In Minnesota think tank goes to college the Minneapolis Star Tribune takes a look at a local right-wing “think tank,” the Center of the American Experiment (CAE). According to the article CAE is launching an attack on academia, saying it is “leftist.”
One of the subjects of the story is the CAE’s close ties to the Republican Party, even though the think tank is a “501(c)(3)” organization which means donations are tax-deductible and the organization must be strictly non-partisan.
Like many of the center’s leaders and writers in recent years, Meeks is steeped in Republican politics. Her husband, Jack, was until recently the state’s representative on the Republican National Committee. The center’s new management team recently hired as its communications director Randy Wanke, a savvy operative who did the same job for the Minnesota Republican Party.
Almost all its directors and advisers are Republicans, and three of the last four state GOP chairmen have been deeply involved in the center.
According to the law, any affiliation with The Party is illegal. But who would prosecute? Who would deny them their tax-deductible status? The Republican Justice Department? Republican-operative judges?
In reality – just like the Heritage Foundation and the rest of the Right’s network of PR organizations – the Center of the American Experiment illegally operates as an adjunct to The Party. There is no line between The Party and these organizations.