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Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

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The Manhattan Institute (MI) is a right-wing 501(c)(3) non-profit think tank founded in 1978 by William J. Casey, who later became President Ronald Reagan's CIA director.[1]

The Manhattan Institute is "focused on promoting free-market principles whose mission is to 'develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.'"[2]

"The Manhattan Institute concerns itself with such things as 'welfare reform' (dismantling social programs), 'faith-based initiatives' (blurring the distinction between church and state), and 'education reform' (destroying public education)," Kurt Nimmo wrote October 10, 2002, in CounterPunch.[3]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

The Manhattan Institute's Senior Fellow and Director of the its Center for Medical Progress, Paul Howard, spoke at the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference in a Workshop titled "Rationing By Any Other Name: Medicare's Independent Payment Advisory Board." He co-lead the panel with the Pacific Research Institute's Director of Health Care Studies, John Graham.[4]

About ALEC

ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.


The Institute describes its policy agenda over its 25-year history as having spanned "taxes, welfare, crime, the legal system, urban life, race, education, and many other topics. We have won new respect for market-oriented policies and helped make reform a reality."[5]

In its publication Buying a Movement, People for the American Way describes the Manhattan Institute's agenda as "The Institute '...advocates privitization of sanitation services and infrastructure maintenance, deregulation in the area of environmental and consumer protection, school vouchers and cuts in governmental spending on social welfare programs; it is a preferred source of information'" for New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.[6]

They describe their communication strategy as being based around the strength of their "senior fellows". "Their provocative books, reviews, interviews, speeches, articles, and op-ed pieces have been the main vehicle for communicating our message," they state.

"Books are central to our approach. We make every effort to ensure that our authors are published by respected trade publishers and that their books receive as much review attention and publicity as possible. Nothing allows us to make a sustained, comprehensive argument more effectively," the website states.

Charles Murray was one author who was based at the Manhattan Institute while writing the book Losing Ground. Murray is "a far right ideologue who wrote The Bell Curve in 1984, a book that essentially argues black people are genetically and intellectually inferior to white people."[1]

Tobacco issues

Tobacco industry documents reveal relationships between the Manhattan Institute and tobacco companies. The Institute sought funding from tobacco companies, including Brown & Williamson.[1] The Institute has received funding from R.J. Reynolds.[2] In 1991, Lorillard, Inc. budgeted a $4,000 contribution of the Manhattan Institute[3] and the same amount in 1996.[4] Philip Morris budgeted $25,000 for the Instutite in 1995. [5]

A 1997 R.J. Reynolds memo reveals RJR's intent to use the Manhattan Institute as a third party to help the company reduce the public's perception of danger from exposure to secondhand smoke:

"Devise ways to educate the public about epidemiology and put risk in perspective. For example, work with Steven J. Milloy, Michael Fumento, CEI Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute and others to put together a 1/2-hour or 1-hour TV show explaining epi[demiology] and risk. Create an epi/risk website to educate the general public, maybe working with the Harvard School of Public Health. Do the same for journalists." [6]

War on terrorism: axis of evil

In 2001, David Frum left the Manhattan Institute "to join the Bush administration as a speechwriter. It was there that he coined the term 'axis of evil' to describe Iraq, Iran and North Korea. This became the signature phrase of President George W. Bush's 2002 State of the Union speech and shorthand for Bush's war on terrorism."[7]

Immigration: covering all the bases

"In the think-tank world, a leading advocate of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is Tamar Jacoby..., an expert at the conservative Manhattan Institute. One of the most implacable voices against any such 'amnesty' is Heather Mac Donald - also of the Manhattan Institute."[8]

Manhattan Institute Board of Trustees

The following are members of the Board of Trustees:[9]

Financiers of neo-conservatism

The "financing of neoconservatism doesn't come from D.C.", Mark Gerson is quoted as saying in the April 27, 2003, New York Observer.[11]

"Instead, said Mr. Gerson, it comes from New York moneymen like Bruce Kovner, chairman of the Caxton Corporation, and Roger Hertog, the vice chairman of Alliance Capital Management. Last year, both financiers helped fund a new newspaper, The New York Sun, now fighting its anti-liberal battle with its New York Times –counterprogrammed slogan, 'A Different Point of View.' Both Mr. Kovner and Mr. Hertog also chipped in to join neoliberal Martin Peretz as co-owners of The New Republic. Mr. Kovner and Mr. Hertog, as enlightened neoconservative businessmen-intellectuals, are also on the board [of trustees] of the Manhattan Institute, where Mr. Gerson and William Kristol are also trustees, as well as the Washington, D.C.–based American Enterprise Institute."[11]


Between 1985 and 2005, the Institute received $20,629,883 (unadjusted for inflation) in a total of 296 grants from only nine foundations:[12]

Between 2001 and 2010, the Manhattan Institute received more than $3 million from the conservative Bradley Foundation[16].

Other affiliations

Manhattan Institute senior scholars

Manhattan Institute staff

Contact information

Manhattan Institute
52 Vanderbilt Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212 599-7000
FAX: 212 599-3494
E-mail: mi AT



Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Spectrum Policy: Property or Commons?" Sponsors: Manhattan Institute, Stanford University, undated; accessed August 16, 2007.
  2. "Right Wing Organizations: Manhattan Institute, People for the American Way.
  3. Kurt Nimmo, "What She Really Said. Condoleezza Rice at the Waldorf Astoria," CounterPunch, October 10, 2002.
  4. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Workshops, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  5. About, Manhattan Institute.
  6. Recipient Profile: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc., Media Transparency, last accessed August 16, 2007.
  7. Joshua Brustein, "Think Tanks," Gotham Gazette, March 29, 2003.
  8. Jeff Jacoby, "The fight is on the right," Boston Globe (International Herald Tribune), June 20, 2007.
  9. Trustees, Manhattan Institute, accessed August 16, 2007. Profile links can be accessed on page.
  10. Manhattan Institute - Profile. Right Web (2006-11-12). Retrieved on 2011-07-17.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Joe Hagan, "President Bush's Neoconservatives Were Spawned Right Here in N.Y.C., New Home of the Right-Wing Gloat," The New York Observer, April 27, 2003.
  12. Recipient Grants: Manhattan Institute, Media Transparency. Data updated August 16, 2007.
  13. Research and Evaluation - Grant: Manhattan Institute, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, August 5, 2004.
  14. Grant Recipients: Manhattan Institute from the Randolph Foundation, Media Transparency: $128,375 - 6 grants between 1999 and 2005.
  15. Grant Recipients: Manhattan Institute from the Carthage Foundation, Media Transparency: $693,000 - 15 grants between 1985 and 2002.
  16. Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber, Ben Poston. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. November 28, 2011.
  17. Independent Task Force on Immigration and America's Future website.
  18. Directory: Manhattan Institute, State Policy Network.
  19. Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel), "Judy Finally Gets Her Wingnut Welfare!!" The Next Hurrah Blog, July 22, 2007: Miller is "a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute's City Journal".

External articles


  • Tom Redburn, "Conservative Thinkers Are Insiders; It's Now Their City Hall, and Manhattan Institute Is Uneasy," New York Times, December 31, 1993.
  • Norman Solomon, " The Manhattan Institute: Launch Pad For Conservative Authors," Institute for Public Accuracy, March 1, 1998.


  • Robert Lederman, "Giuliani, the Manhattan Institute, and Eugenics: The Ugly Truth Behind 'Quality of Life'," The Konformist, March 29, 2000.
  • Norman Solomon, "Launching Conservative Books Into the Media Stratosphere," AlterNet, April 26, 2000.
  • Robert Lederman, "GW Bush, Jesus and the Manhattan Institute," Hartford Web Publishing, August 8, 2000.
  • Robert Lederman, "Chase Manhattan Banks' Right-wing Relationship," The Konformist, September 12, 2000.


  • Julia Vitullo-Martin, "Comissioner Bernard Kerik and the three priorities," Gotham Gazette, March 1, 2001.


  • Condoleezza Rice, Wriston Lecture: "A Balance of Power That Favors Freedom," Manhattan Institute, October 1, 2002.


  • Ralph Z. Hallow, "Not All Conservatives on Board on Iraq," The Washington Times (, February 12, 2003. Note: MI had not voiced dissent.


  • Tim Wise, "Of Broken Clocks and Conservatives," ZMag, March 2, 2004.
  • Joel Stashenko, "Think tank: Reform doomed without teacher contract changes," Associated Press (Boston Globe), July 13, 2004.
  • "The City That Conservatives Built," Gotham Gazette Campaign and Convention Blog, August 24, 2004.
  • Paul Labarique, "The Manhattan Institute, Neoconservatives’s Lab,", September 15, 2004.
  • George F. Will, "Can We Make Iraq Democratic?" City Journal, Winter 2004.


  • Heather Mac Donald, "Too Nice for Our Own Good," Wall Street Journal (Manhattan Institute), January 6, 2005.
  • Heather Mac Donald, "Heather Mac Donald responds to Marty Lederman on Abu Ghraib and U.S. interrogation policies," City Journal, January 13, 2005.
  • Alex Chadwick, "Defending Bush's Treatment of Enemy Combatants," NPR, January 24, 2005.
  • Howard Kurtz, "Writer Backing Bush Plan Had Gotten Federal Contract," Washington Post, January 26, 2005.
  • Eric Boehlert, "Third columnist caught with hand in the Bush till. Michael McManus, conservative author of the syndicated column 'Ethics & Religion,' received $10,000 to promote a marriage initiative," Salon, January 27, 2005.
  • "McManus and Gallagher have more in common than Bush administration contracts," Media Matters for America, January 28, 2005.
  • "BG Medicine Participates as a Member of the '21st Century FDA Task Force'," BG Medicine, March 7, 2005.
  • Philip Weiss, "George Soros’s Right-Wing Twin," New York Magazine, August 1, 2005: "Multibillionaire commodities king Bruce Kovner is the patron saint of the neoconservatives, the new Lincoln Center’s crucial Medici, owner of a vast Fifth Avenue mansion—and the most powerful New Yorker you’ve never heard of."
  • Press Release: "Earned Legalization and Increased Border Security is Key to Immigration Reform According to Republican Voters: New Poll," Manhattan Institute, October 17, 2005.
  • Craig Nelson, "MI: turning corporate cash into influence. Phony Poll-oney: The latest attempt to mislead from Ed Goeas and that clever Tamar Jacoby," projectusa, October 18, 2005.
  • Nicholas Confessore, "Giuliani Guide Is Bloomberg Gadfly," New York Times, October 25, 2005.


  • News Release: Vice President's Remarks on Iraq and the War on Terror at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, The Grand Hyatt New York, New York, New York, Office of the Vice President, January 19, 2006.
  • Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters, "The Boys Left Behind. The gender graduation gap," National Review Online, April 19, 2006.
  • "Met police chief defiant over job," BBC Online, June 21, 2006.
  • Michael Barbaro and Stephanie Strom, "Wal-Mart Finds an Ally in Conservatives," New York Times, September 8, 2006. re WalMart Stores
  • Jim Horn, "Manhattan Institute Bogus Research on Florida Retention Policy," Schools Matter Blogspot, October 12, 2006.
  • Stephanie Mencimer, "Illinois Takes Another Beating," The Tortellini, October 18, 2006.


  • Stephanie Mencimer, "Another Reporter Falls for the Manhattan Institute," The Tortellini, February 6, 2007.
  • Darvin Dowdy, "Tamar Jacoby - At It Again...," Street Level Blog/, May 17, 2007.
  • "Welcome to the PR Machine," Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look Blogspot, June 7, 2007.
  • Frank R. Lichtenberg, "Yes, New Drugs Save Lives," Washington Post, July 11, 2007.
  • Patrick Sullivan, "Bloomberg Record on Education Attacked by Manhattan Institute Scholar," NYC Public School Parents Blogspot, July 24, 2007.
  • Jay Matthews, "English, Math Time Up in 'No Child' Era. 44% of Schools Polled Reduce Other Topics," Washington Post, July 25, 2007.
  • Lawrence Mone, Letter to the Editor: "A Think Tank's Scholarship," Washington Post, August 8, 2007.

External resources

  • Manhattan Institute, Neocon Europe.
  • Manhattan Institute in the dKosopedia.
  • Factsheet: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; Manhattan Institute,
  • Manhattan Institute, Illuminati News. Includes numerous weblinks.
  • Manhattan Institue,
  • Profile: Manhattan Institute,
  • Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research, Political Friendster.
  • Profile: Manhattan Institute, RightWeb (last updated November 29, 2006).
  • Manhattan Institute in the Wikipedia.
  • "Examples of Mainly Corporate Funded Think Tanks: Manhattan Institute,"
  • Charity Navigator Rating: Manhattan Institute,

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