Will Wisconsin ‘Money Badger’ Back Gov. Walker’s Quest for Presidential Super PAC Cash?

Bigger Than Koch Brothers Bradley Foundation Chair, 'Money Badger' Michael Grebe, Has Long History of Supporting Walker's Political Ambitions

MADISON, Wis. — Recent media reports on prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidates’ money chase included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on a list of suitors seeking an audience with GOP mega-donor and Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker may already have found his Super-PAC sugar daddy, the Wisconsin ‘Money Badger’, Michael Grebe of the Bradley Foundation.

Ross said, “While other Republicans with presidential ambitions court right-wing billionaires to back their campaigns, Gov. Scott Walker has already benefitted from the largesse of ‘Money Badger’ Michael Grebe and the Bradley Foundation.”

The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, controlled by Michael Grebe, has doled out over $500 million since 2000 to support causes such as right wing think tanks and communications infrastructure, more money than even the infamous Koch brothers. One Wisconsin Now is currently tracking the Bradley Foundation and its support of the right wing political infrastructure.

Grebe himself not only served as Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair in 2010 and in June 2011, but also directed over $1.2 million to two organizations that ran 501(c)(3) advertising supporting Walker’s policies in the lead up to his recall election. In conjunction with theGrio news service, One Wisconsin Now uncovered Grebe’s Bradley Foundation routed funds through another Milwaukee nonprofit, the Einhorn Family Foundation, to place racist, voter suppression billboards in high minority population neighborhoods in Milwaukee during Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial run.

In addition to the direct and indirect support of the Wisconsin ‘Money Badger’ a One Wisconsin Now report detailed Gov. Walker’s exploitation of a state fundraising loophole to score six-figure contributions for his recall election including $510,000 from Wisconsin’s richest woman, Diane Hendricks, $250,000 from Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson and $100,000 from Rick Santorum backer and rabid social conservative Foster Friess.

Ross noted that Walker appears to have no problem aligning his policy views with those of his right-wing mega-donors, even at the expense of Wisconsin’s economy and families. Besides enacting massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that have stagnated Wisconsin’s economy and led to dramatic cuts to education and health care, Walker pushed anti-union legislation favored by the virulently anti-labor Diane Hendricks, signed anti-choice legislation favored by the Wyoming billionaire and Rick Santorum Super-PAC funded Foster Friess, and expanded the unaccountable private school voucher program pushed by Money Badger Michael Grebe and the Bradley Foundation.

Ross concluded, “The good news for Scott Walker is that he seems to have a stable of right wing sugar daddies ready to back him, the bad news for Wisconsin is that he’s shown he’s all to willing to sell us out on issue after issue to get their campaign cash.”

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