Reporter’s Notebook: 30 WA Legislators raise questions about Freedom Foundation’s political activities

Raising serious questions about the Freedom Foundation’s compliance with state laws, 30 WA State Senators and Representatives are asking Secretary of State Kim Wyman, the WA Public Disclosure Commission, and Attorney General Bob Ferguson to take a closer look at the political activities of the so-called “charity.”

Leg Dems Letter reFreedom Foundation_002“It appears the Freedom Foundation has grown increasingly partisan and has directly intervened in political campaigns in violation of state rules,” says the letter signed by 30 legislators from Vancouver, Spokane, Olympia, Everett, Tacoma and more.

The legislators are asking officials to investigate whether the non-profit should be disqualified from WA tax exempt status, whether its political activities are in-kind contributions to candidates (such as for Lynda Wilson (17th-Vancouver)), and if the Freedom Foundation is violating state rules governing non-profits.

Earlier this year, fire fighters, women’s health advocates, teachers, LGBT advocates and others called on Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson to launch an investigation into the Freedom Foundation’s tax-exempt status and compliance with state rules.

Ferguson responded that the Attorney General… “may investigate and file civil actions against entities that misrepresent the tax exempt status they have been granted under state or federal law. I hope you understand why I cannot discuss particular investigations this office might be pursuing or even whether we are considering an investigation on any given issue.” He also encouraged sending the matter to the State Department of Revenue to ask that agency to examine the Freedom Foundation’s records to determine the group’s tax liability.

Groups in Oregon have filed a similar letter calling for an investigation with the Oregon State Attorney General.