Bradley Foundation big funder of the right

By Laurie Bennett

November 27, 2011 at 6:59am

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation has become a major driver of the conservative agenda not only in its home state of Wisconsin, but across the country.

Although it has kept a relatively low profile, the foundation, with $600 million in assets, is doling out big money.

As the Milwaukee Journal noted recently, it spent more than $350 million from 2001 to 2010. That’s more than the conservative Koch and Scaife foundations combined.

Bradley dollars frequently go to the think tanks that produce the intellectual underpinnings of conservative causes.

Among the groups receiving funds are the Heritage Foundation, Hoover Institution, American Enterprise Institute and Federalist Society.

The foundation is named for brothers Harry and Lynde Bradley, founders of the Allen-Bradley Co., a maker of electrical controls.

Although begun in 1942, it didn’t become a powerhouse until 1985, when Rockwell International paid $1.65 billion for Allen-Bradley. Part of the sale proceeds went to the foundation, which upped its spending and broadened its conservative focus to the national level.

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