Bradley Foundation’s WILL: Counsel for Walker’s Defense

Bradley Foundation, Run By Walker Campaign Chair Underwrites Organization Trying to Squash Criminal Investigation of Campaign, Right-Wing Groups

MADISON, Wis. — The right-wing “public interest” law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and a legal expert who have raked in at least $1.75 million from the Bradley Foundation, run by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, are entering the fray to try to help Gov. Walker out of his most recent legal jam. WILL announced yesterday they are seeking to file an amicus brief to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that a John Doe criminal investigation of alleged collusion between the campaign of Gov. Walker and outside groups should be halted.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “This is a significant escalation from ‘Walker, Inc.’ to squash the criminal inquiry into alleged coordination between the Governor’s campaign and ostensibly independent groups. Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair and the half-billion foundation he heads are now actively involved in trying to defend him.”

A One Wisconsin Now report found that the Walker campaign chair headed Bradley Foundation has been the almost exclusive funder of WILL since its inception in 2010, to the tune of at least $1.5 million according to IRS and Bradley Foundation records. The generous funding has been repaid by an organization with a remarkably close relationship to the policy and political ambitions of Gov. Scott Walker.

Ross commented, “If there was ever any question that the mission of WILL was to advance and defend Gov. Walker and his Tea Party agenda, their attempt to intervene and stop the criminal investigation puts it to rest.”

Also seeking to intervene in federal litigation is Bradley Smith, winner of a $250,000 award from the Bradley Foundation in 2010. Smith has advocated for eliminating the Federal Election Commission and doing away with all campaign finance regulation.

The Bradley Foundation funded team is advancing arguments in their proposed amicus brief made by Walker and other allies. They say the investigation, led by a Republican special prosecutor, is targeting Walker and his special interest allies for partisan reasons. WILL also argues that the campaign finance laws Walker’s campaign and ostensibly independent groups such as the Wisconsin Club for Growth, run by a paid Walker political consultant, are alleged to have violated are unconstitutional.

“Gov. Walker’s political campaigns have been financed with massive infusions of cash from right-wing millionaires, billionaires and special interest groups. The effort to put a stop to the criminal investigation of the alleged collusion between his campaign and outside special interests is benefitting from the same financial largesse,” concluded Ross.

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