Wednesday, February 15, 2012

PNREF: A Citizens United Created Political Group

Who is the political group Public Notice Research & Education Fund (PNREF)? Who finances PNREF?

The following excerpt from the Sunlight Foundation report on PNREF tells us a little about who is PNREF, but  --  as is indicated in the enclosed excerpt  --  the public may never know who finances this secretive artifice of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case.

Public Notice is registered as a 501(c)4 organization with the Internal Revenue Service and are mostly advocacy groups. It can receive corporate donations without letting listing their donors to the public. According to its website, Public Notice's goal is to “advance open markets and economic growth by educating Americans on key economic and fiscal issues.” It describes itself as independent and nonpartisan.
However, the group is run by Gretchen Hamel, who has worked as a spokeswoman for Texas Republican Sen. John Carter and former Rep. J.C. Watts, a Republican from Oklahoma. She was a deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative during the Bush Administration. Hamel also has been on the invite list for events sponsored by Koch Industries, a firm led by conservative and libertarian political donors Charles and David Koch.
Sunlight Foundation 

PNREF came to my attention via an advertisement broadcasted on a nationwide television network.  The group seems to be getting a lot exposure on conservative web sites like Publius Forum.

Related information:

"Montana and the Supreme Court." Editorial. The New York Times 13 February, 2012: online edition.

"Quotation for Today: The Upshot of 'Citizens United v. FEC'." Exempli Gratia 24 January, 2012.

PNREF is also known as "Washington Could Learn A Lot."

1 comment:

  1. I just stumbled on this organization via a youtube ad. Strange, usually these things have at least some figurehead attribution, but their website "about" page is as uninformative as I've ever seen:

    'ABOUT is a project of Public Notice Research & Education Fund (PNREF). PNREF is an independent non-profit dedicated to educating the American people about economic policy and the principles of economic freedom.

    Through our education and awareness projects, PNREF will explore the future consequences of public policies being enacted today."

    That sure tells us a lot.