MADISON, Wis. — Some might wonder why Gov. Scott Walker’s former campaign chair, Michael Grebe, would host a fundraiser for a candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction who signed a petition to recall Gov. Walker. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the reason for Grebe’s support of John Humphries may lie in his other recent notable position, serving as the head of the right wing Bradley Foundation. From that perch, Grebe orchestrated a $100 million plus campaign funding organizations that supported efforts to expand public funding for private, religious and charter schools.
“John Humphries pledged his loyalty to Michael Grebe’s agenda to take money from public schools and give it to less accountable private voucher schools in exchange for his support,” commented Ross. “Scott Walker may have axed his own appointment of a young man to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents after discovering he signed a recall petition, but his campaign chair Michael Grebe is willing to make a deal with John Humphries.”
Based on a review of documents from the Bradley Foundation and information the organization filed with the IRS, One Wisconsin Now exposed the organization overseen by Grebe spent over $108 million in support of groups helping to advance the education privatization agenda he favors between 2005 and 2014. The results have been that in recent years, the less accountable private school voucher program dramatically expanded in Wisconsin while state public schools suffered the 4th largest budget cuts in the nation.
Humphries also issued a statement declaring he was “thrilled” with Donald Trump’s appointment of the manifestly unqualified Betsy DeVos to head the federal Department of Education. DeVos, a Michigan billionaire, has donated nearly $500,000 to Gov. Scott Walker and other Wisconsin Republican state legislative candidates. In addition, she helped fund and run the American Federation for Children (AFC), a special interest group that supports taking funds from public education to support less accountable private voucher schools. In Wisconsin, AFC has spent over $5 million to help their favored politicians.
Ross noted that Humphries campaign finance report suggests why he’s so eager to pander to the wealthy and the special interests supporting sending more public dollars to less accountable private voucher schools. He’s banking on their big money to bail him out. In the most recent filing with the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Humphries reports he has less than $17,000 in the bank mere weeks before the February Primary Election.