Think Tank Goes Out of Business

One of the most highly quoted, independent research groups and think tanks, the Center for Governmental Studies, is going out of business.

Some say it couldn't come at a worse time.

CGS is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1983, that "creates innovative political and media solutions" to help people become more engaged in their local and state governments.

The group works with civic organizations to "strengthen democracy" and has organized blue-ribbon commissions and published numerous books and reports on topics including ballot initiatives, redistricting, term limits, higher education, and state budgeting, according to its website.

"We basically ran out of money," said  Robert Stern, the group's president. "We had 28 great years."

Stern said CGS has tried to encourage non-partisanship in government and tried to get the public more actively involved in making a difference.

"What we see at the national level and the state level are partisanship and people not talking to each other," Stern said. "The public needs to get involved. The legislatures do pay attention when the public gets involved."

Stern says that government has come a long way since he started in 1991 but must work harder to restore the public's confidence in it.

 "We have much better disclosure these days and the internet is a revolutionary thing. It really allows people to see what's going on in government," Stern said. "My wish is that all government be more responsive to the people and that we talk to each other, and that government work. Nobody has confidence in government anymore."

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