"The Longer View." Inside the Bradley Foundation's Ambitious Push to Win State Policy Battles - 2017-06-01
The Koch brothers aren't the only donors that have ambitions of setting the national policy agenda to fuel the ascendance of conservative ideas. Hacked documents reveal that the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, which supported Gov. Scott Walker's effort to implement a fierce deficit-cutting, anti-union agenda in Wisconsin, have ambitions of taking that same agenda to all 50 states, including key swing states like Michigan, Colorado and North Carolina that are likely to be in play in 2020 and beyond.
Perhaps the most important revelation contained in the documents—as first analyzed by the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper and the Center for Media and Democracy, which worked together on this—is that the foundation isn't really focused on winning the White House or even specific state elections. Instead, the group's chief executives, including former CEO Michael Grebe—who stepped down in 2016 to direct Governor Scott Walker's abortive presidential bid—envision a prolonged campaign of grassroots infrastructure building that will allow conservatives to set the policy agenda by transforming the larger political culture and by promoting a new generation of conservative leaders to serve as ideological standard bearers.
These efforts, in turn, would build on three decades of support by Bradley of a who's who of conservative think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and scholars such as Charles Murray, who the foundation has supported since the 1980s.