Update: WCOG Shies Away from Transparency and Accountability
July 24, 2020
We recently sent a letter to the Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG) requesting a conflict of interest review of the dual role that Brian Minnich plays as a leader of the WCOG and the extremist, anti-worker Freedom Foundation.
Update: We have just learned that the Washington Coalition for Open Government endorses transparency for everyone else, but apparently opposes it for themselves. Just hours after we sent a request for a conflict of interest review, per their own bylaws, to investigate one of their board member’s dual roles in WCOG and an extremist organization, their President, Toby Nixon, responded tersely and dismissively.
This is an alarming level of irony from a group that pledges “to fight for openness in government, believing it is the best way to ensure accountability and preserve public trust.” Now it is WCOG themselves who are shying away from accountability and eroding the public’s trust in their credibility.
The NWAP has valid concerns about right-wing extremists hijacking WCOG’s board, advisory council and funding sources to push an agenda that puts public workers at risk for identity theft and harassment. We’re concerned this is causing a conflict of interest that harms their coalition and original mission of the organization.
Their unwillingness to self-examine – and the dismissive nature in which they responded – raises our concerns that something is very wrong at the supposedly non-partisan WCOG, who appear to us to be doing the bidding of right-wing extremists. This latest round of hiding and hypocrisy from WCOG just makes things worse.