Laura Chapman: The Bradley Foundation’s “Enemies List”

Laura Chapman, our much loved reader and brilliant researcher, dug into the recently released files on the Bradley Foundation. An earlier post described the reach and riches of this very conservative foundation, which has underwritten the proliferation of vouchers.

She writes:

In August 2014, the board of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation asked for a list of “organizations that attack groups and people helping the Foundation further its mission” so it could determine ways “to mitigate the damage they do.”

In response, a veteran staffer compiled a list of 17 liberal organizations. In October 2014, internal documents say the board “received the presentation of the list favorably” and agreed to pursue “potential grant making options in the area.”

I constructed a spreadsheet of the Bradley list of liberal organizations. Some were for-profit public relations firms, many were 501 (c)(3) non-profits with a companion 501 (c)(4) that allows for limited forms of “political action.” Here is an edited list of some of the organizations, causes, and activities that really bothered the Bradley Foundation.

For-profit public relations firms.
Berlin Rosen. Known for devising a media strategy for a national “fast-food workers strike.” Clients: Service Employee International Union’s Committee on Political Education, League of Conservation Voters, New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice, Russell Sage Foundation, United Nations Foundation.

Fenton Communications. Clients include liberal groups in education, environment, health, human rights, philanthropy, women’s issues, global issues, and the labor movement. Fenton was the architect of the “Alar scare” about a cancer-causing chemical used by apple growers. Specific clients; AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, Natural Resources Defense Council.

FitzGibbon Media. Clients have opposed solitary confinement for Chelsea Manning, pushed for gun control after Sandy Hook, and supported the film “Dirty Wars” about Obama’s program of targeted-assassinations and drone strikes. Clients: Ford Foundation, Amnesty International, Climate Parents, Color of Change, Common Cause, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Netroots Nation, Social Security Works, Wisconsin Progress.

Change.org. A hybrid, certified as a “B Corporation” by the non-profit “B Lab” A “social-enterprise” that sells email addresses for petitions on issues.The estimated cost of a sponsored petition is $1.75 per email address. Estimated 40 million users in 2012.

Non-profits (c)(3) and( c)(4) action groups
Alliance for Justice. Group of 100 entities with Alliance for Justice Action Campaign. Monitors judicial selection, guides advocacy groups, produces documentaries, lobbies for liberal agenda.

American Bridge 21st Century Super PAC with American Bridge 21st Century Foundation. Employs 44 people in 41 states. Conducts opposition research on conservative political candidates. Credited with 2006 “Macaca” scoop, a video of candidate George Allen’s gaffe in a Virginia Senate race.

Center for American Progress and Think Progressblog with the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Especially critical of the Koch Brothers and their supporters. The Bradley Blog said it was attacked in a August 2011 CAP report “Fear, Inc.:The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.”

Center for Media and Democracy, founded by John Podesta. Maintains ALECExposed.org.,PRWatch online, and SourceWatchplatform. Launches investigations and “strategic public-education campaigns.”

Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW). Files government complaints and lawsuits against corrupt politicians and interest groups. Maintains BermanExposed.com

Color of Change Project of Citizens Engagement Laboratory (CEL) and CEL Education Fund. Aim: “Strengthen Black America’s political voice.” CEL led the campaign against the Bradley Foundation and American Legislative Exchange Council in the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Common Cause with Common Cause Education Fund. An anti-corruption and campaign-finance “watchdog.” Opposes the agendas of the Koch brothers and American Legislative Exchange Council.

Democracy Alliance. A private financial clearinghouse for liberal policy groups and a matchmaker for allies that are not structured as a (c)(3). The Alliance has over 150 invited “partners” who pay an initial $25,000 fee and $30,000 in annual dues. They must give at least $200,000 per year to endorsed groups.

Media Matters for America and Media Matters Action Network. Documents conservative media bias via “fact-checking,” especially Rush Limbaugh, Fox News hosts and guests.

Mother Jones, published by Foundation for National Progress. MJ covers conservative “dark money” and elections. Caught Mitt Romney’s comment about “47%” of Americans who are living from government programs and pay no income tax.

One Wisconsin Now with One Wisconsin Institute. Created and maintains BradleyWatch.org

Open Society Institute. According to the Bradley Foundation the OSI “supports leftist groups many of which aggressively attack conservatives.”

Progress Now. In 2012 had an email list exceeding 2.4 million for use on state and local issues.

“Enemies” of the Bradley Foundation include fourteen organizations that support collective bargaining. Seven of these sent money to the Service Employees International Union and its Committee on Political Education. Others supported the AFL-CIO, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, Communication Workers of America, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

George Soros comes up as the one person whose liberal causes are supported by ten of the organizations on the Bradley Foundation enemies list. In 2017, Soros was among the wealthiest Americans with an estimated net worth of $25.2 billion. My Google search on Soros‘ name today returned many alt-news briefs claiming he was dead or was wanted “dead or alive.” As of May 14, 2017 he is alive. The Google links to these alt-facts may have been launched with some support from the Bradley Foundation. For background on Soros see the wikipedia.org website.

The Tides Foundation put money into six organizations on the Bradley enemies list. The net worth of the Tides Foundation in 2015 was $219.6 billion. The foundation seeks “ a world of shared prosperity and social justice, founded on equality and human rights, a sustainable environment, healthy individuals and communities, and quality education.” The Tides Foundation has initiated projects financed through social impact bonds, also known as pay for success contracts. These can yield profits for investors. In this respect the Tides Foundation operates from a less extreme version of the “markets are best” philosophy which the Bradley Foundation aggressively supports.

I have not checked on the current status of the “liberal” organizations targeted by the Bradley Foundation in 2014.

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