wisconsin capitol
Press Release
July 17, 2013

Bradley Foundation Dollars Continued to Fuel Right Wing Noise Machine in 2012

No Expense Spared in Propaganda Campaign to Re-Write Facts on Failed Privatization Agenda

MADISON, Wis. — According to documents reviewed by One Wisconsin Now, staples of the state right wing noise machine, and some new entrants, were once again beneficiaries of the largesse of Wisconsin’s Money Badger, Michael Grebe, in 2012. Besides controlling the $620 million plus in reported assets of the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, Grebe serves as co-chair of Gov. Walker’s campaign.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “The Bradley Foundation spared no expense in 2012 funding the right-wing cabal that advances their agenda of unaccountable privatization.”

Earlier research by One Wisconsin Now revealed a $31 million Bradley Foundation financed propaganda campaign promoting the privatization of K-12 public education. As part of the 2013 state budget, the unaccountable private school voucher program was expanded statewide.

The Bradley Foundation’s 2012 annual report, reviewed by One Wisconsin Now, reveals that the right wing propaganda outlets Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, MacIver Institute, Media Trackers and their parent organization American Majority and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation Wisconsin Chapter received over $1 million in Bradley Funding in 2012 alone.

Ross noted that in 2012 these organizations were extremely active in issues surrounding the historic recall election of Gov. Walker. Among their actions was a multi-million dollar ad campaign sponsored by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and MacIver Institute that declared “it’s working” in relation to the polices enacted by Gov. Walker resulting in Wisconsin having among the worst records in job creation and wage growth in the nation.

In addition, the Bradley report discloses a contribution of $500,000 in 2012 to the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and $190,000 in direct funding for Wisconsin Reporter. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty retains lawyers and provides support for lawsuits intended to advance right-wing causes while the Wisconsin Reporter purport to be a news service.

“The fact that the radical privatization agenda of the Bradley Foundation being carried out by Gov. Walker and right-wing legislators does not work is of no concern to them. As we continue to see, they’ll spare no expense to fund a propaganda machine and instead try to re-write the facts,” concluded Ross.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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