Non-profit

Roughrider Policy Center

Website:

roughriderpolicy.org

Location:

West Fargo, SD

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Formation:

2019

Type:

Non-profit

CEO:

Bette Grande

The Roughrider Policy Center (RPC) is a public policy think tank that promotes free enterprise and individual liberty in North Dakota. RPC focuses its research and agenda on education, energy, healthcare, and environment. [1]

The Roughrider Policy Center is an affiliate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of free-market state-level policy organizations. [2] Though RPC is nonpartisan, some staff have affiliations with the Republican Party.

Activity

The Roughrider Policy Center is a non-partisan public policy think tank that promotes free enterprise and individual liberty in education, energy, healthcare, and environmental policy. [3]

RPC’s educational priorities include educational choice, improving literacy rates, and civic literacy. In addition, RPC supports the repeal of the Blaine Amendment,[4] which prevents government funding to schools with religious affiliations. [5]

RPC promotes energy policies that offer free-market choices with limited regulation. RPC’s website features a video by the Coalition for a Secure Energy Future which promotes the use of coal-based electricity. [6] RPC also claims that renewable energy is unreliable, the push to replace fossil fuels is not environmentally sound, and that the concern over high levels of carbon dioxide “is ridiculous.” [7]

In 2019, RPC was part of a coalition of free-market think tanks that signed a statement supporting the Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule as a replacement to the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. Other signers include the Independence Institute, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and the John Locke Foundation. [8]

RPC supports free-market environmental policies that include limited regulations that allow markets to work. RPC supports neutral government policies that allow for innovation in the private sector. [9] RPC is critical of the Green New Deal and claims that it would give more power to the federal government and increase electricity costs for individuals and businesses, thereby increasing the overall costs of goods and services. [10]

RPC advocates for a free-market based healthcare policy, which includes improving price transparency, reforming occupational licensing, and innovating telemedicine options. RPC also supports charity care, which would provide free healthcare to people with limited incomes. [11]

In 2019, RPC was part of a coalition of free-market think tanks that signed a letter opposing government-imposed price controls for healthcare. The letter claims that these price controls, often called rate setting or price fixing, would force providers to sell below market price and create a scarcity. [12] Other groups in the coalition included Americans for Prosperity, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Heartland Institute. [13]

In 2019, RPC was part of a 60 group coalition, led by Americans for Tax Reform, that sent a letter to Congress urging them to vote against the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, labor legislation that would functionally repeal the Taft-Hartley Act to increase union coercive power. The coalition claims that the PRO Act would harm American workers by codifying rules that lead to higher unemployment, violate worker privacy, and overturn right-to-work laws, while supporting union bosses and their campaign contributors. Other members of the coalition include Heritage Action for America, the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, and the Public Service Research Council. [14]

Financials

The Roughrider Policy Center received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 2019 and as of December 2020 has only filed a form 990-N tax return, reporting receipts less than $25,000. [15] RPC collects donations through its website.

People

Bette Grande is the CEO and co-founder of Roughrider Policy Center and a research fellow at the Heartland Institute. Grande formerly served as the energy division chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, as a member of the energy committee at the Council of State Governments, and as a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Grande is a former Republican member of the North Dakota state House of Representatives and served as chair of the Employee Benefits Programs Committee and as a member of the Education and Environment Division of the House Appropriations Committee. [16]

Jacob Strinden is the chair and co-founder of RPC. Strinden is the former executive director of the Minnesota College Republicans, a former intern for the North Dakota Republican Party, and former chair of the College Republicans at the University of Minnesota. [17] Strinden’s grandfather, Earl Strinden (R), formerly served as the North Dakota House Majority Leader and his mother, Michelle Strinden (R), currently serves as a representative in the North Dakota House. [18]

References

  1. “Home.” Roughrider Policy Center, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/. ^
  2. “The Network: North Dakota.” State Policy Network, 2020. Accessed December 2, 2020. https://spn.org/directory/#ND. ^
  3. “Home.” Roughrider Policy Center, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/. ^
  4. “Education.” Roughrider Policy Center, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/education. ^
  5. “Blain amendments in state constitutions.” Ballotpedia. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://ballotpedia.org/Blaine_Amendment_(U.S._Constitution). ^
  6. “Energy.” Roughrider Policy Center, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/education-copy. ^
  7. Grande, Bette. “Green Energy is Not Dependable.” Fargo Forum, April 8, 2018. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.inforum.com/opinion/columns/975349-Grande-Green-energy-is-not-dependable. ^
  8. “RPC Signs Letter of Support for Trump Administration Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule.” Roughrider Policy Center, February 18, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/post/rpc-signs-letter-of-support-for-trump-administration-affordable-clean-energy-ace-rule. ^
  9. “Environment.” Roughrider Policy Center, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020.  https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/education-copy-2. ^
  10. Grande, Bette. “What is the Green New Deal?” Fargo Forum, January 21, 2019. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.inforum.com/opinion/columns/955656-Grande-What-is-the-Green-New-Deal. ^
  11. “Healthcare.” Roughrider Policy Center, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/education-copy-1. ^
  12. “RPC Signs Price Fixing Coalition Letter.” Roughrider Policy Center, December 3, 2019. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/post/rpc-signs-price-fixing-coalition-letter. ^
  13. “CEI Joins Coalition Letter on Fixed Drug Pricing.” Competitive Enterprise Institute, January 9, 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://cei.org/coalition_letters/cei-joins-coalition-letter-on-fixed-drug-pricing/. ^
  14. “Roughrider Among 60+ Groups Defending American Workers from Union Coercion & Opposing PRO Act.” Roughrider Policy Institute, September 16, 2019. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/post/roughrider-among-60-groups-defending-american-workers-from-union-coercion-opposing-pro-act. ^
  15. “Roughrider Policy Institute.” Internal Revenue Service, 2020. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/detailsPage?ein=824651816&name=Roughrider Policy Center&city=West Fargo&state=ND&countryAbbr=US&dba=&type=CHARITIES, DETERMINATIONLETTERS, EPOSTCARD&orgTags=CHARITIES&orgTags=DETERMINATIONLETTERS&orgTags=EPOSTCARD. ^
  16. “Bette Grand.” Roughrider Policy Institute, 2020. Accessed December 2, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/bette-grande. ^
  17. “Jacob Strinden.” LinkedIn 2020. Accessed December 4, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobstrinden/. ^
  18. “Jacob Strinden.” Roughrider Policy Institute, 2020. Accessed December 2, 2020. https://www.roughriderpolicy.org/jacob-strinden. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. State Policy Network (SPN)
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Roughrider Policy Center


West Fargo, SD