those caught in the web of the Wisconsin Caucus Scandal, which is where Scott Walker learned the fine art of running campaigns on taxpayers' time.

MacIver Institute calls itself a non-partisan think tank. Actually, you really should read their description yourself. Here you go, straight from their "about" page:

The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy is a Wisconsin-based think tank that promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government.

I really enjoyed the part about personal responsibility, since that institute in particular has been particularly irresponsible with their tax-exempt status, to the point where a complaint has been filed with the IRS about their breach of the supposed firewall between nonprofits and political activity.

From the complaint:

The cynical manipulation of issue advocacy in AFPF/MacIver Institute’s It’s Working Wisconsin campaign was aptly revealed in Lightmann’s opening remarks at the Waukesha forum: “We’re not here today to talk about politics. Instead, we are here to separate the rhetoric from the reality on what the budget reforms championed by Governor Scott Walker and passed by the legislature have done for our state.” The truth, in light of all the circumstances described above, is that there is no meaningful distinction between the politics of supporting Walker during the recall petitioning and election and the rhetoric about protecting the “budget reforms.”

Oh, there is always more, both with Walker and with MacIver. Take, for example, the ridiculous notion that MacIver's "News Institute" is anything more than a propaganda machine, cranking out more Kochian glibertarian nonsense. Yet they managed to fool Google's algorithm long enough to sneak onto their news page for a bit during the Wisconsin recall, as if they report anything other than right-wing spin.

This so clearly illustrates their pattern of epistemic closure. They create their own universe, the State Policy Network. The SPN then creates their own planets in the form of these state-based think tanks, and then reward one of them in order to encourage the others to engage in even more right wing nonsense.


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