Policy Matters Ohio Funded by Liberal Foundations, Unions
Policy Matters Ohio is a Cleveland-based liberal think tank that uses grants from left-wing foundations and donations from labor unions to lobby for increased entitlement spending and higher taxes. Founded in 2000, Policy Matters describes itself as “a non-profit, nonpartisan policy research organization” and professes as its goal “a more prosperous, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio.”
Compared to ProgressOhio – a far-left group that communicates primarily through a web presence which doesn’t even include an “About” page – Policy Matters Ohio volunteers extensive information about its priorities and donor base.
On the Policy Matters Ohio website, the group reports funding “from the Ford, Joyce, Cleveland, Gund, Sisters of Charity, Kellogg, Saint Lukes, Raymond John Wean, Annie E. Casey and Public Welfare Foundations.”
A grant search on the Ford Foundation website reveals the left-wing charity has given Policy Matters Ohio $350,000 since 2010.
The Ford Foundation and Joyce Foundation are major donors to Media Matters for America and other far-left causes nationwide. Combined, the two groups have given Policy Matters Ohio more than $1.1 million in funding since 2004.
Additionally, Policy Matters Ohio lists financial support from national “progressive” advocacy groups: formerly George Soros-funded Demos and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, as well as the union-backed Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
Like EPI, Policy Matters Ohio receives funding directly from labor unions. Reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor reveal that from late 2006 through 2011, Policy Matters Ohio received over $575,000 from unions.
During that period, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 contributed $172,756 and the American Federation of Teachers gave $123,000. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and its affiliates in Ohio gave $116,500. The Ohio Education Association (OEA) donated $99,000, while Communications Workers of America (CWA) gave $66,000.
Tellingly, a $12,000 donation from AFSCME Local 11 in August 2009 was reported as a contribution to a “UNION THINK TANK.”
Future Media Trackers coverage will highlight the consistently pro-union, government-centric research output of Policy Matters Ohio, succinctly described as a union think tank by one of its union donors.