One Wisconsin Now
Press Release

Brian Hagedorn Snags Support of Racist Voter Suppression Billboard Backer

Another Stain on the Record of the Candidate Who Helped Scott Walker Target the Voting Rights of People of Color

By - Feb 12th, 2019 11:43 am
Brian Hagedorn. Photo courtesy of the Friends of Brian Hagedorn.

Brian Hagedorn. Photo courtesy of the Friends of Brian Hagedorn.

MADISON, Wis. — A Milwaukee area businessman whose family foundation sponsored racist voter suppression billboards has thrown his support behind Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn. New campaign finance filings reveal that Stephen Einhorn cut a $2,500 check to Hagedorn’s campaign on January 8, 2019.

“Brian Hagedorn taking thousands of dollars from someone with a history of targeting people of color for voter intimidation is more than just unseemly,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher. “It raises serious questions about whether Hagedorn can be trusted to protect everyone’s most fundamental right in our democracy, our right to vote.”

The billboards, at first identified as being paid for by a private family foundation, appeared in the lead up to the November 2010 election and were primarily located near majority-minority neighborhoods in Milwaukee. The advertisements featured a person of color behind prison bars with a headline declaring, “voter fraud is a felony.” Similar billboards, again sponsored “anonymously” by the Einhorns, also appeared prior to the November 2012 election.

A 2012 joint investigation by One Wisconsin Now and’s Joy-Ann Reid uncovered it was the Einhorn Family Foundation, established by Stephen and Nancy Einhorn, that, in concert with the Bradley Foundation, sponsored anonymous, racist voter suppression billboards in Milwaukee in 2010. In 2012 the Einhorn Family Foundation sponsored billboards in Milwaukee and Ohio.

Einhorn also backed Hagedorn’s former boss, Scott Walker. Hagedorn led Walker’s legal team as his chief lawyer for over four years, during which time a series of anti-voter measures became law. Several Walker-era voter suppression initiatives, including restrictions on early voting, were struck down as racially discriminatory in the federal voter rights case One Wisconsin Institute et. al. v. Thomsen, et. al.

Eicher concluded, “Brian Hagedorn was a top aide to Gov. Walker as he systematically sought to rig the rules on voting for his advantage by targeting people of color with voter suppression. Taking big campaign contributions from someone who advertises their racism on billboards is another stain on his record.”

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Recent Press Releases by Jeramey Jannene

Gov. Evers Announces $30 Million Investment in Alliant Energy Center Expansion

The funding will come through a non-state grant program that provides state bonding support for non-profit or local government projects that have a statewide public purpose.

Art and Flowers Combine at Milwaukee Art Museum’s Art in Bloom

The Museum’s popular annual event returns April 11–14 with art-inspired floral arrangements, workshops, lectures, a fashion show and family-friendly activities.

Jeramey Jannene

Rep. Goyke Commemorates Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance 2013

Statement from Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) on September 11th, 2013

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us