FFM Bulletin 2/16/12

FFM Investigative Report: Trust Fund Environmentalism- Parts I and II

This week, we released the first two installments of our three-part Accountability Alert series- “Trust Fund Environmentalism” -that examines a coordinated $48 million campaign to rewrite Minnesota’s energy and environmental policy.

Part I examined the connection between wealthy philanthropists and how some are “setting policy priorities” by donating tens of millions of dollars since 2003 to nine national nonprofit organizations. Minnesota-based nonprofits have received over 285 grants totaling $48 million during that time period.

Part II expands on the research in the first piece and explores how this network, the RE-AMP Energy Network, a group of well-endowed national foundations, has lavished unheard of sums of special interest money on Minnesota green-oriented nonprofits as they relentlessly pursue their agenda.  Our investigation revealed a coordinated campaign to influence policy makers, generate positive media coverage and influence public opinion. Interestingly, RE-AMP’s list of “victories’ may hit close to home for some Minnesotans.

Is “engaged philanthropy” a backdoor way of injecting special interest money into the political process? Read the report and decide for yourself.

Help us get this important message out by sharing it with your friends. Look for the final installment of the Trust Fund Environmentalism series next week.

Can Indiana's right-to-work law offer perspective for Minnesota?

Just one day before Minnesota lawmakers introduced a right-to-work constitutional amendment last week, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law his state’s version of the “employee freedom” legislation, making Indiana the 23rd right-to-work state in the nation and the first state in a decade to enact such a law. Several members of the Minnesota legislature are hoping voters will have a chance to decide this November whether or not to follow Indiana’s lead. The Minnesota bills were introduced on February 8. 

Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), author of the House right-to-work bill, characterized the legislation as an opportunity to bring employee freedom to the workplace, noting that current laws “stifle the economy and hurt job growth.” Drazkowski specifically referenced Indiana’s new right-to-work law, noting that the proposed legislation in Minnesota takes into account several versions of laws in other states and resulted in language that best fits the needs for job seekers and creators in Minnesota.

Read the entire article on Minnesota State News.

Reminder for high school students: Participate in our Reagan Essay Conteset. Deadline in two weeks!

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota recently announced details of its 2011-2012 Ronald Reagan essay contest for Minnesota high schoolers. In its second year, this contest encourages Minnesota high school students to explore the leadership, legacies and values of America’s 40th President, Ronald Reagan.

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota has supersized this year’s essay contest and will provide  $5,000 college scholarships to two grand prize winners! Entries must be submitted by February 29, 2012.

For all of the contest details, visit http://bit.ly/FFMreagan

Bill to bond for ice arena air quality improvements introduced - Really?

On Tuesday, Rep. Jim Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) introduced legislation that would appropriate $1.5 million in state bonding money to improve air quality in numerous indoor ice arenas in the state. The money would be disbursed through grants to local governments who need to repair and upgrade their facilities’ ventilation systems.

Said Rep. Hansen: “Hockey and skating are Minnesota traditions. We have a history of and responsibility for making sure our young participants and their coaches, parents, and fans are safe.”

While we can all agree that the safety of fans and athletes is a priority in the “State of Hockey”, using millions of dollars from taxpayers across the state to fix the problems associated with a local community’s ice arena doesn’t exactly inspire fiscal responsibility.

The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future bonding bill, but this bill may need a couple minutes in the penalty box first.

State Policy Network announces the launch of their new project: "We the People"

The State Policy Network (SPN) recently launched a new project that aims to equip today’s freedom fighters by providing multi-media resources about founding principles, the Constitution and free market economics. The “We the People” project features a three-volume, twelve-part program that will provide citizens with a framework for understanding American principles and to bring those founding principles to the discussion in American politics today.

Be sure to visit www.wethepeopleHQ.org, to find the three-volume curriculum and learn more about the project. 


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