Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is an online nonprofit news organization in the United States that publishes news and commentary from a free market, limited government perspective on state and local politics. The Franklin Center publishes Watchdog.org, a network of state-based websites.According to its website, the Franklin Center is dedicated to "transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility" and its mission is to "shine the bright light of transparency into government’s darkest corners, and expose the facts about government mismanagement and overreach." Nicole Neily serves as the organization's president.HistoryThe Franklin Center was founded in 2009 with an initial sponsorship grant from the Sam Adams Alliance. The organization was originally based in Bismarck, North Dakota and is currently headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. One of its founders is Jason Stverak, a prior Executive Director of the North Dakota Republican Party.News bureaus and affiliatesIn September 2009, the Franklin Center launched Watchdog.org, a network of state-based journalists who investigate and report on state and local government. Watchdog.org covers news that involves "public officials, public programs and the taxpayer money that supports them." As of 2017, the network was composed of affiliates in Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin. The Franklin Center is an associate member of the State Policy Network, a consortium of conservative and libertarian think tanks which focus on state-level policy. The Franklin Center partnered with the State Policy Network to help establish news websites and hire reporters in each of the State Policy Network think tanks. Thirty news bureaus were established in the first year and 41 in the second year, almost all in State Policy Network think tanks.

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