Big Money Behind Scott Walker And Union Busting Traced To John Birch Co-Founder
There is big money and huge organizations behind Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his attempts to take away rights of middle income Americans. Think Progress has the history and background.
Walker has deeply entwined his administration with the Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Foundation’s CEO, former state GOP chairman Michele Grebe, chaired Walker’s campaign and headed his transition. But more importantly, the organizations lining up to support Walker are financed by Bradley cash.
These include the MacIver Institute, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, and the astroturf group Americans for Prosperity, all of whom worked to elect Walker. We are talking about extreme views that have their roots in the far-right John Birch Society, co-founded by Bradley Foundation founder Harry Bradley.
Harry, along with his older brother Lynde, started the Allen-Bradley company, a major manufacturer of electronics and engine parts. After a bitter strike in 1939, Harry became increasingly political. Although his company boomed because of World War 2-era contracts from the government, Harry abhorred any intrusions into his business: especially labor organizers (who he termed “communists” in his memoirs), as well as pressure to hire women and minorities in his plants, a move he resisted until his death. Responding to the civil rights movement and liberalism in society, Harry became obsessed with right-wing politics. According to scholar William Schambra, Harry even studied Lenin and Stalin for ideas on how to wage guerrilla warfare against the left. He joined candy manufacturer Robert Welch to be one of the founding members of the John Birch Society (along with Fred Koch, the father of Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch), and financed other right-wing firebrands.
Bradley made $290 million when his company was sold, and that money has been used to fund his vision of America.
The money has gone on to finance ideas held strongly by Harry Bradley: anti-affirmative action scholars, anti-multiculturalism books (the Bradley Foundation underwrote the notoriously racist book The Bell Curve), anti-welfare campaigns, privatization efforts, neoconservative fronts, and tens of millions for groups opposed to public and private sector unions, particular in the field of education. As conservative writer Al Regnery has observed, conservatives have relied on the Bradley Foundation to finance the backbone of radical policy ideas that first take root in Wisconsin but are then championed by Republicans around the country. Gov. Scott Walker’s current fight to crush labor rights in Wisconsin is the fulfillment of Harry Bradley’s John Birch Society dream.Click here for reuse options!
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