Nevada Policy Research Institute

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The Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) describes itself as "a free-market think tank that seeks private solutions to public challenges facing Nevada, the West and the nation. The Institute's primary areas of focus are education and fiscal policy, with the goal of advancing free-market principles in both."[1] NPRI is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN).

The institute made waves during the debate over the Nevada state budget during the 2009 legislative session. Geoffrey Lawrence, the institute's fiscal policy analyst, authored "Nevada's Freedom Budget: The Road to Recovery" which was an alternative state budget proposal that would have purportedly avoided the need for state tax increases.

News and Controversies

NPRI Called Out for Blocking Action on Climate Change

In July of 2016, nineteen U.S. Senators delivered a series of speeches denouncing climate change denial from 32 organizations with links to fossil-fuel interests, including the Nevada Policy Research Institute.[2] Sen. Whitehouse (RI-D), who led the effort to expose "the web of denial" said in his remarks on the floor that the purpose was to,

"shine a little light on the web of climate denial and spotlight the bad actors in the web, who are polluting our American discourse with phony climate denial. This web of denial, formed over decades, has been built and provisioned by the deep-pocketed Koch brothers, by ExxonMobil, by Peabody coal, and by other fossil fuel interests. It is a grim shadow over our democracy in that it includes an electioneering effort that spends hundreds of millions of dollars in a single election cycle and threatens any Republican who steps up to address the global threat of climate change. . . . [I]t is long past time we shed some light on the perpetrators of this web of denial and expose their filthy grip on our political process. It is a disgrace, and our grandchildren will look back at this as a dirty time in America’s political history because of their work.”[2]

NPRI Produces Questionable Study on Clean Energy in Nevada

A study released by NPRI on June 9, 2016 claiming that Nevada's requirements to use solar, wind and other clean energy sources are killing jobs and hurting jobs has been criticized by energy experts in the state reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.[3] Nevada has imposed a mandate called the Renewable Portfolio Standards to get 25% of its energy through renewables by 2025.

"In Nevada, energy prices are expected to climb by nearly 15 percent this year, which will reduce statewide employment growth by more than 11,000 jobs and reduce economic growth by $1.7 billion, said Timothy Considine, a professor with the School of Energy Resources and the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Wyoming," in the NPRI study.[3]

"Chandler Sherman, a spokesman for Bring Back Solar Alliance, said recent studies have shown that rooftop solar decreases costs to NV Energy, saving all customers money. A peer-reviewed study by SolarCity and the Natural Resources Defense Council, released in May, found rooftop solar saves Nevadans $7 million every year, whether or not they have rooftop solar," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.[3]

Angela Dykema, director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that, "since 2009, Nevada’s Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program has led to the construction of almost 30 renewable power plants, which have led to the creation of more than 4,000 high-paying jobs."[3]

Ties to the Bradley Foundation

In 2016 the Nevada Policy Research Institute received $25,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

Bradley detailed the most recent grants in internal documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Below is a description of the grant prepared by CMD. The quoted text was written by Bradley staff.

'2016: $25,000 to support the anti union “National Employee Freedom Week”(NEFW). This would be the Bradley Foundation’s first grant to NPRI. “NEFW is basically an advertising campaign to educate workers about that which they can do with their dissatisfaction about union representation.”

Bradley Files

In 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of SourceWatch, launched a series of articles on the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, exposing the inner-workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. 56,000 previously undisclosed documents laid bare the Bradley Foundation's highly politicized agenda. CMD detailed Bradley's efforts to map and measure right wing infrastructure nationwide, including by dismantling and defunding unions to impact state elections; bankrolling discredited spin doctor Richard Berman and his many front groups; and more.

Find the series here at

Ties to the Koch Brothers

The Nevada Policy Research Institute has received significant funding from the Koch conduits DonorTrust and Donors Capital Fund (See below).

In addition, the Nevada Policy Research Institute is, as of December 2016, listed as a "partner organization" in the Charles Koch Institute's Liberty@Work program.[4]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Ties to the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Nevada Policy Research Institute has hosted writers from the ALEC-connected Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which screens potential reporters on their “free market” views as part of the job application process.[5] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[6] Despite their non-partisan description, many of the websites funded by the Franklin Center have received criticism for their conservative bias.[7][8] On its website, the Franklin Center claims it "provides 10 percent of all daily reporting from state capitals nationwide."[9]

Franklin Center Funding

Franklin Center Director of Communications Michael Moroney told the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) in 2013 that the source of the Franklin Center's funding "is 100 percent anonymous." But 95 percent of its 2011 funding came from DonorsTrust, a spin-off of the Philanthropy Roundtable that functions as a large "donor-advised fund," cloaking the identity of donors to right-wing causes across the country (CPI did a review of Franklin's Internal Revenue Service records).[10] Mother Jones called DonorsTrust "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement" in a February 2013 article.[11] Franklin received DonorTrust's second-largest donation in 2011.[10]

The Franklin Center also receives funding from the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,[12] a conservative grant-making organization.[13]

The Franklin Center was launched by the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance (SAM),[14] a 501(c)(3) devoted to pushing free-market ideals. SAM gets funding from the State Policy Network,[15] which is partially funded by The Claude R. Lambe Foundation.[16] Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers who co-own Koch Industries, sits on the board of this foundation.[17] SAM also receives funding from the Rodney Fund.


The Nevada Policy Research Institute does not disclose its donors, but some of its funding sources are known through other tax filings. NPRI's known funders include:

Core Financials


  • Total Revenue: $768,427
  • Total Expenses: $742,292
  • Net Assets: $556,885


  • Total Revenue: $874,029
  • Total Expenses: $930,711
  • Net Assets: $530,750


  • Total Revenue: $1,077,298
  • Total Expenses: $1,206,368
  • Net Assets: $587,462


  • Total Revenue: $826,467
  • Total Expenses: $901,213
  • Net Assets: $717,094


  • Total Revenue: $682,549
  • Total Expenses: $782,140
  • Net Assets: $781,267


  • Total Revenue: $603,803
  • Total Expenses: $791,558
  • Net Assets: $872,043


  • Total Revenue: $776,450
  • Total Expenses: $654,447
  • Net Assets: $1,072,828


  • Total Revenue: $659,931
  • Total Expenses: $631,363
  • Net Assets: $945,002



As of September 2018:[27]

  • John Tsarpalas, President
  • Steven Miller, Senior Vice President, Nevada Journal Managing Editor
  • Robert Fellner, Director of Policy
  • Daniel Honchariw, Senior Policy Analyst
  • Ellen Hubbard, Regional Development Director
  • Michael Schaus, Communications Director
  • Kayla Weems, Director of Operations

Former Staff

  • Sharon J. Rossie, President
  • Andy Matthews, President
  • Geoffrey Lawrence, Deputy Policy Director
  • Eric Davis, Media Specialist
  • Victor Joecks, Communications Director
  • Jared Carl, Development Director
  • Kyle Gillis, Investigative Reporter
  • Jennifer Spoo, Paralegal, CJCL Administrator
  • Joseph Becker, Chief Legal Officer, CJCL Director
  • Patricia Andrews, Executive Assistant
  • Anna Buchner, CJCL Paralegal
  • Karen Gray, Citizen Outreach Director
  • Daniel Honchariw, Policy Researcher and Analyst
  • Matt Smith, Regional Development Director

Board of Directors

As of September 2018:[28]

  • Ranson W. Webster, Chairman
  • Bryan J. Dziedziak, Secretary/Treasurer
  • George Balaban
  • Bob Davidson
  • Ben Farahi
  • David Geddes
  • Steve Hardy
  • Gary Vause
  • Judy Cresanta, NPRI Founder

Former Directors

  • Jim Bahan
  • Bill Brady
  • Maryanne Ingemanson
  • Bruce James
  • Monte Miller
  • Darren Wilson
  • William P. Weidner
  • Nancy Croom, Vice Chair
  • Sherman R. Frederick

Contact Information

Nevada Policy Research Institute
7130 Placid St.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Fax: 702-227-0927
Phone: (702) 222-0642
Fax:(702) 227-0927

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources


  1. Nevada Policy Research Institute, "About Us", accessed March 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sheldon Whitehouse, "Senators Call Out Web of Denial Blocking Action On Climate Change," Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, July 15, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Sean Whaley, Study says green energy mandates kill jobs but Nevada experts disagree, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 2, 2016.
  4. Charles Koch Institute, Partner Organizations, Charles Koch Institute, 2016.
  5. Franklin Center, Franklin Affiliates in Your State, organizational website, accessed October 2012.
  6. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Think tank Journalism: The Future of Investigative Journalism, organizational website, accessed August 19, 2011.
  7. Rebekah Metzler, "Watchdog" website puts a new spin on politics, The Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2010.
  8. Allison Kilkenny, The Koch Spider Web, Truthout, accessed August 19, 2011.
  9. Sara Jerving, Franklin Center: Right-Wing Funds State News Source,, October 27, 2011.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Paul Abowd, Center for Public Integrity, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, organizational report, February 14, 2013.
  11. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  12. Daniel Bice, Franklin Center boss wants apology from Democratic staffer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 8, 2011.
  13. The Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation. Organizational website. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  14. Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams Alliance Media Kit. Organizational PDF. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  15. Media Matters Action Network. Sam Adams Alliance. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  16. Media Matters Action Network. State Policy Network. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  17. Media Matters Action Network. Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. Conservative Transparency. Accessed August 19, 2011.
  18. Americans for Prosperity Foundation, IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, November 11, 2015.
  19. Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2016 IRS 990, Nevada Policy Research Institute, April 11, 2017.
  20. Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2015 IRS 990, Nevada Policy Research Institute, August 10, 2016.
  21. Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2014 IRS 990, Nevada Policy Research Institute, June 15, 2015.
  22. Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2013 IRS 990, Nevada Policy Research Institute, October 15, 2014.
  23. Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2012 IRS 990, Nevada Policy Research Institute, August 15, 2013.
  24. Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2011 IRS 990, Nevada Policy Research Institute, July 17, 2012.
  25. Nevada Policy Research Institute, IRS form 990, 2010. GuideStar.
  26. Nevada Policy Research Institute, IRS form 990, 2009. GuideStar.
  27. Nevada Policy Research Institute, Staff, Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2018.
  28. Nevada Policy Research Institute, Board of Directors, Nevada Policy Research Institute, 2018.