Only a few months on the job, Freedom Foundation Litigation Counsel Sydney Phillips worked to keep the organization’s winning streak alive on Feb. 27 when she persuaded a Division 2 appellate court commissioner in Tacoma to dismiss SEIU 775’s latest frivolous motion.
The overarching lawsuit concerns whether the union — which diverted more than half its revenues to political candidates during a single month in 2016 — meets the legal definition of a political action committee (PAC). And if so, why hasn’t it followed financial reporting laws laid out in the Washington Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA)?
Since the Freedom Foundation filed its complaint against SEIU 775 in early 2018, the union has made three failed attempts to have the case dismissed by the trial court. After those were all ultimately denied, SEIU 775 then turned its sights on Division 2, filing a motion for discretionary review.
“This was an incredible learning opportunity for me,” said Phillips, who wrote the response and argued orally in opposition to the motion. “From Day 1, the Freedom Foundation has vowed to let its new attorneys go head-to-head against the unions and the attorneys who represent them, and I was grateful for the opportunity.”
Assuming the motion is denied, the Freedom Foundation will continue to pursue its FCPA citizen action against SEIU 775 for failing to disclose its activities as a PAC to the Public Disclosure Commission.