Talk:Beacon Center of Tennessee

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Neutrality RfC[edit]

Are the language and sources contained in this article appropriate according to wiki's guidelines? --Straus40 (talk) 21:22, 14 June 2012 (UTC)straus40

That's too vague a question. Please describe what problems you feel the article and its sources present. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 17:39, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I have described the problem in the section below regarding the Gadfly article reference. Thanks! --Straus40 (talk) 15:46, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Here are the statements that cite the NS article as a source:

1. The organization is linked to U.S. organizations and funding sources through membership in the State Policy Network.

2. TCPR was founded in 2004 by Jason "Drew" Johnson, a native of Johnson City, Tennessee, and a graduate of Belmont and Pepperdine universities.

3. Before starting TCPR, he worked for the National Taxpayers Union as a policy analyst.

4. The State Policy Network provides funding, training and other support for its member groups.

5. TCPR is financed by donations and grants. In 2008, Drew Johnson told an interviewer that foundation grants provided about 60 percent of the group's funding, with donations from some 200 individual donors providing the rest. TCPR estimated that its 2008 income would total about $400,000 for the year, roughly double its previous year's finances. The increase from 2007 to 2008 was attributed to publicity from its 2007 report on Al Gore's energy use.

6. The Nashville Scene identified two of the foundations providing grants to TCPR as the Cato Institute and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, both funded by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, a frequent donor to conservative causes. According to the Nashville Scene, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation describes its goal as "to litter the world with free-market think-tanks."

7. Under Drew Johnson's leadership, TCPR established a reputation for its aggressiveness in using Tennessee's open records law to obtain access to state employee emails and other records. In 2008, the organization accounted for 16 percent of all open records requests to the Tennessee executive branch through requests that some state workers described as "fishing expeditions" that absorbed "untold hours" of staff time.

8. In a 2008 interview, an adviser to then-Governor Phil Bredesen characterized Johnson as "a partisan nitwit who basically spends all his time dreaming up ways to terrorize rank-and-file state employees."

Is any of this information inaccurate? Statements 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 use the Nashville Scene article as the only reference. Has TCPR/Beacon ever published a response to the Nashville Scene article?

If we're keeping the Nashville Scene reference, we'll need to mention inline that it's a critical op-ed, in keeping with WP:IRS. Bms4880 (talk) 14:54, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

A few questions about the article[edit]

First, since this organization has changed its names from Tennesee Center for Policy Research to the Beacon Center of Tenneessee, I assume it makes sense to change all of the TCPR acronyms in the article to BCT? Second, this org. is described as taking "strongly conservative positions." I think that needs to be elaborated upon/clarified. What exactly does that mean? Is there a citation to a source that describes the org. in that way? It seems to me that it would be more appropriate to characterize the org. as being "free market", taking "conservative fiscal positions", "strongly conservative fiscal positions" or "libertarian positions," because it appears that the org. advocates for issues (i.e. lower taxes, school choice, property rights) that are fiscal, not social. Unless this organization is taking stances on reproductive rights or marriage, etc. it seems to me they are free market/libertarian, not conservative, which implies a view on a broader range of issues (foreign policy, for one). I'm also not sure on what scale "strongly" is being added (what does "strongly conservative" mean as opposed to just "conservative?") Third, "The organization does not identify any alternative revenue sources to replace the taxes that it would reduce or eliminate," strikes me as editorializing. Especially if this org. or a reliable source has not said something to that effect. Given this organization's apparent ideological leanings, I think it's safe to say that they would not want to identify alternative revenue sources because they would not agree that the government should be seeking that revenue in the first place. If they are "strongly conservative", they would probably want to cut government programs and spending, and they wouldn't want to replace the revenue. In the article, adding the fact that this org. apparently hasn't identified alternative revenue makes it sound like this is a problem the group hasn't adequately addressed (in the author's opinion), when it seems that this org. believes that cutting revenue is a solution. Thoughts on these questions? Thanks. Safehaven86 (talk) 02:09, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

On acronyms: Good suggestion, but with some caveats. When the article describes events that occurred when the organization was called TCPR, then the old acronym would still be appropriate. When it describes the current organization (most of the uses of TCPR are like this), an update is needed. However, the current organization should not be described by an acronym; after introducing the full name, call it "the Beacon Center". Before the name change, it referred to itself often as "TCPR"; with the shorter name, it no longer uses an acronym.
It's been several months since I researched the article and it's past my bedtime, so I'm not in a position to respond quickly to the detailed comments about content, I think the statement originated with a source; however, it is not exactly "original research" to determine that the 90-page guide to the issues contains many proposals, none of which is a measure to increase state revenue. --Orlady (talk) 04:42, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
I work here: I work at the Beacon Center and we were all a bit upset with some of the wording involved to describe our organization. If you need any help in providing accurate information feel free to contact us at info@beacontn.org we will provide sources and any information you need to make this page as accurate as possible. We don't identify as right-wing, specifically because we are a non-profit 501c3 organization that by law is required to have no political affiliation.
Once again, if we can provide any help to update this article accurately we would really appreciate the opportunity to do so. Email info@beacontn.org and we will respond very quickly. Donors to the organization have been calling and emailing voicing their displeasure with the content of the page since it is quite inaccurate. --Straus40 (talk) 17:57, 14 June 2012 (UTC)straus40
Since you work at the Beacon Center, note that you have a WP:COI and should refrain from editing the article. Your input on this page is welcome, though. Along those lines, please remove your inline hidden comments from the article and move them to this page. Talk pages are the best place for content discussion; content discussion doesn't belong on article pages. --Orlady (talk) 19:09, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Not a problem - would really appreciate it if the sources used are reliable, in accordance with Wiki's Guidelines. Like the Beacon Center of Tennessee or State Policy Network that contain facts about the organizations rather than a commentary or opinion article. It discredits wikipedia's work when opinion based articles with rhetorical arguments and inflammatory language are used. Thanks for the consideration and understanding, I'll refrain from editing the page further and put confidence in the fact that you'll follow wikipedia's guidelines to provide factual information that is not politically slanted. --Straus40 (talk) 19:47, 14 June 2012 (UTC)straus40
Here is the comment I removed from the edit page. "The following source used here is an opinion page, not a scholarly article based on fact. If you read through the article you can see the author is obviously biased and uses inflammatory terminology and doesn't even spell right in many places. The bias is quite obvious from the title of the article, too. I don't think these are the kind of sources that wikipedia wants to back up it's encyclopedia fact-based articles. Please remove the Gadfly scene source" for fact-based information that should not require opinion and use appropriate sites such as the official organizations sites listed in my previous comment for actual fact based information.
That is regarding the Great Gadfly reference. I think SafeHaven86's original comment on the top of the page here was on the right track. --Straus40 (talk) 20:52, 14 June 2012 (UTC)straus40

Gadfly article reference[edit]

Citation number 4 from the Nashville Scene needs to go away. It's an opinion article from a journalist with a very clear bias against what TCPR (and Drew Johnson) was. I think anyone taking time to read the article would agree that it doesn't fit as a valid citation on wikipedia. --Straus40 (talk) 15:28, 21 June 2012 (UTC)straus40

I agree that the Nashville Scene article appears to be more of a hit piece than a newspaper-like report. However, there don't appear to be very many reliable sources out there that provide much substantive information on the organization. I've looked around and haven't found much. I do think one problem with the Nashville Scene source is that it reflects an opinion of the organization before it became the Beacon Center, and when Drew Johnson was still involved with it. The piece seems to take issue more with Drew Johnson than with the organization as a whole, so considering he's no longer involved, it's a bit outdated and perhaps places undue weight on the past. What the article needs are additional, and more recent, reliable sources (third-party accounts, so not information pulled from the organization's website). Because of your WP:COI, you shouldn't be adding these yourself, but if you can find some, you can post them to the talk page and I will try to incorporate them into the article if they are reliable. Thanks. Safehaven86 (talk) 16:07, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

References[edit]

Here's a new reference that can be used. http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2012/06/26/beacon-tennessee-pork-report-justin-owen.html?page=2 I'll continue looking for more. --Straus40 (talk) 20:36, 28 June 2012 (UTC)straus40
Some info on Justin Owen, the Beacon Center's current CEO. http://www.edchoice.org/Foundation-Services/Speakers/Justin-Owen.aspx --Straus40 (talk) 20:39, 28 June 2012 (UTC)straus40
Beacon is currently getting involved with school choice issues. http://m.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jun/23/robert-enlow-and-justin-owen-tennessee-families/ --Straus40 (talk) 20:41, 28 June 2012 (UTC)straus40
More info on the "pork report" that was just released. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jun/26/group-lambastes-public-spending-volkswagen-sign-ep/ --Straus40 (talk) 20:44, 28 June 2012 (UTC)straus40

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