December 13, 2015
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
A union-backed coalition called the Northwest Accountability Project has asked the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Freedom Foundation, an Olympia, Washington group that campaigns against minimum-wage increases and paid sick leave and has been trying to recruit Oregon home-care workers to withdraw from SEIU Local 503.
The complaint, filed Dec. 2, alleges that the Freedom Foundation is “flagrantly disregarding” restrictions on political activity by 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational organizations, that it is “directly intervening” in political campaigns, “is operated for the private benefit of the Republican Party and other conservative and libertarian groups,” and that lobbying and attempting to influence legislation are a substantial part of its activities. “This isn't stuff that we’ve had to dig too deep on. They often put those things out there themselves,” said Northwest Accountability Project director Kevin Rudiger. The 18 people signing the complaint include officials of the Oregon AFL-CIO, the Washington State Labor Council, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, and several union locals. Read more