Reason Foundation

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The Reason Foundation is a libertarian think-tank that consists of the Reason Public Policy Institute and Reason Magazine. It describes itself as “a leading voice for individual liberty, economic freedom, and dynamic market-based public policies.”

Links to Republicans

Californian Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed several co-authors of Reason’s Roadmap to Reform and members of its budget-working group to his transition team, including former Secretary of State Bill Jones, former State Treasurer Matt Fong, and former Congressman Bill Baker.[1] The ex-President of the Foundation, Lynn Scarlett, became the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management at the Department of the Interior under Gale Norton.

“I am honored by this appointment and eager to join Secretary Norton's leadership team at Interior,” said Scarlett. “The Department has critical and far-reaching stewardship missions that touch the lives of millions of Americans. I look forward to working in close, collaborative initiatives with our state, tribal, and private sector partners to meet those responsibilities[5]”. Scarlett had served as an environmental campaign advisor to President Bush in the 2000 election and was a member of the Bush transition advisory team for the EPA[6].

Scarlett is also an advisor to the National Environmental Policy Institute along with Robert Hahn from the American Enterprise Institute, amongst others [7] Scarlett was also a senior fellow at the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE), a Montana-based organization. FREE “is bankrolled by polluting interests that often have litigation before the federal bench[8]”

In a special report on Scarlett, CLEAR argued that Scarlett had “rarely met a regulation she likes. According to her, the world is just too complex for pesky things like mandated air pollution limits, recycling, or day care standards to work efficiently. In her worldview, regulations stifle innovations that would be cheaper and better because each business owner could decide what works best for the company. On the other hand, Scarlett thinks nutrition labels are too confusing for the general public, so we shouldn’t have them at all. Can be enlightened enough to control their pollution levels when people are too stupid to understand the label on their cereal box?” [9].

Whilst at Reason, Scarlett was the host of Tech Central’s New Environmentalism site where she wrote a weekly column. James Glassman was sad to see her go: “our loss - both at Tech Central Station and at the Reason Foundation - will be the nation's gain. We're proud that the president has chosen Lynn Scarlett as a steward for the nation's natural resources. He could not have made a better choice”[10].

Scarlett was also a contributor to the book called “Fearing Food - Risk, Health and Environment”, edited by Julian Morris and Roger Bate, at the time from the right-wing think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. Other contributors included Dennis Avery from the Hudson Institute, and Bruce Ames the controversial cancer scientist on the board of SEPP and a Director of the George C Marshall Institute and academic advisor to the Reason Foundation.[2]


Current personnel

  • David Nott - President, ex petroleum engineer for Shell Western Exploration & Production. Also ex- Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) and the Mercatus Center, both at George Mason University in Virginia.
  • Nick Gillespie - Vice President, editor of the libertarian Reason Magazine
  • Adrian T. Moore - Vice President for Research Executive Director, Reason Public Policy Institute
  • Robert W. Poole, Jr - Founder. He advised the White House Office of Policy Development on privatization during the Reagan years, and testified before the President's Commission on Privatization in 1987. During the Bush administration, he worked with the Vice-President's Competitiveness Council and the White House Counsel to help develop an executive order on infrastructure privatization.[12]

Board of Trustees

Business Advisory Board includes

Academic Advisory

The Academic Advisory Board consists of libertarian and conservative think tank types such as Bruce Ames (was on the advisory board of TASSC, is a Director George C. Marshall and academic advisor to SEPP), Terry Anderson of PERC, John Baden of FREE, Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation, Richard Epstein the father of “takings”, Thomas Gale Moore of the Hoover Institution, Charles Murray of American Enterprise Institute, and Paul Craig Roberst of the Cato Institute.

Other Sstaff at the Foundation or the Reason Public Policy Institute:


Reason runs the website, which is another website to promote Ronald Bailey’s views and that of Reason magazine and other Reason staff.


Reason lists its corporate and foundation funders. According to Reason “In 2000, the Foundation’s revenue grew to a new high of $5.3 million. There were 30 private foundation contributors and 95 corporate contributors. Contributions from individuals provided 40 percent of total revenue —75 percent of the 2130 individual donations were in the $50 to $500 range. Larger individual donations are made each year by members of the Torchbearer Society ($1000)[1].

Corporate Funders

Corporate Supporters in 2000 were[2]:

3M American Airlines
American Chemistry Council American Consulting Engineers Council
American Farm Bureau Federation American Forest & Paper Association
American Petroleum Institute American Plastics Council
American Port Services, Inc. American Water Works Co.
Anheuser-Busch Company BAA USA, Inc.
Bank of America Bayer Corporation
California Association of Realtors California Water Service Company
Ken and Colleen Butler, Capital Partnerships Virginia, Inc.
Cargill, Inc. Chevron Corporation
The Clorox Company Coca-Cola Co.
Consulting Engineers & Land Surveyors of California Consulting Engineers
Council of New York State, Inc. Consulting Engineers Council of North Carolina
Consulting Engineers Council of Texas Continental Airlines
Cornell Corrections Corrections Corporation of America
DaimlerChrysler Corp. Dart Container Corporation
Delta Air Lines Dow Chemical USA
Eastman Chemical Company Eberle & Associates, Inc.
Economic Alliance of San Fernando Valley Economic Development Corporation of Los Angeles County
Edison Electric Institute Enron
ExxonMobil Corporation FDX Corporation
FMC Corporation Farmer’s Insurance Group
Ford Motor Company Frasca & Associates
Freedom Communications General Motors Corporation
Georgia-Pacific Corporation Granite Construction Company
Grocery Manufacturers of America Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
International Paper Company Jacobs Engineering
Kimberly-Clark Foundation Koch Materials Co.
L&L Connolly Management LCOR Incorporated
Lehman Brothers, Inc. Eli Lilly and Co.
Loews Corporation Logistics Management Institute
Macquarie North America Management and Training Corporation
Mentor Corporation Mevatec Corporation
Microsoft Corporation National Air Transportation Association
National Association of Realtors National Beer Wholesalers Association
Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott Operations Management International, Inc.
Pfizer, Inc Philip Morris Companies
PolyOne Corporation Poseidon Resources Corporation
PricewaterhouseCoopers Privatized Emergency Services Association
Procter & Gamble Salomon Smith Barney
Serco Group Inc. Shell Oil Co.
Southern California Water SunAmerica, Inc.
Tech Central Temple-Inland Forest
Products Co. U.S. Filter Corp.
Union Carbide Corporation United Water Services, LLC
Vinyl Institute Virco
Wackenhut Corrections Co. Watson Land Company
Western States Petroleum Association Whole Foods Market


The Institute received some $5,289,712 from 1985 to 2002, in 107 grants from the following foundations[3]:




  • Address: Reason Foundation, 3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA
  • Web address:


  1. The Reason Report (2004) Winter, p7
  2. J. Morris & R. Bate (1999) Fearing Food – Risk, Health and Environment, Butterworth, Heinemann,
  3. Reason Foundation (2000) Annual Report – Forging A World of New Choices, p31
  5. Donors Trust, 990 Form, 2014
  6. Donors Trust, 990 Form, 2013