Meet an Islamophobia Network Donor: The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

Reposted by arrangement with Think Progress

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation serves as a legacy for brothers Lynde and Harry, co-founders of the Allen-Bradley Company, and contributed $5.37 million to the Islamophobia network tracked in our new report, Fear Inc.

The Bradley Foundation has a reputation as a supporter of right-wing causes and its philanthropy is intended to “support limited, competent government; a dynamic marketplace for economic, intellectual and cultural activity; and a vigorous defense, at home and abroad, of American ideas and institutes,” according to the foundation’s website.

But the Bradley Foundation’s idea of defending “American ideas and institutes” has meant funding Islamophobes within the U.S. and promoting the militant foreign policy which left the U.S. military overextended in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a key funder in the Islamophobia network, the Bradley Foundation contributed $4.25 million to the David Horowitz Freedom Center, $815,000 to Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy and $305,000 to Daniel Pipes’s Middle East Forum.

When not funding some of the key groups responsible for propagating misinformation about Muslim-Americans, the Bradley Foundation uses its financial resources to promote a militarist foreign policy, most notably through their $1.2 million in support for the Project for the New American Century, a highly influential group which helped promote a neoconservative foreign policy during the Bush administration.

Indeed, the Bradley Foundation has played an instrumental role in bringing neoconservatives into the halls of power in Washington. Irving Kristol, one of the movement’s key intellectuals, commented that AEI’s efforts to recruit neoconservatives in the 1970s and 1980s was “facilitated by the appearance on the scene of a rejuvenated Bradley Foundation and John M. Olin Foundation.”

The foundation also generously supports various right-wing institutions such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the American Enterprise Institute, the Federalist Society, the Hoover Institution, the Institute for American Values and the Hudson Institute.

While both Lynde and Harry Bradley are deceased, the foundation is run by a board comprising an influential list of American conservatives.

Board members include: columnist George Will; Terry Considine, Chief executive of AIMCO Apartment Homes, who serves as the foundation’s chairman; David V. Uihlein, president of Uihlein-Wilson Architects; Michael W. Grebe, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer; Princeton University Professor Robert P. George, whom the New York Times describes as “his country’s most influential Christian thinker; Marshall & Ilsey Corporation Chairman Dennis J. Kuester; Wasau-Mosinee Paper Corporation Chairman San W. Orr Jr.; attorney Thomas L. Smallwood; and the president of Milwaukee’s Messmer Catholic Schools, Brother Bob Smith.

With a staggering $622,913,819 in assets at the end of the 2009 tax year, it’s safe to assume the Bradley Foundation will have a lasting impact on the American political debate for years, if not decades, in the future.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.