Patrick Marvin’s Aug. 11 Maine Voices column opposing raising the minimum wage prompted me to research a few items. What is this “Employment Policy Institute” that he cites? Is the institute associated with a think tank or an academic institution, or is it a quasi-government agency?

If you Google “Employment Policy Institute,” you’re pointed in the direction of “Employment Policies Institute.” Since there are no references to the “Policy” citation and only the “Policies” citation has links in the Google search, I pursued “Employment Policies Institute.”

Thinking it was a nonprofit entity, I was able to locate the Employment Policies Institute Foundation’s 2014 Form 990 (the Internal Revenue Service’s Return of Organization Exempt From Tax), filed in November 2015.

The Form 1099 shows that in 2014, the Employment Policies Institute Foundation paid out 51.8 percent of its $2.6 million in expenditures to Richard Berman, its president and executive director, Richard Berman and Co. and an affiliated nonprofit, the Center for Organizational Research and Education.

Who are Mr. Berman, and Richard Berman and Co.? Richard Berman and Co. is a Washington public affairs firm owned by Mr. Berman, a lobbyist. It represents, and lobbies for, the hospitality, liquor and restaurant industries.

The Center for Media and Democracy says that Berman and Co. “operates a network of dozens of front groups, attack-dog websites, and alleged think tanks that work to counteract minimum wage campaigns, keep wages low for restaurant workers, and to block legislation on food safety, secondhand cigarette smoke, and drunk driving and more.”

Shouldn’t the opponents of a living wage and increasing the minimum wage disclose the nature of the “experts” they use in their arguments? Shouldn’t we, as Maine voters, be given the opportunity to decide what constitutes valid research or PR/lobbying firm propaganda? Full disclosure and transparency in our discourse are the only basis for fair policy decisions.

Terrance A. Reimer, CPA, CGMA