The Capital Research Center (CRC), a right-wing opposition research group with deep ties to PR spin doctor Richard Berman and bankrolled by the $800 million Bradley Foundation, launched an “Encyclopedia of the Left” inspired by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD)’s Sourcewatch.org this month called Influence Watch.
CRC “conceived of this project after identifying a need for more fact-based, accurate descriptions of all of the various influencers of public policy issues,” says the website, but internal documents from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation tell a different story.
A grant proposal record dated August 16, 2016 for CRC recommends $125,000 “to support the Online Encyclopedia of the Left.” Bradley staff writes: “CRC plans to take a page out of Sourcewatch’s play book by ensuring that its new, wiki-style encyclopedia of the Left is thorough, regularly updated, and written in a manner that’s accurate and measured in order to attract and retain a large audience.” While Bradley has praise for Sourcewatch, at the same time CMD was listed as one of the groups on the foundation’s “enemies list” as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Influence Watch is a “signature project” of CRC’s President Scott Walter. Before joining CRC as an executive vice-president in 2012, Walter worked for the PR firm Berman & Company, run by PR flak Richard Berman who specializes in popping up misleading industry front groups and astroturf campaigns for corporate interests, like the National Restaurant Association.
“The website will be constructed in partnership with Berman and Company (where Walter worked briefly as director of development), and CRC is collaborating with the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Heartland Institute to make use of their data as it builds the new website’s profile list,” Bradley writes.
Berman maintains ActivistFacts.com and Heartland supports LeftExposed.org, both of which cast progressive activists and their campaigns in a negative light.
Influence Watch borrows and builds upon the information on those sites to profile environmental, consumer, labor, and civil rights groups including: Greenpeace, SEIU, Food and Water Watch, 350.org, and the Center for Media and Democracy. Influence Watch also profiles “movements” including Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
This is the not the first time CRC, Berman and Bradley have collaborated. CMD exposed in its Bradley Files investigation earlier this year how, in 2015, Bradley asked Berman’s front group the Interstate Policy Alliance and CRC to conduct an assessment of “second tier” states for consideration as “potential targets of opportunity” for construction of right-wing infrastructure. CMD exposed these “infrastructure” investments in a series of six reports entitled “Weaponized Philanthropy” earlier this year.
The following year, then Bradley CEO and President Michael Grebe gave Michael Hartmann, Director of Research and Evaluation at the CRC permission to work at CRC as a “senior fellow” while still working at Bradley, internal emails show. Although Bradley no longer lists Hartmann on its staff list, Hartmann’s Twitter account shows that he still lives in Milwaukee, while spinning the facts for CRC based in D.C.
Over a quarter of the funding for Influence Watch is being provided by the Bradley Foundation. Bradley’s 2016 Annual Report details $125,000 in funding to CRC and the budget for Influence Watch is $400,000 for its first year, according to the grant proposal.
North Carolina’s John William Pope Foundation contributed another $50,000 to the effort. The multimillionaire Art “Koch Jr.” Pope serves as Chairman of the Board at the Pope Foundation as well as at the Bradley Foundation.
Bradley staff writes that “the website will also include subsections designed to highlight the activities of specific clusters of organizations, such as anti-ALEC groups and those associated with Democracy Alliance.” While Influence Watch has a menu to the left on its homepage, neither of these are listed as of yet.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness,” Oscar Wilde once said.
We couldn’t agree more.
We are living in a world with no consequences!!
Now it’s so clear women coming with their truth about sexual Assault by sexual predators officials, from Politics, entertainment and Media!
I hope & pray some strong women will also stand up & speak out about the criminal abuse of power, fraud, discrimination by these criminal officials, who are stealing our homes, destroy our career, by not getting jobs, and preventing us from running for Public offices! We can NOT sue them to get justice!!
My life with Liberal Klans in Oregon!!
Arab/Muslim Americans are treated less than animals! We are called Sand N…
We are being prosecuted in a daily basis! High tech lynching, institutionally racism! Especially for Arab women!!
Oregon former late A.G. Dave Frohnmayer had my SS# blocked & prevented me from getting employed, made me homeless and jobless!
Dave Frohnmayer was the one who started & initiated the fraud of Foreclosed-houses & taking over our homes!
His bank robber Rep. Bob Ackerman, Doug McCool and Margaret Hallock hired Scarlet Lee/Barnhart Associates, forged my family’s signature, gave our fully paid Condo to the thief Broker Bob Ogle. And his mom Karen Ogle ” who was working in the USA Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia!
Bob Ackerman had never responded to the Summon from the Court, and the sheriff never served me or arrested him either!!
ThIs is what kind of criminal government we have in Oregon!!
Arrest Rep.Bob Ackerman,Doug Mccool,Broker Bob Ogle,mom Karen Ogle, Scarlet Lee/Barnhart Associates, UO Margaret Hallock, Wells Fargo
Both D.A. Doug Harcleroad, Alex Gardner told me they have NO JURISDICTION on Frohnmayer! Oregon criminal Officials are complicit with these crimes against me!
Both the EPD & Lane County Sheriff Dept. had been told to step down from investigating the bank robber Rep. Bob Ackerman & the rest of Lane County Criminal Officials are complicit with him!!
I ran five times for public offices! Voter Fraud & Sedition by Lane County government to protect & cover up for the two criminals Frohnmayer & Ackerman!!
Oregon government is complicit with their crimes!!
Please sign petition.