Non-profit

James Madison Institute

Website:

www.jamesmadison.org

Location:

TALLAHASSEE, FL

Tax ID:

59-2811908

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,145,430
Expenses: $1,454,224
Assets: $1,637,118

President:

Dr. Robert McClure

Formation:

1987

The James Madison Institute (JMI) is a right-of-center think tank headquartered in Florida. JMI advocates for free markets, limited government intervention, and economic freedom. JMI publishes reports and articles that have garnered national media attention on topics including elections, labor union activity, school choice programs, and healthcare. [1] In 2020, JMI published the “Battleground States 2020” study, which projected that then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s policies would cost taxpayers over $36 trillion over ten years, resulting in between $32,000 and $42,000 in additional taxes for an average family of four. [2]

JMI has faced consistent criticism from left-of-center organizations. The New York Times alleged that JMI  misled voters to pass a ballot initiative opposing costly solar development projects in Florida due to its relationship with utilities companies and the utilities PAC Consumers for Smart Solar. [3] Other left-of-center organizations have criticized JMI for receiving funding from organizations associated with businessmen and libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch. [4] U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) led a group of nine Democratic U.S. Senators in demanding that JMI and other right-of-center nonprofit organizations reveal their donors. [5]

Political Advocacy

James Madison Institute publishes political research and studies in support of right-of-center public policy on education, electoral issues, healthcare, and economic regulation.

Battleground States 2020 Study

In the lead-up to the 2020 election, JMI published the Battleground States 2020 study analyzing the potential impacts of electing then-candidate Joe Biden. The report estimated that the Biden administration’s proposed agenda would cost $36 trillion to taxpayers over ten years. JMI used Biden campaign promises to calculate the figures in the report, including campaign commitments to eliminate 2017 tax cuts and raise the corporate income tax. [6] JMI also calculated the impacts of mass spending plans proposed by the Biden administration, including the implementation of a single-payer healthcare system and the creation of a so-called Green New Deal to institute environmentalist policy across the country. [7]

JMI’s report estimated that such plans, compounded by the economic impacts of COVID-19, would result in state budgets experiencing shortfalls in the tens of billions of dollars. The report also found that such an agenda would impose an additional cost of $32,000 to $42,000 on the average family of four, depending on the state. The study concluded that job creation would also decline by 144,000 jobs in Florida, 79,000 jobs in Ohio, and 82,000 jobs in Pennsylvania if such proposals were enacted. [8]

Education

JMI supports school choice programs that allow parents to use public funding to send children to private schools or charter schools, as opposed to traditional government-run institutions. During former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s term, JMI supported and collaborated with the state on education reform efforts, passing the A+ Plan for Education program. The program was the first Florida voucher program to provide parents a choice over which schools their children would attend. [9]

JMI has also taken steps to oppose the power of teachers’ unions in shaping education policy. JMI funded an alternative to the Florida chapter of the National Education Association (NEA), the Professional Educators Network of Florida, to oppose left-of-center education policies often supported by the NEA and its affiliates. In 1991, JMI created a school choice group named Floridians For Education Choice and appointed Jeb Bush as its co-chairman. [10]

JMI published a report entitled “Why Expanding Education Choice Should Be Florida Voters’ Top K-12 Priority,” highlighting the successes of school choice programs in Florida. The report indicated that Florida had the most private school scholarships and charter school students and the largest virtual K-12 school in the country. The report also highlighted how Florida educational choice policies created “astounding student learning gains,” during a period in which Florida raised per-pupil education costs less than any other state. [11]

Economic Policy

JMI has consistently advocated for the privatization of Florida government functions. For decades, it has encouraged state leadership to embrace competitive sourcing programs for government-funded projects in order to drive down costs to taxpayers while increasing the quality of services. [12]

JMI has especially advocated for the privatization of government administrative services, outsourcing back-office routine administrative functions like payroll, training, recruiting, and insurance benefits. JMI has estimated that a single contract for these functions would save nearly $200 million in taxpayer funding. [13]

Health Care

JMI opposes the expansion of government healthcare programs, arguing against the implementation of a socialized Medicare-for-All system. JMI found that implementing such a program in Florida would require an increase in the sales tax from 6% to 39% or the implementation of a 37% state income tax to cover new costs. [14] The costs of the program would also force the state to nearly double its annual budget from $89 billion to $163 billion. [15]

JMI’s Michael Bond compared Medicaid’s price setting process to the former Soviet Union’s centralized pricing structure. JMI published similar views in a 2005 study that led then-Governor Bush to implement market-based Medicaid entitlement reform in Florida, becoming the first state to do so. Former Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) expanded the program, providing Medicaid patients with vouchers to be used at doctors of their choosing. The reform measures lowered state healthcare costs, increased competition, and expanded care options for Medicaid users. In 2005, Bond complimented then-Gov. Bush’s plan as “bold and innovative” for creating a free healthcare market that was accessible to Medicaid participants. [16]

Bush Family Connections

James Madison Institute has connections to the Bush political family. Before he became Florida Governor, Jeb Bush sat on the board of JMI from 1990-1993. JMI cited Bush as a national leader in the conservative movement in 2013 and declared him one of the state’s “greatest and most accomplished governors.” [17]

Al Hoffman, a family friend of former President George H.W. Bush, an activist for the Presidential campaign of George W. Bush, and a campaigner for the gubernatorial campaigns of Jeb Bush, also sat on the board of JMI. Hoffman previously worked as the Republican National Committee’s finance chairman and is considered a close friend and top advisor to the Bush family. Known as a “kingmaker” and a “dynasty builder,” Hoffman worked on former President George H.W. Bush’s campaign, “propelled” Jeb Bush to win the Florida gubernatorial election, and played an essential role in delivering Florida’s electoral votes to former President George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election. [18]

Koch Network Connections

JMI has drawn criticism from left-of-center organizations for its affiliations with organizations run by libertarian businessman and political activist Charles Koch and his late brother David. Opponents have criticized JMI from accepting funding from organizations within the “Koch network,” including over $1.4 million from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, Donors Capital Fund, Donors Trust, and the Cato Institute. [19]

JMI is affiliated with the right-of-center State Policy Network (SPN), a network of nonprofit organizations that work on state-level policy issues. [20] Left-of-center groups including Progress Florida, People for the American Way, Common Cause, and the far-left Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) published a report criticizing JMI, SPN, and the right-of-center American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The report alleged that JMI and SPN’s support for mainstream right-of-center policies, like opposition to single-payer socialized healthcare programs and mass environmentalist regulations, amounted to support for corporate agendas at the expense of citizens. [21]

JMI has come under fire from the Democratic Party for its affiliation with the SPN. In 2016, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) claimed that JMI was among a network of right-of-center groups funded by the “Koch brothers” and conventional energy interests to halt left-of-center environmentalist legislation. [22] Whitehouse led a coalition of Democratic U.S. Senators, including Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), in demanding that 22 right-of-center organizations disclose their donors.

The Senators labeled the SPN as an “identity launderer,” despite being supported by mainstream right-of-center organizations including Americans for Tax Reform and the Heritage Foundation. [23] The right-leaning Free Beacon acquired internal emails that allegedly illustrated a plot between Democratic members of Congress and environmentalist activists to launch a legal and public relations attack against fossil fuel companies and right-of-center think tanks, including JMI. [24]

JMI has shared staff with several organizations affiliated with the Koch network. L. Charles Hilton sat on the board of both JMI and the Koch-affiliated Citizens for a Sound Economy. Barry Poulson worked with both Americans for Prosperity and JMI. Bradley Hobbs taught at Institute for Humane Studies, the Koch Associate Program, and JMI. [25]

Leadership

Robert McClure is the current President and CEO of JMI. McClure was appointed to the Florida Elections Commission by former Governor Jeb Bush (R). [26] Former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has served on the board of JMI. [27] \

References

  1. “Jeb Bush’s Longstanding Ties to the Koch-Backed James Madison Institute.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/jeb-bushs-longstanding-ties-to-the-koch-backed-james-madison-institute/. ^
  2. THE MESSENGER. Tallahassee, Fl: The James Madison Institute, 2020. https://www.jamesmadison.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/JMI_Messenger_Nov2020_v03_web.pdf. ^
  3. Schwartz, John. “Measure in Florida That Claims to Back Solar Power May Discourage It.” The New York Times. The New York Times, October 27, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/science/florida-solar-power-referendum.html?searchResultPosition=1. ^
  4. “The James Madison Institute Has Very Deep Ties to the Koch Network.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/the-james-madison-institute-has-very-deep-ties-to-the-koch-network/. ^
  5. Kevin Mooney / @KevinMooneyDC / August 03, 2016. “Liberal Senators Seek Identities of Conservative Donors.” The Daily Signal, August 4, 2016. https://www.dailysignal.com/2016/08/03/senate-liberals-targeting-climate-change-deniers-demand-to-know-donors-to-22-think-tanks/. ^
  6. Norquist, Grover. “Biden’s Left Wing Agenda Will Cost Households Tens of Thousands of Dollars.” Townhall. Townhall.com, October 19, 2020. https://townhall.com/columnists/grovernorquist/2020/10/19/bidens-left-wing-agenda-will-cost-households-tens-of-thousands-of-dollars-n2578334. ^
  7. McClure, Bob. “Study Reveals What the Biden-Harris Agenda Will Really Cost.” Townhall. Townhall.com, October 10, 2020. https://townhall.com/columnists/bobmcclure/2020/10/10/oped-on-groundbreaking-study-reveals-raw-numbers-about-bidenharris-plan-n2577787. ^
  8. McClure, Bob. “Study Reveals What the Biden-Harris Agenda Will Really Cost.” Townhall. Townhall.com, October 10, 2020. https://townhall.com/columnists/bobmcclure/2020/10/10/oped-on-groundbreaking-study-reveals-raw-numbers-about-bidenharris-plan-n2577787. ^
  9. “Jeb Bush’s Longstanding Ties to the Koch-Backed James Madison Institute.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/jeb-bushs-longstanding-ties-to-the-koch-backed-james-madison-institute/. ^
  10. “Jeb Bush’s Longstanding Ties to the Koch-Backed James Madison Institute.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/jeb-bushs-longstanding-ties-to-the-koch-backed-james-madison-institute/. ^
  11. Mattox, About the Author: Bill. “Why Expanding Education Choice Should Be Florida Voters’ Top K-12 Priority.” James Madison Institute, May 22, 2020. https://www.jamesmadison.org/why-expanding-education-choice-should-be-florida-voters/. ^
  12. “Jeb Bush’s Longstanding Ties to the Koch-Backed James Madison Institute.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/jeb-bushs-longstanding-ties-to-the-koch-backed-james-madison-institute/. ^
  13. “Jeb Bush’s Longstanding Ties to the Koch-Backed James Madison Institute.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/jeb-bushs-longstanding-ties-to-the-koch-backed-james-madison-institute/. ^
  14. Schaefer, Nina Owcharenko. “Some State Officials Want to Adopt Bernie-Style Health Care. Here’s What It Would Cost.” The Daily Signal, November 5, 2018. https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/11/04/some-state-officials-want-to-adopt-bernie-style-health-care-heres-what-it-would-cost/. ^
  15. Waldman, Deane, and Jennifer Minjarez. “OPINION: Why Are We Still Discussing Debunked Medicare-for-All?” The Daily Caller. The Daily Caller, November 2, 2018. https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/02/debunked-medicare-for-all/. ^
  16. “Jeb Bush’s Longstanding Ties to the Koch-Backed James Madison Institute.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/jeb-bushs-longstanding-ties-to-the-koch-backed-james-madison-institute/. ^
  17. “Jeb Bush’s Longstanding Ties to the Koch-Backed James Madison Institute.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/jeb-bushs-longstanding-ties-to-the-koch-backed-james-madison-institute/. ^
  18. “Jeb Bush’s Longstanding Ties to the Koch-Backed James Madison Institute.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/jeb-bushs-longstanding-ties-to-the-koch-backed-james-madison-institute/. ^
  19. “The James Madison Institute Has Very Deep Ties to the Koch Network.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/the-james-madison-institute-has-very-deep-ties-to-the-koch-network/. ^
  20. “The James Madison Institute Has Very Deep Ties to the Koch Network.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/the-james-madison-institute-has-very-deep-ties-to-the-koch-network/. ^
  21. Progress Florida. Progress Fl ALEC Report. Progress Florida. Accessed January 27, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20170219153854/https://feaweb.org/_data/files/ALEC/Progress_Fl_ALEC_Report_2013.pdf. ^
  22. “Senators Call Out Web of Denial Blocking Action on Climate Change: U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.” Home, July 15, 2016. https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/release/senators-call-out-web-of-denial-blocking-action-on-climate-change. ^
  23. Kevin Mooney / @KevinMooneyDC / August 03, 2016. “Liberal Senators Seek Identities of Conservative Donors.” The Daily Signal, August 4, 2016. https://www.dailysignal.com/2016/08/03/senate-liberals-targeting-climate-change-deniers-demand-to-know-donors-to-22-think-tanks/. ^
  24. Vespa, Matt. “Emails Show Democrats Are Targeting These Organizations For Daring To Go Against Them On Climate Change.” Townhall. Townhall.com, July 12, 2016. https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/07/12/plan-of-attack-emails-show-democrats-are-targeting-these-organizations-n2191384. ^
  25. “The James Madison Institute Has Very Deep Ties to the Koch Network.” Bridge Project, April 1, 2015. http://bridgeproject.com/research/koch-impacts-florida/the-james-madison-institute-has-very-deep-ties-to-the-koch-network/. ^
  26. “Dr. J. Robert McClure.” James Madison Institute, April 14, 2020. https://www.jamesmadison.org/about/team/board-of-directors/dr-j-robert-mcclure/. ^
  27. Solon, Hector. “(MI-Gov) Doctrine of Dick DeVos: Wife Betsy DeVos Deliberately Gagged.” Daily Kos, October 6, 2006. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2006/10/6/254448/-. ^

Donor Organizations

  1. EdChoice (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: October - September
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 1987

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Oct Form 990 $1,145,430 $1,454,224 $1,637,118 $1,086,702 N $1,117,269 $5,122 $67 $218,012
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,590,520 $2,051,409 $1,640,128 $780,918 N $1,528,851 $45,755 $83 $212,637 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,865,274 $2,031,606 $1,960,354 $640,255 N $1,762,354 $102,751 $169 $227,345 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,913,472 $1,681,516 $1,989,215 $479,571 N $1,811,194 $98,930 $71 $200,240 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,250,415 $1,655,681 $1,819,778 $542,090 N $1,069,221 $180,129 $63 $188,860 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,694,754 $1,770,365 $2,014,950 $331,996 N $1,642,037 $43,208 $452 $211,022 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,966,419 $1,297,246 $2,068,691 $310,126 N $1,878,777 $3,382 $571 $172,103 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    James Madison Institute

    PO BOX 10150
    TALLAHASSEE, FL 32302-2150