The Progressive: A Bigger, Darker Rightwing Funder

-By Ruth Conniff

April 30, 2013- It's "the most powerful organization in America that no one seems to know about."

That's how Scot Ross, executive director of the progressive think tank One Wisconsin Institute, describes the Bradley Foundation.

Unlike David Koch of the Koch Brothers, whose cover was blown when a gonzo blogger named Ian Murphy (editor of the Buffalo Beast and a frequent contributor to The Progressive), impersonated him in a prank call to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

The Milwaukee based Bradley Foundation operates off the mainstream media radar. Yet the group has made more than $530 million in grants and awards since 1985, making it a much, much bigger giver to rightwing causes than the Koch brothers. With more than $290 million in assets, Bradley is one of the biggest foundations in the United States.

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Think Progress: After Casting Key Fifth Vote For Bush, Justice O’Connor Now Regrets Bush v. Gore

-By Ian Millhiser

April 29, 2013- Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the conservative retired justice who provided the fifth vote to install George W. Bush as president, is now having second thoughts about that decision:

Looking back, O’Connor said, she isn’t sure the high court should have taken [Bush v. Gore].

“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor said during a talk Friday with the Tribune editorial board. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’”

The case, she said, “stirred up the public” and “gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation.”

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Ny Times: S.E.C. Is Asked to Require Disclosure of Donations

-By Nicolas Confessore

April 23, 2013- A loose coalition of Democratic elected officials, shareholder activists and pension funds has flooded the Securities and Exchange Commission with calls to require publicly traded corporations to disclose to shareholders all of their political donations, a move that could transform the growing world of secret campaign spending.

S.E.C. officials have indicated that they could propose a new disclosure rule by the end of April, setting up a major battle with business groups that oppose the proposal and are preparing for a fierce counterattack if the agency’s staff moves ahead. Two S.E.C. commissioners have taken the unusual step of weighing in already, with Daniel Gallagher, a Republican, saying in a speech that the commission had been “led astray” by “politically charged issues.”

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Texas Tribune: Bob Perry, Prolific GOP Donor, Dead at 80

-by Ross Ramsey

April 14, 2013- Bob Perry, a wealthy homebuilder and philanthropist who was among the nation's largest political givers, has died at his home in Nassau Bay, near Houston. He was 80.

His death was confirmed by lobbyist and former state Rep. Neal T. "Buddy" Jones, a family friend and business associate, who said in a statement, "Bob Perry passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. The family asks for privacy right now as they grieve their loss. They look forward to talking with their friends in the coming days."

Jones added a personal note: "Bob Perry was a friend to many, many people all over the United States, and he was a true patriot. He will be sorely missed. Those of us who knew him were blessed by his friendship."

Anthony Holm, a spokesman, also confirmed Perry's death: "Mr. Perry, one of the finest human beings I've ever met, passed away peacefully in his sleep last night."

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Think Progress: AG Holder: ‘We Will Not Sit By’ While Republicans Rig The Electoral College

-By Ian Millhiser

April 5, 2013- Attorney General Eric Holder has a solid record on voting rights, and he’s criticized Republican state lawmaker’s efforts to restrict the franchise in the past — at one point comparing voter ID laws to an unconstitutional poll tax. At a speech in New York yesterday, Holder added a new line to his previous attacks on voter suppression, suggesting that DOJ will respond with legal action if any Republican state lawmakers move forward with their proposals to rig the Electoral College:

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