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Anonymous Buyer Behind Intimidation Billboards Revealed

Common Cause has been closely following the controversy around the anonymous voter intimidation billboards going up in minority neighborhooods in Wisconsin and Ohio. We also bought some billboards of our own, reminding folks that voting is their sacred right, and letting them know about our 866-OUR-VOTE election protection hotline.

We put our name in big letters on our billboards, because we’re willing to stand behind our pro-democracy message. The intimidation billboards, on the other hand, said they were paid for by a “private family foundation.” Thanks to a new investigation, this foundation isn’t so private anymore, and as Center for Media and Democracy reports, they have a history of big political spending:

An investigation by theGrio.com and One Wisconsin Now, identified the Einhorn Family Foundation as the group that bought the ads. Stephen Einhorn, the head of the foundation and his wife Nancy have donated $49,750 to Governor Scott Walker since 2005. Stephen Einhorn is also the founder of Einhorn Associates, inc., a Milwaukee-based firm that provides investment banking services to chemical companies.

The groups also revealed that the Einhorn Family Foundation received $10,000 in 2010, right around the time the billboards went up, from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation “to support a public education project,” but there are no other public details about how that money was spent. The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation has spent almost $500 million on conservative causes since 2001. The foundation is best known for its advocacy for the privatization of public schools (so called “school choice” laws), but the head of the foundation, Michael Grebe is no stranger to politics having served as the chair of Walker’s campaign committee Friends of Scott Walker and the leader of his transition team.

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One Response to “Anonymous Buyer Behind Intimidation Billboards Revealed”

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