In 2010 and again this year, Milwaukee was bestrewn with racist billboards meant to intimidate minorities from voting in the elections. One Wisconsin Now, in a joint investigation with news service theGrio, found out who funded these vile monstrosities. From OWN's press release:
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.”OK, I have to admit that I just love the fact that it was the braggart Sykes that gave up his buddies.
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.”
For those that are unfamiliar with the details, Sykes had an affair with Bradley Foundation spokeswoman Janet Riorden. He eventually married her after divorcing Justice Diane Sykes. He also had her on his shows, but under the alias Liz Woodhouse, because he believes in being open and honest his listeners.
The fact that the Bradley Foundation funded these racist billboards is not surprising. They have a long history of promoting racist agendas, most notably funding the infamous and highly offensive "The Bell Curve," a study which basically said that poor children, especially minority children, aren't worth educating because they would get no benefit from it.
The article from theGrio again proves that when it comes to these fascists, there's more. There's always more:
Ross believes there is no coincidence that Wisconsin-style tea party politics is spreading nationwide under Priebus’ tenure as national party chairThe amount of irrational hatred these people have is beyond comprehension. And the fact that they have as much power and influence as they do is utterly frightening and sickening.
“When voter suppression allegations have surfaced in Wisconsin for the past decade, the name Reince Priebus has always been close behind,” Ross told theGrio. In 2010, Priebus was cited by name, in an aborted voter caging plot targeting minorities and college students involving the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Americans for Prosperity and Wisconsin’s Tea Party leaders, including documents that referenced ‘billboards’ as part of the scheme multiple times.”
“In 2002, the Wisconsin state Elections Board enacted new guidelines for poll-watchers in response to a Priebus-led racially-charged voter intimidation scheme in Milwaukee,” Ross continued. “In 2008, Priebus’ Republican Party of Wisconsin sent out an email recruiting volunteers for alleged ‘inner city’ voter intimidation in Milwaukee. In 2012, it was uncovered Priebus’ RNC is behind an anonymous lawsuit intervening in a case involving our unconstitutional voter identification law. That this anti-American garbage is turning up in other states now that Priebus is running the RNC is of no surprise to us in Wisconsin given his career of scheming to deny legal voters their right to the franchise. Americans have always rejected politicians, like Reince Priebus, manipulating the voting system for partisan advantage and they will do it in this case as well.”