December 6, 2012

Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483

Wisconsin ‘Money Badger’s’ Paw Prints Uncovered In Attack on Worker Rights in Michigan

Is Wisconsin Next in Line for ‘No Rights at Work’ Legislation?

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s ‘Money Badger’, Michael Grebe, appears to have his paws in the attack on worker rights in Michigan according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Grebe, who runs the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, has doled out nearly $2 million to three organizations taking leading roles in promoting the attack on worker rights launched by Michigan Republicans in a lame duck session of their state legislature.

Ross commented, “Wherever there are attacks on the rights of middle class and working families, it seems the ‘Money Badger’ Michael Grebe can be found. The Bradley Foundation has been a key funder, to the tune of nearly $2 million, of organizations heavily involved in the attack on worker rights launched by Michigan Republicans in a lame duck legislative session.”

Based on in-depth reporting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and research by One Wisconsin Now, the Bradley Foundation has doled out $1.87 million in funding over the last decade to the Mackinac Center, Americans for Tax Reform and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, primary advocates behind the so called “right-to work” legislation being rammed through the Michigan legislature this week.

Zack Pohl of Progress Michigan said, “The right-wing infrastructure of Michigan mobilized to launch an unprecedented attack on workers and the middle class this week, and it’s people like Michael Grebe and the Bradley Foundation underwriting it.”

The Bradley Foundation has doled out over $500 million since 2000 to support the right wing infrastructure and other causes, more money than even the infamous Koch brothers. One Wisconsin Now is currently tracking the Bradley Foundation and, as part of the project, uncovered the Bradley Foundation’s role in funding racist, voter suppression billboards in high minority population neighborhoods in Milwaukee during Scott Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial run.

Ross noted the possibility that so-called right to work legislation may be on its way to Wisconsin, as Gov. Walker has towed the Bradley Foundation line on other issues. Walker expanded the unaccountable private school voucher program, supported by the Bradley Foundation, in Wisconsin while enacting the largest cuts to public education in state history.

Grebe served as Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair in 2010 and in June 2011, and the Bradley Foundation provided over $1.2 million to two organizations that ran 501(c)(3) advertising supporting Walker’s policies, including his attack on workplace rights of public employees, in the lead up to his recall election.

The ‘Money Badger’ does not care for worker rights, voter rights or public education. And he is willing to spend vast sums to tear down public institutions and support right wing extremist allies in Wisconsin and, as we see with his backing of the attack on workers in Michigan, across the country,” concluded Ross.