Sunday, March 12, 2006

Shakeup at conservative think tank

The Center for the American Experiment, a conservative think tank in Minneapolis, has fired its CEO and five other top staff members.

The departures include: Annette Meeks as the center's president and CEO; Corey Miltimore as its director of media research and study; Randy Wanke as communications director; Chris Tiedeman as director of government affairs and MinnesotaVotes.org; Ryan Griffin as development director; and Jonathan Blake as research fellow.

In the two years since Meeks took over, the center became more of an advocacy group than a policy group, pushing various initiatives like a "legislative watchdog" and providing resources for conservative college students to combat "liberal bias" in academia.

Apparently the main reason for the shakeup was that the new approach was costing a lot of money. The center is a nonprofit, and donations were down, so income wasn't keeping up with expenses.

This is probably a good thing. As a pure think tank, the center is able to contribute more to political discussion that it can by pursuing a handful of high-profile partisan initiatives. We have enough partisan advocacy organizations; what we need are more thoughtful organizations developing fleshed-out ideas for dealing with the issues confronting us.

Now if only the Taxpayer's League would develop serious funding issues. That's one group that can't go belly-up fast enough for me.


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