Before heading out with our governor Mike Pence to appear on a panel entitled "Disrupting Higher Ed" at NBC's corporate school commercial Education Nation, Mitch Daniels, former Hoosier governor and current president of Purdue University, will be in Minneapolis tomorrow hanging out and keynoting a big gala event at the Center of the American Experiment on slashing government services.
In fact, if you dish out $2,500, you can get a front row seat in the "Right-to-Work Row."(scroll down the hyperlink for details)
Connected to ALEC and the Franklin Center for Public Policy, the Center of the American Experiment is another right-wing think tank member of the State Policy Network and is associated with the anti-affirmative action, climate change-denying, Christian Right, Koch brothers and Betsy DeVos-affiliated Donors Trust. American Experimenters promote school vouchers and right-to-work propaganda, too, so Daniels will be right at home.
Although most of the funding to the Center of the American Experiment is hidden, it does load its pockets with money from the racist and poor-bashing crowd at the Bradley Foundation, the wealthy group that has been the money and force behind anti-affirmative action, workfare, school vouchers, and other anti-social agendas for years now. Bradley is notorious for using black operatives like former Hoosier Kevin Chavous and Newark mayor Cory Booker to turn blacks against union workers and blacks against blacks. In a must-read piece, Glen Ford from the Black Agent Report, in fact, says that Barack Obama was the black president the Bradley Foundation had been praying for for years.
In my upcoming book Hoosier School Heist, I trace the various activities of the Bradley Foundation and Mitch Daniels throughout more pages than I can remember. Below is a small snippet of what I've dug up on Bradley and Daniels for my book, apart from the fact that the Bradley Foundation handed Daniels a $250,000 prize earlier this year and many, many, many other things:
- Now headed by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, the Bradley Foundation has given $31.3 million to school privatization groups since 2001.
- Bradley has funded many racist anti-affirmative action initiatives across America. Besides giving millions to the deceptively named American Civil Rights Institute, the National Association of Scholars, and other anti-affirmative action factions, Bradley subsidized the Center for Individual Rights which won the 1996 Hopwood v. the State of Texas case against racial diversity at the University of Texas, until the Supreme Court ruled against it. Clint Bolick, from the Koch brothers and Bradley-funded Institute for Justice which successfully fought the Indiana school voucher lawsuit, drafted a national bill to end all affirmative action programs across the country.
- To convince legislators that poverty was the result of blacks being genetically lazy and stupid and not of low wages and no work, the Bradley Foundation hired Charles Murray—one of Mitch Daniels’ friends—to write junk science the media passed off as scholarship. This lead to The Bell Curve.
- With Charles Murray’s IQ propaganda set in place in 1994, the Bradley experiment was good to go. In The Feeding Trough, Phil Wilayto notes the following. With Eli Lilly’s J. Clayburn La Force as a board member, the Bradley Foundation unleashed its racist experiment on Wisconsin. First, they funded a bogus study accusing Illinois residents of getting Wisconsin’s welfare checks. Then, along with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bradley handed the Indianapolis-based Hudson Institute money to camp in Wisconsin for two years to develop Wisconsin Works or W-2, a welfare program eventually passed by both Republicans and Democrats in 1996. For the W-2 plan, the Hudson Institute hired Charles Murray himself as consultant. The think tank was thriving from Eli Lilly money and the success of Mitch Daniels, the Institute’s CEO who had left a few years earlier for his Lilly job.
- When the Black Alliance for Educational Options was founded, the front group was headquartered in Milwaukee and completely owned by the Bradley Foundation, Walmart, and Mitch Daniels and Milton Friedman’s Friedman Foundation.
- In one AP-released email, Daniels stresses his desire to sneak into Indiana classrooms as quickly as possible William J. Bennett’s America: The Last Best Hope, a pseudo-history book which whitewashes all the truth behind America’s so-called exceptionalism and has the Bradley Foundation propaganda written all over it. Bill Bennett, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of education, former Bradley Foundation board member, and past Hudson Institute operative, was the founder of online learning K12 Inc. and now sits on the board of the workforce-ready school training program Project Lead the Way, which is funded by Eli Lilly and the right-wing Kern Foundation, both involved in Marian University’s Turnaround Leadership Academy. Besides being an opportunist and school privatizer, Bennett is best known for his racist comments about how if every black kid was aborted in America, there would be no crime.
Although a lot of the above is my own research, I have also pulled information from Phil Wilayto, The Feeding Trough: The Bradley Foundation, 'The Bell Curve' and the Real Story behind W-2, Wisconsin's National Model for Welfare Reform, A Job Is a Right Campaign. See this link for summaries: http://my.execpc.com/~ajrc/ft.html. You can listen to Phil Wilayto’s June 16, 1998 interview on Democracy Now! at http://www.democracynow.org/1998/6/16/wisconsin_readies_for_school_voucher_system. For more on Bradley’s anti-affirmative action work, also inspect Brendan Fischer, “For Bradley Foundation, Challenging Affirmative Action & Voting Rights Is Part of Long-Term Crusade,” Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, June 27, 2013, http://www.prwatch.org/news/2013/06/12142/bradley-foundation-challenging-affirmative-action-voting-rights-part-long-term-cr.