Non-profit

Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Website:

www.thomasjeffersoninst.org

Location:

SPRINGFIELD, VA

Tax ID:

51-0280185

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $241,113
Expenses: $246,278
Assets: $78,391

President:

Chris Braunlich

Formation:

1985

The Thomas Jefferson Institute of Public Policy is a right-of-center think tank established to promote individual opportunity and economic progress. The organization advocates for low taxation and the removal of regulatory barriers to economic growth in Virginia. [1]

The organization researches and analyzes the potential economic impact of proposed legislation, publishes issue papers, and lobbies the Virginia state government to promote legislation in line with its findings. [2]

The Thomas Jefferson Institute is a part of the State Policy Network (SPN), a national network of right-of-center and libertarian organizations that focus on state policy issues. [3]

Organization Activity

The organization publishes the Jefferson Policy Journal, providing editorial opinion pieces available to policy makers and to the general public. In 2021, the Institute has published articles in support of legislation to advance recycling in Virginia and in opposition to Governor Ralph Northam (D)’s plan to double the tax on Paycheck Protection Program loans. The Institute has also opposed efforts for Virginia to join National Popular Vote, a left-of-center initiative for states to cast electoral votes in support of whoever wins the federal popular vote in presidential elections, rather than voting in accordance with the state’s own voters. [4]

The Thomas Jefferson Institute also operates centers on a number of subjects, led by various Institute staff members. The Institute leads the Excellence in Education Center to promote school choice programs, such as vouchers and education savings accounts. The Institute opposed the Virginia General Assembly’s attempt to repeal the Virginia Education Improvement Scholarship program that provided state-supported scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools. [5]

The Institute’s Center for Government Reform advocates for decreased government intervention into the lives of citizens. In 2021, the Center issued a position paper to oppose the creation of a safety and health code board during the COVID-19 pandemic on the grounds that it would add costs and slow the re-opening of businesses and hiring after the pandemic. [6] The Center also released a video entitled “Sweden’s Lessons for America” designed to counter U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)’s use of Sweden as an example of the alleged benefits of democratic socialism. [7]

The Thomas Jefferson Institute also runs the Center for Environmental Stewardship, which recently issued a report in opposition to the carbon tax imposed on Virginia electricity production. The Center also issued a report opposing the Virginia proposal to create a new gas and diesel fuel tax as part of participation in the Transportation and Climate Initiative, an environmentalist agreement between 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. [8]

The Institute also organizes centers on economic development and legislative analysis. The Center for Economic Development released a paper critiquing the imposition of fines on those in violation of Governor Northam’s executive orders to establish COVID-19 lockdowns. The paper also argued against other COVID-19 restrictions that interfered with businesses, lenders, and landlords. [9] The Institute’s Center for Legislative Analysis has focused primarily on tax policy, publishing an analysis of the economic impact of approved and pending tax increases in Virginia. [10]

Associations

The Thomas Jefferson Institute’s director of the Center for Environmental Stewardship, David Schnare, was appointed to former President Donald Trump’s environmental protection team in 2016. Critics accused Schnare of being a “climate change doubter” for legal actions he had taken against those doing environmentalist research. [11]

Schnare has publicly acknowledged the existence of climate change and that carbon emissions may contribute to it, though he has questioned the significance of human impact in creating the change. [12]

Left-wing propaganda website Source Watch has attempted to link the Thomas Jefferson Institute’s position on climate change to alleged funding from the Koch network, ExxonMobil, and Peabody Coal. Nonetheless, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation reported just one, $2,500 grant to the Institute, and ExxonMobil and Peabody coal have reported no grants to the Institute. [13]

Leadership

The Thomas Jefferson Institute was founded and led by Michael W. Thompson Sr. until his death in 2019. [14] Thompson worked as the national youth coordinator for former President Ronald Reagan’s first presidential campaign in 1968 and worked as a national officer for Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) while in college. After over two decades in marketing and public affairs, Thompson founded the Thomas Jefferson Institute. [15]

Christian N. Braunlich is the president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute. Braunlich previously served as president of the Virginia Board of Education and sat on the Fairfax County, Virginia Board of Education.

Finances

The Thomas Jefferson Institute reported revenue of $453,979 in 2019, over double its 2018 revenue of $187,961. Contributions and grants rose to $452,327 in 2019 from $187,336 in 2018. [16] The Institute reported expenses of $213,311 in 2019, a slight decrease from the prior year, and $182,017 in net assets. [17] [18]

The Institute has received contributions from other members of the SPN, including $50,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in 2017 and 2018 and $15,000 from the Roe Foundation in 2015. [19] [20] [21]

References

  1. “THE THOMAS JEFFERSON INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY.” THE THOMAS JEFFERSON INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY – GuideStar Profile. Accessed January 25, 2021. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/51-0280185. ^
  2. “The Jefferson Institute.” Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. Accessed January 25, 2021. http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/mission.php. ^
  3. “About State Policy Network.” State Policy Network. Accessed January 25, 2021. https://spn.org/state-policy-network-about/. ^
  4. “Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy”. Jefferson Policy Journal, February 3, 2021. https://jeffersonpolicyjournal.com/. ^
  5. Excellence in Education :: Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. Accessed February 4, 2021. http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/category.php?category_id=6. ^
  6. Thomas Jefferson Institute. Accessed January 25, 2021. http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/files/3/Haner_CovidWork.pdf. ^
  7. Government Reform :: Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. Accessed January 25, 2021. http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/category.php?category_id=7. ^
  8. “TCI Returns.” The Thomas Jefferson Institute. Accessed January 25, 2021. http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/files/3/Haner_TCIReturns.pdf. ^
  9. “Session Makes Economic Recovery Harder.” The Thomas Jefferson Institute of Public Policy. Accessed January 25, 2021. http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/files/3/Haner_SpecialSessionwrap.pdf. ^
  10. “The Road to Higher Taxes.” The Thomas Jefferson Institute. Accessed January 25, 2021. http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/files/3/RoadToTaxesBrochure.pdf. ^
  11. Cama, Timothy. “Trump Appointee Steps down at EPA.” TheHill, March 16, 2017. https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/324381-trump-appointee-steps-down-at-epa. ^
  12. Farah, Niina H. “NEWSMAKER: The Man Who Stormed out of Pruitt’s EPA.” NEWSMAKER: The man who stormed out of Pruitt’s EPA — Monday, December 18, 2017. Accessed January 25, 2021. https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060069219. ^
  13. “Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.” SourceWatch. Accessed January 25, 2021. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Thomas_Jefferson_Institute_for_Public_Policy#cite_note-5. ^
  14. Legacy.com, and Legacy. “Michael Thompson Obituary (1946 – 2019) – Washington Times.” Legacy.com. Legacy, September 13, 2019. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtontimes/obituary.aspx?pid=193890778. ^
  15. “Michael Thompson, Sr. (1946 – 2019).” Fairfax County Republican Committee, September 19, 2019. https://fairfaxgop.org/michael-thompson-sr-1946-2019/. ^
  16. “The Thomas Jefferson Institute”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form990). 2019. Part I Lines 12, 8. ^
  17. “The Thomas Jefferson Institute”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form990). 2019. Part I Line 18. ^
  18. “The Thomas Jefferson Institute”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form990). 2019. Part I Line 22. ^
  19. “The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc.”. Return of Private Foundation (Form 990PF). 2018. Part 1, Line 25, Part XV, Item 3. ^
  20. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc.”. Return of Private Foundation (Form 990PF). 2017. Part 1, Line 25, Part XV, Item 3. ^
  21. “About State Policy Network.” State Policy Network. Accessed January 22, 2021. https://spn.org/state-policy-network-about/. ^

Donor Organizations

  1. EdChoice (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1985

  • 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 Dec Form 990 $241,113 $246,278 $78,391 $93,247 N $240,505 $0 $608 $10,462 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $201,878 $230,223 $42,019 $53,275 N $201,279 $0 $599 $35,000
    2015 Dec Form 990 $240,331 $267,750 $72,910 $57,590 N $239,755 $0 $576 $35,000 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $269,944 $239,348 $96,874 $51,595 N $268,609 $0 $1,335 $31,500 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $315,473 $272,805 $71,225 $44,849 N $314,968 $0 $505 $24,500 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $279,151 $286,741 $20,360 $38,664 N $278,701 $0 $450 $35,000 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $259,018 $277,803 $71,288 $39,194 N $258,746 $0 $272 $35,000 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

    9035 GOLDEN SUNSET LN
    SPRINGFIELD, VA 22153-2456