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Washington Coalition for Open Government: Cut Ties With the Freedom Foundation and Washington Policy Center

Please fill out this form to send an email to the Board of Directors of the Washington Coalition for Open Government urging them to cut ties with the Freedom Foundation and the Washington Policy Center.

The Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG) has worked to defend and strengthen citizens’ access to government information and defend Washington’s Public Records Act, but we’re disheartened to see their mission hijacked by the Freedom Foundation and the Washington Policy Center, two deceptive, dark money organizations.

We’re calling on the Washington Coalition for Open Government to cut ties with the Freedom Foundation and Washington Policy Center, and uphold their mission of keeping government responsive and transparent.

The Freedom Foundation is a dark money, political organization trying (and failing) to destroy unions to help elect right-wing candidates and enact policies to keep wages low, eliminate paid sick leave, and slash crucial funding for quality education. In this work, they’ve allied with fringe figures including white nationalist Joey Nations and violent extremist, Rep. Matt Shea.

Most recently, and most shamefully, they have been trying to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for political gain. They have actually attacked frontline workers including firefighters and healthcare workers at their homes just because they’re union members. This shameful tactic was quickly rebuked by Washington’s Firefighters. Two of their outreach staff have spread misinformation online and mocked public workers trying to fight the pandemic and their leadership have tried to get politicians to destroy unions during the pandemic. All of this nauseating behavior is being carried out under the management of Brian Minnich, a WCOG board member.

The Washington Policy Center (WPC) is a dark money organization, working to privatize public education, keep wages low, and reduce Washingtonians’ access to health care. WPC has close ties to the Freedom Foundation — they’re frequent political collaborators and are both members of the Koch-funded State Policy Network.

Under the guise of “transparency,” the Freedom Foundation and WPC weaponize public records requests to collect the names and personal information of public employees, putting them at risk for harassment and identity theft. Their interest in “open government” and “transparency” is strictly limited to information that will help them harass and mislead organized workers and further their fringe political agenda.

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