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Thursday, July 21, 2011

OSPRI corkscrews into the ground had the scoop this morning that the Ocean State Policy Research Group has, as GoLocal put it, "imploded" and will shut down entirely by next month.

OSPRI director (and former RI Statewide Coalition board member) William Felkner has already left.

This ultra-right wing "think" tank has made its mark by issuing two consecutive "research" reports that earned a "False" rating from the Providence Journal's Polifacts fact-checking team.

Just last week, Progressive Charlestown revealed that OSPRI's recent "Piglet" report on wasteful government spending listed 14 examples of wasteful federal stimulus projects in Charlestown that never happened!

In light of OSPRI's implosion, RISC President Harry Staley's vehement reaction to the links Progressive Charlestown drew between RISC and OSPRI now makes sense. Who wants to be linked to a spectacular failure?

GoLocalProv could only provide sketchy details about the causes for OSPRI's demise, but money and a lack of direction were cited most often by people who talked to GoLocal. Apparently, efforts are under way to create a new "think" tank, but one that will be "center-right" (as opposed to rabid right).

Whatever the next thing is, Bill Felkner won't be part of it, according to GoLocal. Maybe RISC will take him back. They always can use a "researcher" who can produce facts cooked to order.

My theory about OSPRI's death is simpler: it's hard to sustain a "research" center when your research is total crap. Their "Piglet" report was such an extraordinary mess of false and unsubstantiated claims that, if I had been responsible for its production, I would consider throwing myself off a tall building.

Author: Will Collette