Charlie Conner Check In
October 10, 2018
When we last checked in on Freedom Foundation director Charlie Conner, he was celebrating with his staff in front of their office. Why the party? The Supreme Court had just voted to undermine collective bargaining that ensures safe working conditions and a living wage for American workers. This stripping back of worker protections obviously brought great joy to Charlie Conner and his anti-worker Freedom Foundation.
The Freedom Foundation is a right-wing extremist group funded by out-of-state billionaires like the Kochs, the Waltons and Wisconsin’s Bradley Foundation. They are trying to “defund and defang” unions, at the behest of their corporate donors.
Charlie Conner, owner of Conner Homes, is a multi-millionaire residential developer in King County, whose family support for the Foundation dates back decades. Charlie’s parents donated enough money to the Foundation that they named their Olympia headquarters, “The Conner Freedom Center.” As a board member, Charlie has guided the Freedom Foundation as it tries to attack Washington’s working families, files lawsuits to block environmental protections, and hires bigoted staff.
Most recently, Charlie was spotted at the Freedom Foundation’s fundraiser at the Hilton in Bellevue, WA. There to present their keynote address was outspoken bigot and racist Dinesh D’Souza. Hundreds of concerned citizens emailed the Hilton manager to express their shock that D’Souza would be presenting. Hundreds more showed up in person to picket the event and let Foundation supporters know that their brand of hatred and fear-mongering was not welcome in this community.
When a wealthy business owner like Charlie Conner uses his influence to negatively affect the citizens around him, we take notice and act. We’ve organized actions this year at Conner Homes’ open houses and grand openings. We use signs, leaflets, and conversation to educate the community about Charlie’s misguided values.
The Northwest Accountability Project is now in the middle of a massive public records request with all the cities and counties Conner Homes has built in or plans to build in. We are scouring through years of Conner’s permits and emails. The shadowy Freedom Foundation operates with double-talk and deception, is it possible that Conner Homes, owned by a Foundation director, may act in the same way? When we find out, we’ll owe it to the community to educate them on everything we discover. Stay tuned.