MADISON, Wis. — A report in the Capital Times this week reveals that Scott Walker’s favorite University of Wisconsin professor, Noah Williams, has received grants worth $340,000 from right-wing mega funders Koch and Bradley Foundations this year. Williams, who also sought work as an advisor on Walker’s 71 day long run for President, has produced “studies” touting a Walker supported tax loophole and his proposed deal to give Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn a $3 billion state subsidy.
“The Bradley and Koch foundations have spent huge sums of money to prop up Gov. Walker’s political ambitions and to advance their shared political agenda,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “Add Professor Williams to the list of their pro-Walker expenditures.”
“A University of Wisconsin-Madison economist who published a positive analysis of the impact of the proposed deal that would bring a Foxconn plant to southeast Wisconsin just opened a think tank on campus funded by the conservative Koch and Bradley foundations …Funding for the center includes $240,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation and $100,000 from the Bradley Foundation, according to a proposal for the center approved in March by the UW-Madison College of Letters and Science’s Academic Planning Council.”
The story continues:
“Williams, who published a report in April concluding that another existing tax credit backed by Walker helped grow manufacturing jobs in the state, was an adviser to Walker’s presidential campaign, the Associated Press reported. And Williams’ analysis of Walker’s Agriculture and Manufacturing Credit erred by comparing counties in Wisconsin and other states that differed in gross domestic product per capita, according to one critique.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reported:
“Critics of Foxconn lambasted the report, noting Williams had sought to advise Walker’s presidential campaign in 2015. The Bradley Foundation for years was overseen by Michael Grebe, who was also chairman of Walker’s political campaigns.”
The Koch and Bradley Foundations are longtime backers of Gov. Walker’s political ambitions. Koch helped fund a series of ads in 2011 to prop up Walker after he launched his divisive attacks on workplace rights for Wisconsin teachers, nurses, first responders and other public safety workers. The Bradley Foundation’s longtime head also chaired Walker’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns before retiring from the right wing behemoth in 2016. He oversaw hundreds of millions of dollar in spending on right wing groups that supported Walker and his agenda.
Ross concluded, “Research with a political slant to advance their right-wing agenda is what the Koch and Bradley Foundations want. And based on his work thus far, that’s just what they’ll get for their money from Noah Williams.