March 19, 2018
The Freedom Foundation makes a lot of claims about supporting government transparency, but the truth tells a different story. The Freedom Foundation’s standard for supporting so-called “transparency” seems to be based on whether it will benefit their wealthy out-of-state donors at the expense of working families in the Northwest.
What the Freedom Foundation is hiding
For a couple of years now, Freedom Foundation lobbyists have been passing around a cookie-cutter resolution that called for contract negotiations between workers and management to be open to the public, even though the public already gets input in the contract negotiation process. This resolution was similar in nature to resolutions circulated by national, corporate-funded organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
For those of us who know the Freedom Foundation, their platitudes on transparency were clearly a farce. At no time did they call for transparency in contracts with corporations or management staff not represented by a union.
Additionally, when the Washington state legislature recently considered a bill that would ensure the public knew the funders of any pro-bono legal services to their cities or counties, the Freedom Foundation fought tooth and nail against it. The extremist organization and its allies went as far as to argue that the proposed bill was part of a union revenge plot and conspiracy, yet they conveniently failed to acknowledge that the proposal applied to both conservative and progressive groups alike.
Their advocacy against the bill was entirely selfish because the bill would have impacted the Freedom Foundation and they are scared to death of living up to their own calls for transparency.
The Freedom Foundation does not actually care about transparency. They care about attacking working people on behalf of their wealthy donors. And because of hypocrisy like this, they have lost their credibility amongst legislators when it comes to matters of public policy.
If the Freedom Foundation actually cared about transparency, they would disclose their donors when their lawyers represent a city or county government but most importantly, they would propose policies that are fair to everyone, not solely focused on attacking working families.