... the dividing line between the institute and Mr. Berman’s firm was difficult to discern during two visits last week to the eighth-floor office at 1090 Vermont Avenue, a building near the White House that is the headquarters for both.The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) was founded in 1991, coincidentally just five years after the founding of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which was founded "broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers." The keep-the-minimum-wage-low EPI is funded in part by the restaurant industry, and it's far from Berman's only industry front group:
The sign at the entrance is for Berman and Company, as the Employment Policies Institute has no employees of its own. Mr. Berman’s for-profit advertising firm, instead, “bills” the nonprofit institute for the services his employees provide to the institute. This arrangement effectively means that the nonprofit is a moneymaking venture for Mr. Berman, whose advertising firm was paid $1.1 million by the institute in 2012, according to its tax returns, or 44 percent of its total budget, with most of the rest of the money used to buy advertisements.
For example, an academic study published by researchers at the University of Southern California concluded that soda had higher concentrations of high-fructose corn syrup than advertised. Mr. Berman’s team, hired by the corn refining industry to defend its sweeteners, mobilized staff at his Center for Consumer Freedom to challenge the results.Yeah, right. If by "such practices" you mean "being found out." According to SourceWatch, the Center for Consumer Freedom shares the offices of Berman's public relations firm along with Berman's EPI and ActivistCash.com and the American Beverage Institute, which works to keep legal blood alcohol limits for drivers from being lowered. Those are just a few of Berman's front groups, and they're all about as reliable as Berman's intentions are pure.
“If the results contradict U.S.C., we can publish them,” said an email sent to Mr. Berman and other staff in October 2010 from a Berman employee at the time, referring to the University of Southern California report. The exchange became public recently as a result of a lawsuit between the sugar and corn refining industries. “If for any reason the results confirm U.S.C., we can just bury the data.” Mr. Berman said that the employee who wrote that email no longer worked for the firm and that such practices were not allowed at the institute.