Institute for Liberty

Institute for Liberty (IFL)

 Background

The Institute For Liberty (IFL) is a Washington D.C. think tank known for its opposition health care reform. It promotes a free-market approach to maintaining the health care system in the U.S.

The IFL was founded in 2005 with a focus on technology policy and national security issues. According to its website, IFL's philosophy is “one of keeping the government focused on the primary mission of making sure our nation is safe, while keeping it from unnecessarily interfering in the daily lives of America's entrepreneurs.”

IFL President Andrew Langer, a former lobbyist, has worked with FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity to sponsor early Tea Party events in Washington, and published a guide titled “How to Brew a Tea Party.”

As part of it's “track record,” IFL describes how it “Joined the team countering the Administration's move to classify CO2 as a pollutant, has commented on the impact of new ozone regulations on energy prices, and is working to frame the importance of this issue to small business.” [1]

Stance on Climate Change

“What's the man-made portion of the climate changing? … you've got credible scientists who are saying it's actually very small. And in point of fact, the changes that we're going to be making, the proposals we're making in order to abate that very small part of it, will cost a tremendous amount of money.” [2]

 Funding

According to IFL President Andrew Langer, the group receives no funding from health care firms, but he has declined to provide details. His comment in 2010 was that “This year has been really serendipitous for us. But we don't talk about specific donors.” [3]

In 2008 the group brought in less that $25,000 in revenue. According to 990 tax forms (PDF), in 2009 The Institute for Liberty received $1,846,645 in grants, bringing in a total of $242,197 in revenue after expenses. In that year President Andrew Langer received $118,000 in compensation. [4]

Key People

According to IFL's website, as of May, 2012: [5]

  • Andrew Langer — President
  • Peter Roff — Senior Fellow in Strategic Policy
  • Roger Morse — Senior Fellow in Political Economy
  • Horace Cooper — Senior Fellow In Legal Policy

 Actions

May 21 - 23, 2012

The Institute for Liberty is listed as a Co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). [9]

2010

Supported Monsanto in easing federal restrictions on the company's pesticide-resistant alfalfa. Langer stated that he would “to try out our grass-roots method on that, and frame it as a dairy issue and access to affordable food.” [6]

As part of that initiative, Langer published an article in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, where he contends that “Genetically modified crops are the economically sound and environmentally safe answer to increasing food production — specifically herbicide-resistant crops.” [7]

IFL's web site urged members to speak up and Langer also filed a petition with the Department of Agriculture.

A 2011 New York Times article revealed that the petition, which included 8,052 comments that had been collected by telephone, may not have been an accurate representation of the participants' views. The comments, although placed under different names, were identical and all began with “I was recently contacted by the Institute for Liberty and asked if I would be willing to lend my voice in support of moving these types of alfalfa to nonregulated status.”

When the Times looked at a random sample of the names, three had been deceased at the time the comments were submitted, and others had no idea their names had been used.

“I vaguely remember responding to a survey as to whether or not the affordability of food for my family was important to me,” one participant said, “But that is far different than setting myself up as an authority on specific genetically engineered crops and authorizing my name for submission on form letters.”

July 4, 2009

The Institute for Liberty was one of a group of conservative organizations including FreedomWorks that attended a march by the Tea Party at the Capitol to protest health care reform. [8]

Related Organizations

According to SourceWatch, cross checking the phone number of IFL leads to several associations: Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Taxpayers Union, and Institute For Liberty Co-Sponsor NoClimateTax.com Pledge.

The Institute for Liberty is also behind the Consumer Alliance for Global Prosperity. [6]

 Resources

  1. About IFL,” Institute for Liberty. Accessed May, 2012.

  2. Andrew Langer Talks Climate Change Policy on WITF,” YouTube video uploaded by InstituteForLiberty on February 28, 2010.

  3. Dan Eggen. “How interest groups behind health-care legislation are financed is often unclear,” The Washington Post, January 7, 2010.

  4. 2009 Form 990 (PDF) for The Institute for Liberty, EIN 20-2641983. Retrieved form the Foundation Center.

  5. Our Leadership,” Institute for Liberty. Accessed May, 2012.

  6. Mike McIntire. “Odd Alliance: Business Lobby and Tea Party” (page 2), The New York Times, March 30, 2011.

  7. Andrew Langer. “Langer: Agriculture’s Future Is Steeped in Science,” Roll Call, June 7, 2010.

  8. Ed Hornick. “'Tea Party Express' trucks on with tour aimed at health care,” CNN, August 28, 2009.

  9. Cosponsors,” 7th International Conference on Climate Change. Accessed May 22, 2012.

  10. Institute for Liberty,” SourceWatch.

  11. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Institute for Liberty, IFL.

  12. Institute for Liberty,” Wikipedia.