Billboard Funder Revealed
Contact: Mike Browne
Phone: (608) 444-3483
Madison -- A joint investigation by theGrio news service and One Wisconsin Now has uncovered that Milwaukee’s Einhorn Family Foundation is the “private family foundation” that anonymously funded voter suppression billboards in Wisconsin in September 2010 and again this year. A review of IRS documents also showed Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation, headed by Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, and one of the largest sources for right wing funding in America, gave the Einhorn Family Foundation a $10,000 grant, at the time the 2010 suppression billboards appeared, “to support a public education project.”
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said, “This was not an act of free speech, but an expression of racism as despicable as the ‘whites only’ signs of the Jim Crow South. We said we’d find out who was behind this, and we have.”
The comprehensive story that includes background and the findings of the investigation, as well as more about “Wisconsin’s Dark Money,” authored by theGrio Managing Editor Joy-Ann Reid, is available at: http://thegrio.com/2012/10/29/web-of-dark-money-behind-wisconsin-voter-suppression/.
“Let this be a lesson to anyone who would attack the sacred right to the franchise,” said Ross. “A broad coalition of progressive organizations fought tirelessly to bring these billboards down and they are ready to ensure everyone in Wisconsin who is eligible to vote and wants to vote, gets to vote.”
Ross noted that extensive on-air comments by Milwaukee radio talk show host Charlie Sykes, attempting to put a positive spin on the foundation demanding anonymity in sponsoring the racist, voter suppression billboards, was instrumental in the investigation.
“We want to thank Bradley’s marquee personality, Charlie Sykes,” said Ross. “Sykes’ big mouth over the radio about his conversation with the then-anonymous donor and his long and personal ties to Bradley’s half-billion-dollar, right-wing empire led us to also scour the Bradley Foundation IRS records and find the Einhorn gift. So, thanks a million, Charlie.”
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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.