Freedom Foundation or Fraud Foundation?

The Freedom Foundation claims tax breaks as a "nonpartisan" organization... But that doesn't stop them from pushing a radical right-wing agenda.

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A broad coalition of labor and community organizations based in the northwest, including firefighters, nurses and teachers, are calling on Oregon State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the IRS to revoke the extremist Freedom Foundation’s tax-exempt status. The Freedom Foundation currently claims a tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization, but there’s a problem: Federal and state law prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations from participating in partisan, political activities. As the complaint clearly shows, the Freedom Foundation doesn’t quite adhere to those laws.

The Northwest Accountability Project has unearthed the truth about the Freedom Foundation, and it’s not pretty:

The Freedom Foundation has a history of intervening in political campaigns to push hyper-partisan candidates for office. They’ve recently begun recruiting and training candidates at “Freedom Academy” events throughout the Northwest — and they don’t try to hide the partisan nature of their political activity. Scott Roberts, the Freedom Foundation’s Vice President of Development, has claimed that “every dollar [unions] spend defending their idea is every dollar they don’t have to spend against our good candidates.”

It’s clear that the Freedom Foundation doesn’t operate for public wellbeing, like 501(c)(3) organizations are supposed to — instead, they’re working to promote the private benefit of right-wing groups. In fact, they’ve said as much: Anne Marie Gurney, the Freedom Foundation’s Oregon Coordinator, says that the group’s “number one stated focus is to defund the political left.”

That’s why the Freedom Foundation’s tax-exempt status is so puzzling. “The Freedom Foundation is blatantly ignoring the state and federal rules that prohibit tax-exempt organizations from engaging in partisan political activity – and as a result, they’re getting tax breaks while taxpayers are footing the bill for their conservative attacks,” said Andrew Biviano, Founding Board Member of the Northwest Accountability Project. “It’s outrageous that the Freedom Foundation is engaging in partisan attacks on the middle class, the environment, and the values that we hold here in the Pacific Northwest, while hiding behind a bogus 501(c)(3) tax exemption.”

It’s time for the Freedom Foundation to take responsibility and stop hiding their partisan agenda. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize attacks on working families by giving the Freedom Foundation and their big money backers a tax break.