Documents examined by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) expose a national effort by the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation to defund and dismantle unions, the most significant force for higher wages and better working conditions in America.
Publicly, the Bradley Foundation spins this agenda as “employee rights.” Behind the scenes, newly disclosed Bradley documents detail an aggressive political agenda.
The Bradley Foundation is pouring money into the anti-union National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation because “Big Labor and trial attorneys are the two principal funding pillars of the left” (NRWLDF, Grant Proposal Record, 11/12/2013). It wants the Independence Institute in Colorado to “defund teacher’s unions and achieve real education reform” at the local level (Barder Fund, 8/18/15). It is funding the Freedom Foundation in Washington State to “defund Big Labor” because “Washington State’s liberal labor laws have long allowed it to be a net exporter of union dollars to other parts of the country” (Barder Fund, 6/2/15, Freedom Foundation, Grant Proposal Record, 8/19/2014).
Why does Bradley want to annihilate unions? Because if you dismantle unions, you destroy a key funder of the Democratic Party and its “army on the ground,” as Newt Gingrich once put it.