Union creep raids Freedom Foundation lobby

Union creep raids Freedom Foundation lobby

Union creep raids Freedom Foundation lobby

It’s been a little while since we last poked fun at the juvenile antics of the Northwest Accountability Project (NAP), a union-backed 501(c)(4) nonprofit devoted to, “shining a light on extremism and the moneyed special interests that attempt to bring an agenda of hate and division to Washington and Oregon.” It accomplishes these lofty goals largely by writing “mean tweets” about the Freedom Foundation.

This week, however, NAP really kicked it up a notch.

In the middle of the afternoon, NAP’s executive director/sole employee Peter Starzynski, (whose Twitter handle is, no joke, @Starz_InThe_Sky) decided to pay a visit to the Freedom Foundation’s Olympia office.

Casting furtive glances over his shoulder, Starzynski darted into the lobby, grabbed a bunch of publications from a display table and quickly made his escape, leaving Freedom Foundation staff dumbfounded as to why anyone in their right mind would make the four-hour-plus roundtrip drive from Portland to Olympia and back to steal the top-secret material we have sitting out for anyone to take.

The best part is that the whole episode was captured on film by the Freedom Foundation’s security system.

For verification purposes, here’s a photo of Starzynski wearing his trademark jeans and sport coat combo.

It’s too bad @Starz_InThe_Sky was too hurried to smile for the camera, but at least there’s #oneless dangerous Freedom Foundation publication out there to pollute the minds of the innocent.

Among other things, Starzinsky made off with a stack of flyers entitled, “10 Things to Ask SEIU,” which includes penetrating questions like:

  • “Why hasn’t the union informed IPs of their right to choose for themselves whether to pay union dues under the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn?”
  • “Why have union reps been caught on tape lying to IPs about their rights?”
  • “Why are SEIU 775 dues higher than any other SEIU union in the Pacific northwest and twice as high as dues for state employees?”
  • “Why did the union illegally conceal $1.4 million in political campaign contributions, leading to a $44,000 fine after it was sued by the state Attorney General?”

Perhaps, now that Starzynski has a copy of the flyer (available online here for literally anyone on earth), he can “shine a light” on the answers for us.

Starzynski also seemed especially interested in the Freedom Foundation donation envelopes. Of course we’d be happy to have his support but, for those wondering, it is possible to donate through our website; you don’t have to drive to Olympia and sneak envelopes from the lobby.

Stunts like this are pretty much par for the course with NAP.

Earlier this year, Spokesman-Review columnist Sue Lani Madsen wrote a blistering takedown of NAP, explaining:

In the eyes of the Northwest Accountability Project, those supporting a conservative worldview are extremists threatening ‘the middle class, our environment, our education, and personal freedom.’ Their website demands the ‘Freedom Foundation must reveal their true agenda and stop lying to the public.’

Here’s the irony. The Freedom Foundation is upfront about its true agenda to ‘reverse the stranglehold public-sector unions have on our government.’ It’s not hidden. You can find photos and contact information for all staff members on the organization’s website. They answer their phone. And they used to proudly post a list of trustees and major donors, until groups like the Northwest Accountability Project used it as a hit list…

It’s the ultimate irony. Finding anyone to hold accountable for the Northwest Accountability Project required digging into corporate registration records with the secretary of state. Only two names appear: Kevin Rudiger, research coordinator for the Service Employees International Union, and Andrew Biviano, an attorney who recently resigned as chairman of the Spokane County Democratic Party. The physical address matches Biviano’s work address.

Biviano was surprised to hear he was still listed, saying he has not been associated with the group since mid-2017. Phone calls to Rudiger and to the contact number for the Northwest Accountability Project were not returned, nor were emails.

Maybe next time Starzynski visits he’ll stick around for a chat. I’m sure we’d have a lot to talk about.

Director of Research and Government Affairs
As the Freedom Foundation’s Director of Research and Government Affairs, Maxford Nelsen leads the team working to advance the Freedom Foundation’s mission through strategic research, public policy advocacy, and labor relations. Max regularly testifies on labor issues before legislative bodies and his research has formed the basis of several briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. Max’s work has been published in local newspapers around the country and in national outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Hill, National Review, and the American Spectator. His work on labor policy issues has been featured in media outlets like the New York Times, Fox News, and PBS News Hour. He is a frequent guest on local radio stations like 770 KTTH and 570 KVI. From 2019-21, Max was a presidential appointee to the Federal Service Impasses Panel within the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which resolves contract negotiation disputes between federal agencies and labor unions. Prior to joining the Freedom Foundation in 2013, Max worked for WashingtonVotes.org and the Washington Policy Center and interned with the Heritage Foundation. Max holds a labor relations certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated magna cum laude from Whitworth University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. A Washington native, he lives in Olympia with his wife and sons.