Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

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Michael Grebe "Money Badger" (Source: One Wisconsin Now)

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (LHBF), formerly known as the Allen-Bradley Foundation, was established in 1942, describing itself as "a private, independent grantmaking organization based in Milwaukee."[1] According to the foundation's 1998 Annual Report and a 2011 report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation gives away more than $30 million per year.[2][3] In November 2013, One Wisconsin Now and the Center for Media and Democracy reported that the Bradley Foundation had given over $500 million to conservative "public-policy experiments" since 2000.[4]

For a full list of groups the foundation has funded, please see Contributions of the Bradley Foundation.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "from 2001 to 2009, it [Bradley] doled out nearly as much money as the seven Koch and Scaife foundations combined."[5]

Bradley Files

In 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of SourceWatch, launched a series of articles on the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, exposing the inner-workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. 56,000 previously undisclosed documents laid bare the Bradley Foundation's highly politicized agenda. CMD detailed Bradley's efforts to map and measure right wing infrastructure nationwide, including by dismantling and defunding unions to impact state elections; bankrolling discredited spin doctor Richard Berman and his many front groups; and more.

Find the series here at


Harry Bradley was one of the original charter members of the far right-wing John Birch Society, along with another Birch Society board member, Fred Koch, the father of Koch Industries' billionaire brothers and owners, Charles and David Koch.[6] "Bradley was also a keen supporter of the Manion Forum, whose followers believed that social spending in America was part of a secret Russian plot to bankrupt the United States," Jane Mayer writes in Dark Money.[7]

In the same book, Mayer details that, "The event that multiplied the Bradley Foundation's assets by a factor of twenty almost overnight, transforming it into a major political force, was the 1985 business takeover in which Rockwell International, then America's largest defense contractor, bought the Allen-Bradley company, a Milwaukee electronics manufacturer, for $1.65 billion in cash. The deal created an instant windfall for the Bradley family's private foundation, which held a stake in the company. Its assets leaped from $14 million to some $290 million.[7]

Changes to Mission Statement

Jane Mayer in her book Dark Money discusses how the mission statement of the Bradley Foundation changed over time,

"Originally, the foundation's purpose was to help aid needy employees and the residents of Milwaukee, as well as prevent cruelty to animals...After (Mike) Joyce took over the foundation in 1985, however, a new mission statement was drafted, directing its grants to the support of "limited, competent government," "a dynamic marketplace," and "vigorous defense."'[7]

News and Controversies

"Partying with Russian Fascists and Oligarchs"

A trove of emails, according to ThinkProgress, indicated that Dan Schmidt, who was a vice president at the Bradley Foundation at the time, attended a "swanky gala" in Russia with the likes of Russian fascists and oligarchs.ThinkProgress cites hacked emails from Russian officials and others released by the website "Distributed Denial of Secrets" as evidence for Schmidt's attendance. Schmidt was the Vice President for Program then through as recently as 2016, and has been a part of Bradley for decades.[8]

Ties to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Governor Scott Walker signed a right-to-work bill into law on March 9, 2015, with some help from the Bradley Foundation. The foundation "doled out over $8 million in 2012 and 2013, the latest years for which information available, to support the operations of a web of nearly three dozen groups promoting right to work laws and radical privatization policies that empower the wealthy and corporate CEOs at the expense of the middle class," according to a report by One Wisconsin Now published on February 25, 2015. "The Bradley Foundation, having nearly half a billion dollars in assets, regularly hands out $30-40 million a year, making it perhaps the largest right-wing funding foundation in America. Groups operating in Wisconsin, including the MacIver Institute, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, Media Trackers and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Foundation, took in excess of $2.9 million.[9]

Walker proposed his 2013-2015 budget, which contained plans to massively expand Wisconsin's school voucher program, in February 2013. Congruent with the efforts of the Bradley Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), this would provide state subsidies for students to leave public schools in exchange for private schools, effectively transferring substantial government public education funding to the private sector.[10]

The Center for Union Facts, an anti-union organization that is part of lobbyist Rick Berman's family of front groups, received $1.55 million between 2007 and 2010 from the Bradley Foundation and spent heavily to support Walker and smear teachers unions with an anti-union website during the 2011 fight over public sector collective bargaining rights.

The MacIver Institute (a member of the ALEC-tied State Policy Network) and the Koch-founded and -funded Americans for Prosperity spent millions defending Walker in his 2011 recall election. Americans for Prosperity received $600,000 from the Bradley Foundation from 2004 to 2010.

Within days of Walker's 2010 election, he met the board and senior staff of the Bradley Foundation at Milwaukee's elite Bacchus Restaurant. Two weeks later, the Bradley-funded MacIver Institute published an editorial calling for Walker and the legislature to end collective bargaining for public employees and attack private unions by making Wisconsin a "Right to Work" state.[11]

The MacIver Institute received $360,000 from Bradley in its first three years of existence, and ran a series of pro-Walker "It's Working!" ads with Americans for Prosperity (AFP), which has also been funded by Bradley.[11]

In addition to the ties to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker noted above, Bradley Foundation CEO Michael Grebe personally conducted interviews at the cabinet level of the Walker administration and served as chair of Walker's campaign, the "Friends of Scott Walker."[12]

In 2010, the MacIver Institute, which is funded by the Bradley Foundation, posted an op-ed pushing for a repeal of collective bargaining rights. The article read: "Two simple but fundamental steps to kick start the Wisconsin economy and get our state budget mess resolved would be to repeal collective bargaining for public employees and to make Wisconsin a right to work state, giving private sector workers the choice of whether they want to pay union dues in their workplace."[13]

Bradley Foundation Provides Financial Backing to Groups Fighting Scott Walker's John Doe Probe

The Center for Media and Democracy reported in June 2014, "The Bradley Foundation and its directors have given nearly $18 million to groups that are now connected to individuals involved in the John Doe investigation and the campaign against it. Prosecutors in that high-profile probe allege that Scott Walker is at the center of a "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate fundraising with Wisconsin Club for Growth and other nonprofit "dark money" groups during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections."[14]

Funding of Voter Suppression Billboards

In 2010 and 2012, billboards went up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a few cities in Ohio that displayed the message "Voter Fraud is a Felony!"

The original billboards in 2010 had a picture of a black man behind bars, but the billboards were changed after public outcry.

Shortly before the 2012 election, public pressure mounted in Milwaukee demanding that the funders of the billboards be disclosed, and that the billboards come down.

Clear Channel Outdoor, the advertising company that owned the billboard space, finally agreed to take the billboards down.

One Wisconsin Now, a progressive advocacy organization, later revealed that the Einhorn Family Foundation was behind the billboards, and a few days later Michael Grebe, the president and CEO of the Bradley Foundation, confirmed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it had provided $10,000 to the Einhorn Family Foundation in 2010 that had in fact been used for billboards.[15]

Funding Islamophobia in the United States

LHBF has funded various organizations and individuals contributing to an anti-Islamic hysteria in the United States, according to research by the Center for American Progress (CAP). Between 2001 and 2012, LHBF contributed $6,540,000 to various Islamophobic groups, including the Center for Security Policy, the Middle East Forum, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center.[16]

Contributions of the Bradley Foundation

For a full list of grants from 1998-2013, see the Contributions of the Bradley Foundation page.

In 2013, a total of $33,988,318 in grants was awarded.[17]

According to Right Wing Watch, the Bradley Foundation has given grants to highly controversial individuals:[18]

"Bradley has supported and in some cases, had to defend controversial right-wing recipients of their grants, particularly Charles Murray and Dinesh D'Souza.[18]
"Charles Murray - Murray, author of "The Bell Curve," which argues that intelligence is predicated on race, and "Losing Ground," whose thesis is that social programs should be abolished. Murray's work was so controversial and objectionable that the right-wing Manhattan Institute, supported by Bradley and for which he worked, asked him to leave. However, the Bradley Foundation stood by him because Murray, according to former Bradley President Michael Joyce, "is one of the foremost social thinkers in the country." Bradley extended Murray's $100,000 per year grant when he went to the American Enterprise Institute. [18]
"Dinesh D'Souza - D'Souza, in his book, The End of Racism, attempts to absolve Whites from discrimination against Blacks during slavery, claiming that Blacks were too uncivilized to be a part of society anyway."[18]

Ties to DonorsTrust, a Koch Conduit

DonorsTrust is considered a "donor-advised fund," which means that it divides its funds into separate accounts for individual donors, who then recommend disbursements from the accounts to different non-profits. Funds like DonorsTrust are not uncommon in the non-profit sector, but they do cloak the identity of the original donors because the funds are typically distributed in the name of DonorsTrust rather than the original donors.[19] Very little was known about DonorsTrust until late 2012 and early 2013, when the Guardian and others published extensive reports on what Mother Jones called "the dark-money ATM of the conservative movement."[20][21]

Americans for Prosperity, an organization founded and funded by the Koch brothers, received nearly $9.5 million from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund from 2010 to 2012.[22]

DonorsTrust Funding

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation contributed $2,969,292 to DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund between 2009 and 2013[23] (see links to the foundation's IRS forms 990 below).

A report by the Center for Public Integrity exposes a number of DonorsTrust funders, many of which have ties to the Koch brothers. One of the most prominent funders is the Knowledge and Progress Fund, a Charles Koch-run organization and one of the group's largest known contributors, having donated nearly $9 million from 2005 to 2012. Other contributors known to have donated at least $1 million to DonorsTrust include the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Donald & Paula Smith Family Foundation, Searle Freedom Trust, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation.[24]

Since its inception in 1999, DonorsTrust has been used by conservative foundations and individuals to discretely funnel nearly $400 million to like-minded think tanks and media outlets.[24] According to the organization's tax documents, in 2011, DonorsTrust contributed a total of $86 million to conservative organizations. Many recipients had ties to the State Policy Network (SPN), a wide collection of conservative state-based think tanks and media organizations that focus on shaping public policy and opinion. In 2013, the Center for Media and Democracy released a special report on SPN. Those who received DonorsTrust funding included media outlets such as the Franklin Center and the Lucy Burns Institute, as well as think tanks such as SPN itself, the Heartland Institute, Illinois Policy Institute, Independence Institute, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, South Carolina Policy Council, American Legislative Exchange Council, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, and the Cascade Policy Institute.[25]

Funding Rick Berman's Front Groups

In the latest annual report posted to its website, the Bradley Foundation said it gave a total of $675,000 to Richard Berman's PR front groups in 2013: the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF, which changed its name to the Center for Organizational Research and Education (CORE) in early 2014), the Center for Union Facts, and the Employment Policies Institute.[17]

The Bradley Foundation gave at least $375,000 (from 2009 to 2012) to one of Berman's PR front groups, CCF, which runs, the Environmental Policy Alliance, and the Humane Society for Shelter Pets,,, (attacking the Center for Science in the Public Interest),,,,, and

CCF/CORE actively opposes smoking bans and lowering the legal blood-alcohol level, while targeting studies on the dangers of meat and dairy, processed food, fatty foods, soda pop, pharmaceuticals, animal testing, overfishing, and pesticides.[26] It is reportedly primarily funded by corporate restaurants and the food industry.[27]

The Bradley Foundation gave CCF $200,000 in 2009,[28] $50,000 in 2010,[29] $125,000 in 2012,[30] and $250,000 in 2013.[17] See Contributions of the Bradley Foundation for more.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Documents $350 Million Spent Over Ten Years

A 2011 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article outlined how the Bradley Foundation spent more than $350 million over ten years, including $234 million on conservative causes and $79 million on higher education to universities around the United States.[3]

The report found that 38 percent of the $350 million was spent in Wisconsin, 32 percent was spent in Milwaukee and only 6 percent for the rest of Wisconsin. 23 percent was spent in Washington, D.C., and the rest spread around the rest of the country.

The top 30 grant recipients received a combined $155 million, including:

Funding the American Legislative Exchange Council

The Bradley Foundation gave $70,000 in 2012 and $100,000 in 2013 to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) "to support the Center for State Fiscal Reform," the ALEC project that publishes the annual "Rich States Poor States" report.[31][17]

According to the foundation's 990 tax forms, the Bradley Foundation gave $270,000 in contributions to ALEC between 2009 and 2011.[32]

The foundation gave $145,000 to ALEC in 2009 and 2010 for initiatives including ALEC's "Budget Reform Education Project," the "Donor Freedom Project," and the "Budget Reform and Transparency Project," according to its annual reports. ALEC also thanked the Bradley Foundation in its 2011 "State Budget Reform Toolkit" for funding the publication, which promotes a number of templates that have been embraced by ALEC members in Wisconsin.[11]

Among other things, Bradley has focused its funding efforts on programs to divert tax dollars from public schools to private entities via "voucher" programs that undermine public education. Bradley poured $20 million into the effort to bring so-called "school choice" vouchers to Milwaukee, and has spent countless sums supporting groups that aim to expand the program across Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. These anti-public education initiatives are also advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[11]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

Funding School Choice Expansion

Graphic by One Wisconsin Now Tracing Bradley School Choice Funding

A report released by non-profit activist group One Wisconsin Now in April 2013 details the Bradley Foundation's massive efforts to funnel money into school privatization programs nationwide. Since 2001, the Bradley Foundation has spent over $31 million "supporting organizations promoting education privatization, academics providing favorable pro-privatization pseudo-science, media personalities promoting the privatization agenda and lobbying organizations advocating for privatization legislation," according to the report.[33]

Michael Grebe, CEO of the Bradley Foundation, has also served as campaign co-chair for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has worked to expand voucher school funding in Wisconsin by 32 percent. Grebe led transition efforts and chaired Walker's campaign committee for the 2012 recall election. The report estimates that between 2014 and 2015, $1.8 billion in taxpayer dollars will go toward private voucher schools in Wisconsin.[33]

Funding for Charter Schools

Graphic by One Wisconsin Now Depicting the Bradley Foundation's Support of Milwaukee's School Voucher Program

The Bradley Foundation is a top funder for groups affiliated with charter schools nationwide. Its top recipient is the Charter School Growth Fund, a group that provides start up money for new charter school nationwide.

The second largest recipient for the group was Partners Advancing Values in Education, another charter school advocacy group.[3]

Bradley Foundation Provided Financial Backing for The Bell Curve

The Bradley Foundation paid $1 million to Charles Murray to co-write the hugely controversial book The Bell Curve with Richard Herrnstein.[34] Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership at Marquette University Robert Lowe said of the book, "The Bell Curve is a smoking gun. It maintains that the poor—including the majority of African Americans—are generally incapable of benefiting from education...."[34] The book argued for eliminating welfare and reducing immigration to raise the IQ in the country. In addition to these policy recommendations, the authors also argued against affirmative action. The Bell Curve received a lot of public and scholarly attention, mainly due to the fact that it was not peer reviewed. Jim Naureckas of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting commented on the media response, "The Bell Curve was accorded attention totally disproportionate to the merits of the book or the novelty of its thesis...While many of these discussions included sharp criticisms of the book, media accounts showed a disturbing tendency to accept Murray and Herrnstein’s premises and evidence even while debating their conclusions.[35] Naureckas criticized the media for this as he argued that the "book was part of a campaign to justify racism."[35]

Barbara Miner writes of the Bradley Foundation's involvement in the project,

"The foundation was well aware of the explosive nature of Murray's research. In 1989, when he started collaborating with Richard Herrnstein on research into intelligence and genetics, the Manhattan Institute decided it would be best if Murray left. But Bradley, which had funded Murray at the Manhattan Institute, was willing to continue his $100,000 annual grant at his new home with the American Enterprise Institute."[34]

Funding the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and the MacIver Institute

From 2008 to 2012, the MacIver Institute, a relatively new and increasingly influential think tank that is also a State Policy Network member (Wisconsin is one of few states to have two SPN member think tanks, but all 50 states have at least one), received $635,000 from the Bradley Foundation.[4][36] According to One Wisconsin Now and CMD, in 2012, "SPN awarded the MacIver Institute a 'Network Award' for 'its excellent work in defense of free markets.'[4]

The Bradley Foundation gave the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI), (also a member State Policy Network), a $2.8 million start-up grant in 1987, and by 2010 it had given the institute a total of $16.5 million. The Bradley Foundation’s Michael Joyce launched his attack on Wisconsin progressivism in the Winter 1994 issue of Wisconsin Interest, a publication of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.[37]

In 2013, the Bradley Foundation gave $375,000 to WPRI "to support general operations."[17]

The following chart -- published in November 2013 by One Wisconsin Now and the Center for Media and Democracy -- compares the agendas of the McIver Institute, WPRI, and other Bradley foundation funded organizations: [4]

Issues McIver Institute Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Americans for Prosperity (AFP)
Privatizing Public Education The MacIver Institute has supported education privatization measures, including the expansion of school vouchers and charter schools, in several reports, articles, and "studies," including in its recent report, "Debunking Five Common Myths About School Choice" (May 2013). WPRI, a longtime supporter of education privatization, promotes education privatization measures such as school voucher and charter school expansion in its May 2013 report, "Understanding

School Finance in Wisconsin: A Primer"

Education privatization is also a key component in ALEC's extreme agenda. ALEC's school voucher "models" include the "Special Needs Scholarship Program Act" and the "School Choice Directory Act." ALEC's charter school models include the "Charter Schools Act" and the "Next Generation Charter Schools Act." In May 2013, AFP-Wisconsin launched a campaign to support Governor Scott Walker's plan to further privatize public education in Wisconsin, asking citizens to call the legislators to support Walker’s plan.
Attacking Renewable Energy The MacIver Institute has released several reports and articles attacking clean and renewable energy, and has specifically opposed Wisconsin's renewable energy portfolio. WPRI's March 2013 report, "Law Mandating Use of Renewable Energy Costing Wisconsinites Hundreds of Millions," attacks Wisconsin's renewable energy portfolio. ALEC's "Electricity Freedom Act" repeals renewable energy standards and is an attack on states with plans requiring companies to get a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources. ALEC's new "Market Power Renewables Act" and "Renewable Energy Credit Act" is another tactic to attack renewable energy standards and provide hollow replacements. AFP is well known for its support of the fossil fuel industry and denying the science behind climate change. Like ALEC and the SPN think tanks in Wisconsin, it has been an aggressive opponent of

renewable portfolio standards.

Supermajority for Tax Increases The MacIver Institute has supported a 'supermajority' amendment for tax increases in the past, including in its January 2011 report, "Use Every Measure to Limit State's Ability to Hike Taxes." WPRI calls for a supermajority requirement to raise any taxes in its January 2011 report, "Why Wisconsin Should Require A Supermajority To Raise Taxes." ALEC's "Super-Majority Act" would amend the state constitution to require all tax and "license fee" increases or impositions be approved by two-thirds of all members of each house of the legislature, except when there is insufficient revenue to pay interest on the state's debt. AFP has supported supermajority acts in at least Michigan, New Hampshire, Kansas, and Washington.
Voter Supression Several of MacIver 'News' Services article promote and support voter suppression measures, including "GAB Directive Could Undermine Voter ID Protections" (August 2011), "Racine Irregularities Renew Calls for Voter ID" (July 2012), and "Voter ID Law Upheld by Court of Appeals" (May 2013). WPRI Mike Nichols supported Voter ID and voter suppression in the January 2011 WPRI post "Voter ID? How About Candidate ID?" ALEC's "Voter ID Act" makes it more difficult for American citizens to vote. It would change ID rules so that citizens who have been registered to vote for decades must show certain kinds of ID in order to vote. This bill disenfranchises many low-income, minority, college students and elderly Americans who do not have driver's licenses but have typically used other forms of ID. AFP has taken part in its own version of voter suppression. During the 2011 recall elections, AFP Wisconsin sent many Democratic voters a mailing that gave an incorrect deadline for absentee ballots. AFP is also known for hosting events featuring Catherine Englebrecht, a voter suppression activist. In North Carolina, AFP bussed suppression activists to the state capitol to sit in on hearings on voter ID bills.
Opposing Healthcare Reform & Medicaid Expansion The MacIver Institute has released several reports against the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, including "Rejection of Medicaid Expansion Will Save Federal Taxpayers Money" (June 2013), "Chart of the Day - Wisconsin's Medicaid Options" (June 2013), and "More Voters Support Scott Walker's Rejection of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion" (May 2013). WPRI speaks out against Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act in a July 2012 post: "Medicaid Expansion: A Tough Sell for Governors of Both Parties" ALEC has issued several "model" bills against the 2010 Affordable Care Act, including the "Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act" and the "Resolution Opposing Employer-Paid Health Care Mandates."

ALEC's Guide to Repeal Obamacare is a guide for state legislators to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and urges them to reject Medicaid expansion and federal grants for Medicaid.

AFP, both nationally and in Wisconsin, is well known for its efforts opposing the Affordable Care Act, including spending at least $1.7 million on TV ads around the country denouncing the reform.
Supporting Scott Walkers' Attacks on Workers' Rights The MacIver Institute is well known for supporting Gov. Walker in his 2012 recall, spurred by Walker stripping collective bargaining rights, by spending $3.7 million with Americans for Prosperity to

promote Walker's policies. MacIver was an initial supporter of Act 10, the bill that stripped collective bargaining rights, and has released several reports supporting the measure since it became law. In April 2011, Mother Jones reported that MacIver even cut a video that dismissed the pro-labor protesters at the Wisconsin capital as radicalized communists and socialists.

WPRI is an outspoken opponent of collective bargaining rights, noting in one Wisconsin Interest Magazine article that unions are the "barrier to innovation." ALEC's "Right to Work Act" is an attack on working families across the state as this bill takes away workers' ability to negotiate fair contracts.

ALEC's "Employee Rights Reform Act" limits revenue streams for public employee unions and imposes new reporting burdens on union activities.

ALEC's "Paycheck Protection Act" is an attack on workers and attempts to make it difficult for unions to raise funds.

AFP was one of the most active organizations supporting Walker's repeal of collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin throughout 2011 and 2012, and continues to support the legislation -- Act 10 -- today.

See original table[4]

The Bradley Foundation Funds Challenges to Civil Rights and Racial Equality

Ed Blum of the Project on Fair Representation organized the challenges in both the Shelby County v. Holder and Fisher v. University of Texas Supreme Court cases with the financial support of the Bradley Foundation.[38]

In the Shelby County case, "the Court effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, which had required states with a history of legalized racial discrimination to get pre-approval from the federal government before making changes to either voting laws or procedures".[38]

Blum's efforts were less sucessful in the Fisher v. University of Texas case, which challenged university affirmative action programs and was deferred to a lower court. The Bradley Foundation used DonorsTrust to funnel at least $100,000 to The Project on Fair Representation for legal fees.[38]

The Bradley Foundation has a history of attacking voting rights and promoting voter ID laws.

In 2012, the Foundation paid for billboard ads stating "Voter fraud is a felony!" placed only in colored neighborhoods.

The Bradley Foundation also funded the employment and legal representation of James O'Keefe "whose heavily-edited undercover videos hyped voter fraud allegations and helped take down ACORN, which had helped millions of low-income people register to vote".[38]

True the Vote, a vote-monitoring organization accused of voter suppression, received $35,000 from the Bradley Foundation in 2011.

The Foundation also funds conservative think tank groups including the Center for Individual Rights, the American Civil Rights Institute, and the Center for Equal Opportunity.

Public Endorsements

"The reason that I am so happy that my friend Mike Grebe is here and Mike Joyce and others from the Bradley Foundation is because 'Foundation America' must be a part of the revitalization of our communities as well. And the Bradley Foundation has always been willing to see different solutions. They have been willing to challenge the status quo. They say where we find failure, something else must occur. And the foundation not only has been kind and generous with its donations, the foundation also has been willing to help people think anew, and I appreciate you all coming. I am honored you're here and thanks for your good work." – President George W. Bush, speaking at the Bradley Foundation-supported Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ, Milwaukee, July 2002.[39]

Infiltration of Academic Institutions

According to People for the American Way:

"Bradley has made right-wing inroads in academia by establishing chairmanship positions, undergraduate and graduate programs, fellowships, and whole departments at many prestigious universities including: Boston College, Boston University, Bowling Green State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Catholic University, Columbia University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Kenyon College, Marquette University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, New York University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California- Berkeley, University of California- Los Angeles, University of California- San Diego, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, and Washington University- St. Louis."[18]

Core Financials


  • Total Revenue: $35,842,195
  • Total Expenses: $49,709,655
  • Contributions, gifts, grants paid: $37,038,068
  • Total Assets: $849,426,516


  • Total Revenue: $59,729,542
  • Total Expenses: $61,423,375
  • Contributions, gifts, grants paid: $48,817,626
  • Total Assets: $845,139,789


  • Total Revenue: $51,325,319
  • Total Expenses: $49,497,723
  • Contributions, gifts, grants paid: $36,620,922
  • Total Assets: $901,945,006


  • Total Revenue: $251,064,761
  • Total Expenses: $48,002,572
  • Contributions, gifts, grants paid: $35,949,795
  • Total Assets: $922,303,709


  • Total Revenue: $42,933,448
  • Total Expenses: $43,419,900
Contributions, gifts, grants paid: $32,475,102
  • Total Assets: $640,390,126


  • Total Revenue: $37,919,820
  • Total Expenses: $45,626,119
  • Contributions, gifts, grants paid: $34,948,522
  • Total Assets: $612,347,902

Prize Recipients

The Bradley Foundation website awards up to four "Bradley Prizes" of $250,000 each annually to what it calls "innovative thinkers and practitioners whose achievements strengthen the legacy of the Bradley brothers and the ideas to which they were committed":[46]


  • Roger Kimball, Editor and Publisher, The New Criterion and President and Publisher, Encounter Books
  • James Grant, Financial Journalist and Historian and Founder and Editor at Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
  • Judge Janice Rogers Brown, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (retired)


  • Jason Riley, Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal
  • Charles R. Kesler, Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute, Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College
  • Allen C. Guelzo, Director of Civil War Era Studies and the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College



  • Charles Murray, author and W.H. Brady Scholar in Culture and Freedom at the American Enterprise Institute
  • Andrew Roberts, British historian, honorary senior scholar at Cambridge, and Visiting Professor at the War Studies Department at King's College, London
  • Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, religious leader, 2016 Templeton Prize winner, and Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor at New York University
  • Gary Sinise, actor, humanitarian, advocate for America's service members, and founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation



  • Kimberley Strassel, member of the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal
  • Darcy Olsen, President of the Goldwater Institute
  • Randy E. Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at Georgetown University Law Center and founder and director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution
  • Terry Teachout, drama critic and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and critic-at-large of Commentary Magazine




  • Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida and Founder, Chairman, and President of the Foundation for Excellence in Education
  • Richard A. Epstein, Professor at New York University School of Law, Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago Law School
  • Harvey C. Mansfield, Professor of Government at Harvard University and Fellow at the Hoover Institution
  • Allan H. Meltzer, Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business









As of April 2017:[48]


  • James Arthur Pope, Chairman, Board of Directors
  • Patrick J. English, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
  • Richard W. Graber, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Cleta Mitchell, Secretary
  • Carl Helstrom, Vice President for Programs
  • Jessica F. Dean, Vice President for External Relations
  • Cynthia K. Friauf, Vice President for Finance, Treasurer, and Assistant Secretary
  • R. Michael Lempke, Vice President for Investments
  • Terri L. Famer, Vice President for Administration and Assistant Secretary
  • Mandy L. Hess, Controller and Assistant Treasurer

Former Officers

  • Michael W. Grebe, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Dennis J. Kuester, Chairman, Board of Directors
  • David V. Uihlein, Jr., Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
  • Daniel P. Schmidt, Vice President for Program
  • Terri L. Famer, Vice President for Administration and Assistant Secretary


  • Carl Helstrom, Vice President for Programs
  • Dianne J. Sehler, Senior Program Director
  • Alicia L. Manning, Program Director
  • William J. Bergeron, Librarian
  • Dionne M. King, Senior Program Assistant
  • Tris E. Withington, Program Assistant

External Relations

  • Jessica F. Dean, Vice President for External Relations
  • Benjamin M. Hannemann, Marketing and Communications Manager
  • Kala J. Hill, Manager of External Relations Operations

Finance and Investment

  • Cynthia K. Friauf, Vice President for Finance
  • R. Michael Lempke, Vice President for Investments
  • Mandy L. Hess, Controller
  • Laura M. Davis, Senior Accountant
  • Renee L. Krebs, Grants Administrator
  • Tierney P. Kamine, Accounting Assistant


  • Terri L. Famer, Vice President for Administration
  • Carol A. Brick, Executive Assistant
  • Diane M. Lask, Receptionist/Clerical Assistant
  • Susan R. Millard, Office Assistant
  • Dennis H. Grueneberg, Operations

Former Staff

  • Michael Joyce
  • Daniel P. Schmidt, Vice President for Program
  • Michael E. Hartmann, Director of Research and Evaluation
  • Janet F. Riordan, Director of Community Programs
  • Jill M. Budny, Program Officer
  • Renee L. Narus, Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors

Former Board Members

  • Michael W. Grebe, President & CEO. Formerly served as controversial Governor Scott Walker's campaign chair and and on his transition team after he was elected in 2010, and was also state GOP chairman in the late 1980s.[49][50]
  • Shelby Steele, 2006 Bradley Prize recipient, Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
  • George F. Will, 2005 Bradley Prize recipient, Columnist, The Washington Post
  • Dennis J. Kuester, Chairman
  • David V. Uihlein, Jr., Vice Chairman; President, Uihlein-Wilson Architects

Contact Information

Employer Identification Number (EIN): 39-6037928

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
P.O. Box 510860
1241 N. Franklin Pl
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53203-0153
Phone: (414).291.9915
Fax: (414).291.9991
Twitter: @BradleyFdn

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings







Related SourceWatch Articles

External Resources


  1. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Home, organizational website, accessed June 6, 2013.
  2. Media Transparency, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. - Funder profile, archived by the WayBack Machine March 6, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber, and Ben Poston, From local roots, Bradley Foundation builds conservative empire, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel November 19, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 One Wisconsin Now and the Center for Media and Democracy S is for Shill: Inside the Bradley Foundation's Attack on Public Education, organizational report, November 2013.
  5. Barbara Miner, Wisconsin's Progressive Tradition at Stake in the Recall Election, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 14, 2012.
  6. Lee Fang, How John Birch Society Extremism Never Dies: The Fortune Behind Scott Walker’s Union-Busting Campaign, ThinkProgress, February 21, 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jane Mayer, [Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right], 2016."
  8. Casey Michels Hacked emails list right-wing fundraiser partying with Russian fascists and oligarchs ThinkProgress Jan 30, 2019
  9. Mike Browne, One Wisconsin Now, One Wisconsin Now Research Reveals Gov. Walker Campaign Co-Chair as Major Financier of Propaganda Campaign Paving Way for Wrong For Wisconsin Right to Work Law, organizational report, February 23, 2015.
  10. Jason Stein, Patrick Marley, and Erin Richards, Scott Walker Proposes Expanding Voucher School Program, Raising Taxpayer Support, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 18, 2013.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Brendan Fischer, Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC Exposed in Wisconsin: The Hijacking of a State, organizational report, May 2012.
  12. Barbara Miner, Wisconsin's Progressive Tradition at Stake in the Recall Election, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 14, 2012.
  13. Brian Fraley, MacIver Institute, The Time is Now to Reform Labor Laws Which Threaten Our State's Future, organizational op-ed, November 24, 2010.
  14. Brendan Fischer, Bradley Foundation Bankrolled Groups Pushing Back on Scott Walker John Doe Criminal Probe, Center for Media and Democracy's PRWatch, June 19, 2014.
  15. Daniel Bice, Bradley Foundation helped pay for 2010 voter fraud signs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 31, 2012.
  16. Center for American Progress, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Profile, Islamophobia Network, 2015.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation 2013 Annual Report, organizational document, 2014.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 People for the American Way, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Right Wing Watch organizational profile, accessed November 15, 2011.
  19. Rebekah Wilce, A Reporters' Guide to the "State Policy Network" -- the Right-Wing Think Tanks Spinning Disinformation and Pushing the ALEC Agenda in the States,, April 4, 2013.
  20. Andy Kroll, Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement, Mother Jones, February 5, 2013.
  21. Suzanne Goldenberg, "Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks," The Guardian, February 14, 2013.
  22. Center for Media and Democracy, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund Grant Recipients,, accessed December 2014.
  23. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Annual Reports, organizational documents, accessed 2015.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Paul Abowd, Donors use charity to push free-market policies in states, Center for Public Integrity, February 14, 2013.
  25. Donors Trust,, IRS form 990, 2011.
  26. Center for Media and Democracy, Center for Consumer Freedom,, accessed March 2014.
  27. Will Coggin, Don’t fear genetically modified food, Charleston Daily Mail author biography at end of article, March 7, 2014.
  28. Center for Consumer Freedom, 2009 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, November 11, 2010.
  29. Center for Consumer Freedom, 2010 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, November 14, 2011.
  30. Center for Consumer Freedom, 2012 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, November 12, 2013.
  31. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2012 Annual Report, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2012.
  32. Center for Media and Democracy, Contributions of the Bradley Foundation,, accessed April 12, 2013.
  33. 33.0 33.1 One Wisconsin Now, P is for Payoff: Inside the Bradley Foundation's Campaign to Privatize Education in Wisconsin, organizational report, April, 2012.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Barbara Miner, Who is Backing The Bell Curve?, Self-Renewing Schools, April 1995.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Jim Naureckas, Racism Resurgent: How Media Let The Bell Curve's Pseudo-Science Define the Agenda on Race, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, June 1, 1995.
  36. Center for Media and Democracy, Contributions of the Bradley Foundation,, accessed April 12, 2013.
  37. Barbara Miner, Wisconsin's Progressive Tradition at Stake in the Recall Election, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 14, 2012.
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 Brendan Fischer, For Bradley Foundation, Challenging Affirmative Action & Voting Rights Is Part of Long-Term Crusade, PR Watch, June 27, 2013.
  39. People for the American Way, Lynde ad Harry Bradley, Right Wing Watch organizational report, accessed November 30, 2011.
  40. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, [paper copy on file at CMD 2016 IRS Form 990-PF], Internal Revenue Service, November 7, 2016.
  41. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2015 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, November 7, 2016.
  42. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2014 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, November 7, 2015.
  43. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2013 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, November 7, 2014.
  44. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2012 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, November 8, 2013.
  45. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2011 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, November 14, 2012.
  46. Bradley Foundation, Bradley Prizes, organizational website, accessed June 17, 2015.
  47. Right Wing Watch, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, organiational website, November 20, 2011.
  48. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Our People, organizational website, accessed April 2017.
  49. Bradley FoundationBoard of Directors, organizational website, accessed January 3, 2013.
  50. Jason Stein, Scott Walker names key figures to his transition team: Bradley Foundation's Michael W. Grebe and real estate exec John Hiller get posts, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 5, 2010.