It targets unions, Democrats
A flash of recent editorials from newspapers across Washington including The Herald have lamented a bill making its way through the Legislature to protect the privacy and safety of public employees. While I don’t want to use this space to debate the merits of the legislation, the editorials all make a similarly false claim about the failed campaign being launched by the anti-union Freedom Foundation.
They, including the Daily Herald, claim the Freedom Foundation is working to educate public sector employees about their rights. This is laughably false. It’s been well documented that union opponents are trying to replicate former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign to destroy unions and help elect right-wing, anti-union politicians. There are many examples of their leadership admitting this but I’ll focus one. On Aug. 31, 2015, they sent a fundraising email signed by its chief executive Tom McCabe who described their mission: “Freedom Foundation is leading the most aggressive push in 20 years to take back the Pacific Northwest [From Democrats] … If this goal seems a little too ambitious or farfetched to you, just consider what’s happened in Wisconsin – another ‘blue’ state, that is, until it suddenly wasn’t.”
Not only is this a violation of their tax-exempt non-profit status but it’s unethical to not be honest with the general public, the press or the union members they are trying to contact.
Like anyone else in Washington, editorial boards have a right to take any stance they want but in doing so should be clear about the motivations of those involved in the issue and describe them accordingly. I would suggest: the Freedom Foundation is a political organization trying (and failing) to bankrupt unions and help elect right-wing politicians. Anything less would not be accurate.
Peter Starzynski, executive director
Northwest Accountability Project