For Kids and Country
FKC's states its mission as to "restore our educational system to the excellence, morality and patriotism envisioned by our American Founders." The organization was founded by Rebecca Friedrichs, the plaintiff in the anti-union Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Supreme Court case. Friedrichs has appeared on Fox News, and ReasonTV, presented for Prager University, and spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention.
- 1 News and Controversies
- 2 Ties to the Lynne and Harry Bradley Foundation
- 3 Ties to the State Policy Network
- 4 Funding
- 5 Core Financials
- 6 Personnel
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 Articles and Resources
- 9 References
News and Controversies
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association
Rebecca Friedrichs, the founder of For Kids and Country, is a former California public school teacher. She was the plaintiff in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a 2016 Supreme Court case that "attacked the dues collected by unions from employees to negotiate for benefits for all non-management employees."
The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) filed suit on behalf of Friedrichs, other California teachers, and a Christian educator organization. In two separate lower courts, CIR took the "took the unusual step of filing a motion arguing that the court should rule in favor of the union", expediting the lawsuit's path to the Supreme Court. Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Friedrichs failed to pass the Supreme Court. The anti-union Janus v. AFSCME case, however, succeeded drawing from the same legal arguments as Friedrichs.
Ties to the Lynne and Harry Bradley Foundation
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation has contributed at least $2.6 million to Center for Individual Rights, the organization which represented Rebecca Friedrichs in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Politico said about the Friedrichs case, "The conservative Bradley Foundation has spent millions over three decades to smash labor unions. Now an investment that could barely buy a house in Washington may bring it closer to that goal than ever before."
In 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of SourceWatch, launched a series of articles on the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, exposing the inner-workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. 56,000 previously undisclosed documents laid bare the Bradley Foundation's highly politicized agenda. CMD detailed Bradley's efforts to map and measure right wing infrastructure nationwide, including by dismantling and defunding unions to impact state elections; bankrolling discredited spin doctor Richard Berman and his many front groups; and more.
Ties to the State Policy Network
For Kids and Country is an associate member of the State Policy Network (SPN), a group of right-wing think tanks and other politically-active nonprofits. SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” and tax-exempt organizations in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and the United Kingdom. As of January 2022, SPN's membership totals 166. Today's SPN is the tip of the spear of far-right, nationally funded policy agenda in the states that undergirds extremists in the Republican Party. SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told the Wall Street Journal in 2017 that the revenue of the combined groups was some $80 million, but a 2019 analysis of SPN's main members IRS filings by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that the combined revenue is over $120 million. Although SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, the Center for Media and Democracy's in-depth investigation, "EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government," reveals that SPN and its member think tanks are major drivers of the right-wing, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-backed corporate agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders.
In response to CMD's report, SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told national and statehouse reporters that SPN affiliates are "fiercely independent." Later the same week, however, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer caught Sharp in a contradiction. In her article, "Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?," the Pulitzer-nominated reporter revealed that, in a recent meeting behind closed doors with the heads of SPN affiliates around the country, Sharp "compared the organization’s model to that of the giant global chain IKEA." She reportedly said that SPN "would provide 'the raw materials,' along with the 'services' needed to assemble the products. Rather than acting like passive customers who buy finished products, she wanted each state group to show the enterprise and creativity needed to assemble the parts in their home states. 'Pick what you need,' she said, 'and customize it for what works best for you.'" Not only that, but Sharp "also acknowledged privately to the members that the organization's often anonymous donors frequently shape the agenda. 'The grants are driven by donor intent,' she told the gathered think-tank heads. She added that, often, 'the donors have a very specific idea of what they want to happen.'"
A set of coordinated fundraising proposals obtained and released by The Guardian in early December 2013 confirm many of these SPN members' intent to change state laws and policies, referring to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings." These activities "arguably cross the line into lobbying," The Guardian notes.
For Kids and Country is not required to disclose its funders but major foundation supporters can be found through their IRS filings. Here are some known contributors:
- Lindholm Foundation: $3,000 (2019)
- Total Revenue: $69,706
- Total Expenses: $83,973
- Net Assets: $30,071
- Total Revenue: $75,060
- Total Expenses: $30,463
- Net Assets: $44,597
As of February 2020:
- Charles Friedrichs, founder and CEO
- Rebecca Friedrichs, founder
For Kids & Country
P.O. Box 75032
San Clemente, CA 92673
Phone: (858) 735-3725
Articles and Resources
IRS Form 990 Filings
- Center for Individual Rights
- Fox News
- Janus v. AFSCME
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
- Prager University
- Reason Foundation
- SPN Members
- State Policy Network
- Supreme Court
- Guidestar, For Kids & Country Inc, organizational website, accessed March 22, 2021.
- For Kids and Country, Our Mission, organizational website, accessed March 22, 2021.
- Rebecca Friedrichs of FOR KIDS & COUNTRY, "Rebecca Friedrichs on the Laura Ingraham Show", Rebecca Friedrichs of FOR KIDS & COUNTRY YouTube channel, July 24, 2020, accessed March 22, 2021.
- ReasonTV, "Public School Teacher Rebecca Friedrichs: 'I Never Asked the Union to Represent Me.'", ReasonTV YouTube channel, July 30, 2015, accessed March 22, 2021.
- Prager University, "Why Teachers Unions Don't Want School Choice", PragerU YouTube channel, January 23, 2017, accessed March 22, 2021.
- PBS, "WATCH: Rebecca Friedrichs’ full speech at the Republican National Convention | 2020 RNC Night 1", PBS NewsHour YouTube channel, August 24, 2020, accessed March 22, 2021.
- Lisa Graves, "Snapshot of Secret Funding of Amicus Briefs Tied to Leonard Leo–Federalist Society Leader, Promoter of Amy Barrett", Exposed by CMD, October 10, 2020, accessed March 22, 2021.
- Moshe Marvit, "The Supreme Court Case That Could Decimate American Public Sector Unionism", In These Times, February 3, 2015, accessed March 22, 2021.
- Moshe Marvit, "The Legal Arguments of Janus v. AFSCME Explained", Century Foundation, February 18, 2018, accessed March 22, 2021.
- Marc Fitch, "Before Janus v. AFSCME there was Rebecca Friedrichs: A Q&A with The Teacher Who Almost Won a Supreme Court Decision", Yankee Institute, July 20, 2018, accessed March 22, 2021.
- Brian Mahoney, "Conservative group nears big payoff in Supreme Court case", Politico, January 10, 2016, accessed March 22, 2021.
- David Armiak, Revenue for State Policy Network and State Affiliates Tops $120 Million, ExposedbyCMD, November 13, 2019.
- Rebekah Wilce, Center for Media and Democracy, EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
- Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
- Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
- For Kids and Country, 2019 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, February 24, 2020.
- For Kids and Country, 2018 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, March 23, 2019.