Local Politics

John Locke Foundation

Posted February 25, 2013
Updated January 12, 2015

As they describe themselves: The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders. The John Locke Foundation is a 501(c)(3) research institute and is funded solely from voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations. More here.

On the web: http://www.johnlocke.org

Affiliates and brands: John Locke issues reports and analysis under its own brand, often weighing in on public policy issues before the General Assembly. As well, John Locke publishes a print publication known as Carolina Journal and a network of blogs such as Right Angles in the Raleigh area and Squall Lines in the Wilmington area. It also has out outreach arms like a faculty affiliate network and a history project. 

Network*: Pope 

Funding: According to its 2011 filing with the IRS, the John Locke Foundation had revenues of $3.9 million. Of that, the John William Pope Foundation reported giving $2.5 million, with another $65,000 going to a scholarship program administered by Locke. 

IRS 990: John Locke Foundation 2012 IRS 990

State Information: More information from the Secretary of State's office.

Lobbyist: For the 2013 legislative session, the John Locke Foundation has registered two lobbyists. They are Becki Gray, vice president for outreach, and Terry Stoops, director of education studies. 

Media Profile: John Locke Foundation are frequently quoted in news outlets across the state and appear as guests on public affairs programs. Columns by foundation staff appear in local newspapers. 

The foundation describes itself as "non-partisan." But it goes on to say the foundation promotes "free markets, limited constitutional government, and personal responsibility. In the modern American political context, those principles are labeled conservative." When cited in media sources such as newspapers and television, the foundation is most often described as conservative or libertarian. 

* Many of the public policy think tanks and advocacy groups active in North Carolina fall into one of two camps: A liberal circuit with ties to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and a conservative circuit with ties to the John William Pope Foundation. For more, click here.


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