A crucial element to CSF’s and CEO America’s success has been the right-wing State Policy Network. Established in 1992, it links state-based policy groups such as the Buckeye Institute (Ohio), James Madison Institute (Florida) and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (Washington).51 SPN allows major national groups such as the Heritage Foundation, the Institute for Justice, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Free Congress Foundation to become associate members. These state think tanks followed the Heritage model of extensive public relations plans courting the media and politicians in an effort to have more impact on public policy. Their agendas are nearly identical: privatization of most public services and hostility to public education.
The State Policy Network has received funding from the Olin Foundation, the Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation, the Bradley Foundation and the Castle Rock Foundation (Coors affiliated).52 The Network meets regularly to share strategies and coordinate activities.