Freedom Foundation Leader Takes Problematic Role with Oregon Republican Party
February 16, 2017
Two weeks ago, the Oregon Republican Party chose Freedom Foundation Oregon Director Anne Marie Gurney to be their new secretary.
— Oregon GOP (@Oregon_GOP) January 28, 2017
Gurney holds extreme positions on the environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and workers’ rights. She called Planned Parenthood a “baby killing, body part brokering, government money consuming machine.” Gurney has said climate and global warming are “truly a money grab.” And to top it all off, she once wrote on her personal blog that, “We all know there were good and bad slave owners just like there are good and bad dog owners.”
But more troubling is this: The Freedom Foundation is technically a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, which means they can receive tax-deductible donations. This law was created to incentivize donations to charities that actually help people, like Habitat for Humanity or the YMCA. When you donate to a 501(c)(3), you can deduct that donation on your tax return. A 501(c)(3) also doesn’t pay taxes. A primary requirement for these organizations is that they remain strictly non-partisan.
It has been obvious for years that the Freedom Foundation operates outside these rules, as they have a candidate training school and have stated that their true motive is to undermine unions to enact a conservative agenda. The Freedom Foundation’s behavior is so far outside the bounds of a tax-exempt, non-partisan organization that multiple complaints have been filed highlighting their political activity. Now their lead staff person in Oregon is an officer of the state GOP, further solidifying the Freedom Foundation’s true intentions to benefit the Republican Party.
This poses a serious potential conflict for the Freedom Foundation, both legally and ethically. Gurney will have to clearly separate her work for the Freedom Foundation from her work for the Republican Party; failing to do so will further jeopardize the Freedom Foundation’s non-profit status. While we have always known the Freedom Foundation’s true intentions, it makes it even harder to take them seriously when they state they solely exist to benefit workers.
The Freedom Foundation clearly exists to help Republicans, and nothing is more telling than Gurney’s new role.
Take the quiz to see if you can identify the speaker of these bizarre and extreme statements.