Reporter’s Notebook: The Guardian, Portland Tribune on Freedom Foundation true motivations

In today’s news:

Former New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse takes a deep dive into the Freedom Foundation’s true motivations in today’s The Guardian: The door-to-door union killers: rightwing foundation takes labor fight to the streets.

“The Freedom Foundation says they care about workers, but what they’re really about is defunding unions and defunding the left in our state,” said Aaron Ostrom, executive director of Fuse Washington, a statewide coalition of progressives. “They see this as the best tactic to turn Washington from a blue state to a red state.”

Labor leaders say never before have they seen a foundation undertake such an aggressive, multi-pronged campaign against unions; nor have they ever seen such canvassing to advise workers about quitting their unions.

Labor leaders predict that if the foundation succeeds in weakening public-sector unions in Washington and Oregon, conservatives will roll out similar campaigns in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Labor officials say the foundation is part of a nationwide conservative, dark money network, with the Koch-backed State Policy Network, a 50-state free-market group, helping to finance the foundation.

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Portland Tribune reporter Paris Achen breaks the news in Charity accused of improper political activities that the Oregon Attorney General is being asked to launch an investigation into the Freedom Foundation’s “charity” tax status.

The complaints allege that the Freedom Foundation has violated restrictions on lobbying and other political activities for organizations with tax-exempt status and is operating for the benefit of the Republican Party and other conservative groups…

Northwest Accountability Project claimed in a statement that it “has uncovered evidence from Freedom Foundation leadership and staff that their covert purpose is to attack labor unions in order to ‘defund the political left’ and advance certain conservative candidates, a clear violation of IRS and state rules.”

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