Back on February 3rd, 2012 Free Wisconsin asked Is the IRS sleeping?”
The requirement for tax exemption according to law was posted in regard to the Bradley Foundation gift to MacIver Institute $310,000 in funding.
Exemption Requirements – Section 501(c)(3) Organizations
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates IRS
On Nov. 19, 2011 Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber and Ben Poston of the Journal Sentinel published a powerful story in the Sunday paper about the Bradley Foundation calling it:
“one of the most powerful philanthropic forces behind America’s conservative movement
With that in mind, here is the story from MacIver News Service | September 6, 2013:
Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin is Heading in the Right Direction
[Madison, Wisc...] Governor Scott Walker sat down with the MacIver News Service recently to talk about where Wisconsin stands and his goals for the coming months. Walker said that a majority of the statistics and rankings show that Wisconsin’s economy is turning around. His goal is to continue working with employers to create more jobs and would like to build upon the reforms in his budget that will reduce bureaucratic red tape on businesses and consumers. MacIver New Service
Oh, and there is a video! It features Scott Walker reeling off word bites like an alter boy reciting his “Confiteor Deo” kneeling before Monseigneur Moriarty, “key industries’ (nose breath), chamber of commerce survey (eye shift), trend after trend (hand sweep), – the litany of licentiousness before the altar of illegal funding. (but we will get to that in a bit)
Applauding the Tea Party!
Not even the Koch Brothers, with all their billions, can control the tentacles of the dark octopi they pitch into the political waters like black ink. The tea party failed to undermine Obama with “birther” propaganda, operation freedom or Benghasi, but now they had him. It was the Tea Party that brought the abuse of the non-profit 501 (c)(4) by the IRS, when they accused the agency of singling out conservative groups for delay and rejection of the status based on their far-right political leanings – and the dark ink was spread and released – but it backfired! The octopus spewed from the political pond to land on the face of Michael Grebe, president of the Bradley Foundation (pictured below but we will get to that in a bit).
Path to limitation of corporate campaign funding laid bare
Just like I was saying back in February of 2012, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) announced on Wednesday a lawsuit challenging the Internal Revenue Service’s rules for certain tax-exempt nonprofit groups that have become major vehicles for political spending in the last few years.
IRS Sued Over Rule That Lets Dark Money Flood Elections Posted: 08/21/2013 2:23 pm EDT
The lawsuit challenges one specific IRS regulation covering tax-exempt nonprofits organized under section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. Tax Code. The tax code requires that these nonprofits be “exclusively” engaged in social welfare activity. But the IRS’ 1959 interpretation states that 501(c)(4) nonprofits need only be “primarily” engaged in their stated social welfare activity — a looser rule that has opened the door to significant political activity by some of these groups. The lawsuit gives as examples in the last election Crossroads GPS, founded by GOP operative Karl Rove, and Priorities USA, a 501(c)(4) affiliated with the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action.
The shift of one word spells Walker defeat
The wording of the actual law regarding non-profits and campaign financing reads,”exclusively for exempt purposes set ” but the IRS has been using the word, “primarily for exempt purposes”.
With the shift of one word in the IRS’s description of non-profit eligibility for tax exemption for political purposes, could wipe out some of the ability for Walker to make a $300,000 media buy in 2014.
What What about the Bradley Foundation
Why does the money pour into the Walker coffers and enable him to shell out a $300,000 media buy?
It is simple, really. It can be boiled down to one word “control”. Most people have never experienced the addictive emotional lift that comes with holding a lot of money. Many can identify with this lift by recalling the moment they signed the mortgage papers for a house or farm. It is a rush of sorts. It’s not unlike the rush of an addicted gambler who loses the family farm on a bet just to get the rush of the risk, except that the wealthy 1% can afford the gamble with little risk of personal debt or injury. They sit around the poker table of tax exempt foundations, and legislative alliances and lay down their bets in a game to alter public policy to their liking. The rush of the moment is filled with the adrenaline of the gamble for control. What a rush for them. What a “fun” game!
One of the main bullet points, high on the agenda of control, is privatization. Why are these self defined conservatives investing big money in dismantling government in favor of privatization of education, social security, health care, and nearly every other public program? They gain corporate control. The administration of government programs will no longer be influenced by the people of a representative government, but will be run by private, corporate, boards of directors, and the foundation leaders and organizations like the Bradley Foundation, Koch Bros, and Americans for Prosperity will be first in line to gain the power of control of the brave, new corporate America.
Wealth buys power and control of the message
Just such a man is Michael W. Grebe president and chief executive of the Bradley Foundation, which during the period of 2001 to 2009, doled out nearly as much money as the seven Koch and Scaife foundations combined. Less than a week after being elected governor, Scott Walker and his wife met privately with Michael Grebe, one of the most powerful philanthropic forces behind America’s conservative movement. The list of major recipients reads like an all-star roster of conservative think tanks: millions of dollars directed to well-known groups such as the Hudson Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, and the Federalist Society – all trying to put their stamp on three branches of government.
Grebe likened the Bradley Foundation to the 1960s Green Bay Packers, who ruled the football world with a fearsome ground game and a deceptively simple running play, the sweep.
“We’re going to run off tackle, right over there, and we’re telling you we’re going to run there and we’re going to knock you on your butt and carry the ball down the field,” Grebe said during an interview inside the foundation’s headquarters near downtown. “There are no surprises.”
The Bradley Foundation is a “Philanthropic” Organization
As a tax exempt foundation the Bradley Foundation is not allowed to involve itself in political activities. So, how is it that the foundation’s money supports ideas, as well as political leaders like Scott Walker, who have turned those ideas into action, and have helped drive America’s conservative revolution over the past quarter-century?
Taking Michael Grebe’s football analogy and running with it, the video below cries foul to the political activities of this tax exempt foundation and its president “Greedy Grebe”