Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) expose a national effort funded by the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to assess and expand right-wing "infrastructure" to influence policies and politicians in statehouses nationwide.
The documents were made public in October 2016 on two Twitter accounts that cyber security analysts have linked to one of the Russian hackers alleged to have breached the Democratic National Committee. The Bradley Foundation confirmed in a statement that the hack had taken place and was reported to the FBI. More information about how the Bradley files became public is available here.
The documents open a window to the behind-the-scenes workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. With $835 million in assets as of June 2016, the Bradley Foundation is as large as the three Koch family foundations combined, yet receives much less attention as a significant funder of the right.
Bradley funds the MacIver Institute ($1,079,640) and Wisconsin Policy Research Institute ($13,055,000 since 1987). The State Policy Network "think tanks" work closely with ALEC legislators on model bills, including recently on ALEC's private sector union-busting legislation, ALEC's rollback of prevailing wages and more.
The Bradley Foundation was recently honored as "a force for what makes America so good" by the Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has benefited from the Foundation's support for more than 35 years.
A recent annual report shows that the Bradley Foundation supports a variety of conservative and libertarian think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute, Hoover Institution, Cato Institute, and Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).