The Pioneer Institute: Privatizing the Common Wealth

A report from Political Research Associates

Press Release 7/16/02

HOLD FOR RELEASE ON 7.16.02  11 am

Contact: Kate Cloud, Director ( Phone: 617.666.5300
  Political Research Associates    Fax:     617.666.6622
  1310 Broadway
  Somerville, MA  02144-1731

Pioneer Institute Misleads State Taxpayers, Report Finds

 Somerville, MA, – The Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research has manipulated Massachusetts politics to advance and profit from their libertarian agenda, to the detriment of the taxpayers, according to a new report from Political Research Associates.

 The Pioneer Institute: Privatizing the Common Wealth, co-authored by veteran journalist Paul Dunphy and researcher Mark Umi Perkings, examines how the libertarian free-market ideas advocated by the Pioneer Institute have taken hold in Massachusetts, a traditionally Democratic stronghold.  The report details the Institute’s work in promoting privatization in a host of areas including mental health care, education, charter schools, and school vouchers, tracing the movements of former Pioneer staff members through state government in the Weld, Cellucci and Swift administrations.

According to the report, “Appointments to the Board of Education, the Department of Education and the executive branch itself, allowed Pioneer staff to implement the policy prescriptions they developed while at Pioneer.”  The report also reveals that Pioneer affiliates positioned themselves to profit from the government’s implementation of their ideas.

  “What struck me during the course of writing this report is the incredible hypocrisy underlying most of the Pioneer Institute's initiatives. While it claims to favor government doing "less with less" Pioneer's pet programs, such as charter schools, have burdened taxpayers with millions of dollars in new costs,” says Dunphy.

 The report concludes by stating that sound legislation created in cooperation with community and government groups can prevent unsound privatization initiatives while allowing well-founded initiatives to move forward.

Political Research Associates is an independent, nonprofit research center that studies antidemocratic, authoritarian, and other oppressive movements, institutions, and trends.

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