Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

The Reason Foundation is an American nonprofit think tank founded in 1978 that also publishes "Reason magazine". Based in Los Angeles, Reason is self-described as nonpartisan and publishes a statement of values that can best be described as libertarian. Like most think tanks, they are a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that provides papers and studies to support a particular set of values. According to Reason's web site, these are "the values of individual freedom and choice, limited government, and market-friendly policies."

Many of the foundation's [ studies] focus on privatization, transportation, California issues and issues involving local governments.Affiliated projects include Drew Carey's [ videos] ,, UrbanFutures,

Charity Navigator, an independent rating group, rated the foundation with three out of four stars. []


Reason Foundation's primary publication is "Reason" magazine, founded in 1968. "Reason" magazine describes itself as the monthly magazine of "free minds and free markets." [Reason magazine "About Us" Section at] The magazine won three Los Angeles Press Club Awards in 2008. [Los Angeles Press Club's List of Winners at the "50th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards"]
The foundation publishes the [ Annual Privatization Report] , which strongly advocates outsourcing and public-private partnerships.
[ Privatization Watch] is another of the foundation's pro-privatization publications that seems to be published three to four times per year.
[ Innovators in Action] is an annual publication that advocates shrinking the size and scope of government, usually through privatization. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens wrote columns for this publication in 2007.
The foundation's Annual Highway Performance Report ranks each state's transportation system on cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
Reason has published a number of studies which oppose light rail and expansion of other mass transit systems.


In 2006 the Reason Foundation sponsored a "Reason in Amsterdam" conference with South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, former Estonian prime minister Mart Laar, and journalist Andrew Sullivan.

In 2007, Reason hosted "Reason in DC" featuring "The Price Is Right" Host Drew Carey, MTV's Kurt Loder, author and former judge Andrew Napolitano, Nobel Prize-winning economist Vernon Smith, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and others.

The foundation hosts an annual "Reason Weekend" for its financial supporters.

Drew Carey videos

Comedian and "The Price Is Right" Host Drew Carey has appeared in and narrated numerous videos for Reason Foundation and its website Carey's video criticizing the Drug Enforcement Administration's medical marijuana raids received a lot of national attention. The Associated Press reported that Carey said in the video, "I think it's clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana. People who need it should be able to get itndash safely and easily." [Associated Press and USA Today: "Drew Carey Defends Medical Marijuana"]

Another of Carey's videos, Footloose in Arizona, may have helped save a family restaurant in Arizona. The Arizona Republic reported, "Kick off your boots and get ready to two-step because dancing is now allowed at San Tan Flat. Pinal County Superior Court Judge William O'Neil overturned a decision from the county Board of Supervisors that said the country-Western-themed restaurant was operating an illegal dance hall by allowing patrons to dance to live music on its back patio.... The saga of San Tan Flat drew national attention, prompting commentary from actor Drew Carey and conservative Washington Post columnist George Will. The case also received several comparisons to the 1984 Kevin Bacon film Footloose, in which a small town bans rock music and dancing." [Arizona Republic: San Tan Flats Wins Dance Duel]

Other Drew Carey videos for the foundation have promoted free trade; criticized the government's raids of local poker games; highlighted a ban on bacon-wrapped hot dogs in Los Angeles; detailed abuse of eminent domain laws; called for more toll roads; urged the government to allow people to sell their kidneys and other organs; and called for immigration reform. [Archive of Videos Produced by Drew Carey for]

Oath of Presidential Transparency

Reason Foundation and a bipartisan group of over 30 other organizations asked all of the 2008 U.S. presidential candidates to sign a pledge promising that, if elected, they would deliver the most transparent presidency in history and guaranteeing the executive branch would adhere to the concepts of Google Government. The candidates who signed the oath are: Sen. Barack Obama, Rep. Ron Paul, former Sen. Mike Gravel, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr, and John Cox.

Reason posted the signed oaths on its [ website] . [Copies of the Signed "Oath of Presidential Transparency" at]

Policy areas

PrivatizationReason Foundation supports the privatization of almost all government functions, and nearly all of its research is pro-privatization. According to his bio on the foundation's website, Reason founder Robert Poole "is credited as the first person to use the term 'privatization' to refer to the contracting-out of public services and is the author of the first-ever book on municipal privatization, Cutting Back City Hall, published by Universe Books in 1980." [Robert Poole's Bio on]

Municipal broadbandIn 2006, Reason issued a report attacking municipal Wi-Fi project iProvo as financially unstable and ineffective at lowering Internet costs or raising broadband use. [] Provo responded vigorously with a white paper rebutting Reason's conclusions. [] In particular, the iProvo team noted that the author of the report, Steven Titch, "is a technology and public relations consultant with strong ties to Qwest Communications, an incumbent provider who has opposed the concept of iProvo from its infancy." Titch claimed that there was no conflict of interest. [,1249,650218722,00.html] Others have noted that Reason received a $100,000 grant from AT&T the previous year [] , although AT&T does not seem to be necessarily opposed to municipal WiFi. []

In 2008, Reason issued a follow up report titled, "iProvo Revisited: Another Year and Still Struggling". According to Reason, the predictions in its first report had proven true: "iProvo's total losses are likely to exceed $10 million by the end of this fiscal year - and that figure doesn't include the $39.5 million borrowed to launch the project, most of which still needs to be paid back." [Reason Foundation Press Release iProvo Losses at $8 Million and Counting] Reason called for the city to "cut its losses" and sell the network to a private company. Shortly after the 2008 report was issued, the mayor of Provo, Lewis Billings, who had been highly critical of the Reason reports, announced that iProvo would in fact be sold to a private enterprise, Broadweave, for $40 million. [Deseret News: iProvo, Broadweave Nearly Close Deal,5143,700239528,00.html]

Global warmingReason Foundation has received funding from ExxonMobil and for many years denied climate change was happening, or was being caused by human beings. But, in 2005, Reason magazine's science writer Ronald Bailey wrote a column declaring that climate change is both real and man-made. He wrote, "Anyone still holding onto the idea that there is no global warming ought to hang it up. All data sets—satellite, surface, and balloon—have been pointing to rising global temperatures." [We're All Global Warmers Now by Ronald Bailey at]

In 2006, Bailey wrote an article titled "Confessions of an Alleged ExxonMobil Whore: Actually no one paid me to be wrong about global warming. Or anything else." [Confessions of an Alleged ExxonMobile Whore by Ronald Bailey at ] In the article Bailey explains how and why he changed his mind on climate change.

War in IraqReason Foundation has been critical of the cost of the war in Iraq. Reason magazine's May 2008 cover story "Trillion Dollar War" [Trillion Dollar War by Veronique de Rugy in Reason magazine ] discussed the dubious ways in which the war in Iraq and Afghanistan have been funded by Congress and the Bush administration.

Unlike most libertarians, Reason magazine writer Michael Young, based in Beirut, Lebanon, has been largely supportive of the war in Iraq. [Archive of Michael Young's Reason magazine columns ]


Robert Poole founded Reason Foundation and served as its president from 1978 to 2001.

Patricia Lynn Scarlett took over as president in 2001. Shortly thereafter Scarlett resigned to join the Bush administration as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the Department of Interior.

Stanford University graduate David Nott has served as Reason Foundation's president since 2001.

Board of Trustees

According to Reason's website [Reason Foundation Board of Trustees According to on July 10, 2008] , the people serving on its board of trustees as of 2008 are:
*William A. Dunn, Chairman of DUNN Capital Management
*Thomas E. Beach, Beach Investment Counsel, Inc.
*Drew Carey
*Derwood S. Chase, Jr., Chase Investment Counsel Corporation
*James R. Curley, Financial Consortium International, LLC
*Richard. J. Dennis, Dennis Trading Group
*David Fleming, Latham & Watkins LLC
*James D. Jameson
*Manuel S. Klausner, Law Offices of Manuel S. Klausner, PC
*David H. Koch, Koch Industries
*James Lintott, Sterling Foundation Management, LLC
*Stephen Modzelewski, Maple Engine, L.P.
*David Nott, Reason Foundation
*Sarah A. O'Dowd, Fibrogen
*George F. Ohrstrom, New York, NY
*Robert W. Poole, Jr., Reason Foundation
*Vernon L. Smith, Chapman University
*Richard A. Wallace, Freedom Communications, Inc.
*Fred M. Young, Jr., former owner, Young Radiator Company
*Pierluigi Zappacosta, Sierra Sciences
*Frank Bond, Trustee Emeritus
*Harry E. Teasley, Jr., Chairman Emeritus
*Walter E. Williams, Trustee Emeritus, George Mason University

ee also

*Wise Use Movement


External links

* [ Reason Foundation Official site]
* [ Reason magazine]
* []
* [ SourceWatch on Reason Foundation]

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