Editor’s note: This post previously appeared on the Transparify Blog.
They were kind enough to let us re-post it on the IR blog.
The ‘think tank’ label still evokes notions of independence and the scholarly pursuit of knowledge, and journalists frequently cite think tanks as independent experts without simultaneously disclosing who funds them (a recent online petition laments the practices of the BBC in this regard). Yet in Washington D.C., one can observe a veritable politicization of think tanks, as avowedly ideological institutes now outnumber the more centrist or scholarly ones. With mandatory contributor disclosure not in sight, think tanks with clearly ideological purposes can still grant hidden sponsors full tax deductibility of donations under tax code section 501(c)(3).