Freedom Foundation’s Phillips appeals PDC ruling  

Freedom Foundation’s Phillips appeals PDC ruling  

Freedom Foundation’s Phillips appeals PDC ruling  

Freedom Foundation attorney Sydney Phillips went before the Washington State Court of Appeals this week to argue that the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is indeed a political committee and should be required under the state’s campaign finance laws to report its election spending activity.

Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) had earlier dismissed a Freedom Foundation complaint alleging the union violated the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA).

The agency further maintains its rulings are final and unreviewable.

“What’s the point of having a court system at all if individual government agencies are above the law?” Phillips asked. “The PDC is empowered to make determinations, but there’s no reason its rulings should be beyond scrutiny. It doesn’t have the power to weaponize campaign finance laws.”

Phillips argued the Freedom Foundation is an appropriate organization to appeal the PDC’s decision. As one of the most active watchdogs of union political spending in Washington, the organization filed litigation against the PDC for failing to hold WFSE accountable for breaking campaign finance laws.

The Freedom Foundation uses information about a union political spending to inform public employees about where their union dues are being spent.  

When the PDC fails to hold unions accountable to the FCPA, the Freedom Foundation is hindered in its mission to educate public employees about their constitutional rights.

“If the Freedom Foundation can’t challenge the PDC, there’s nothing to stop special interests like WFSE from continuing to violate the state’s campaign finance laws with impunity,” Phillips said. “Court decisions are appealed — and overturned — every day of the week. The rulings of this state agency are no more sacrosanct than they are.”

Executive Vice President
Brian Minnich serves as the executive vice president for the Freedom Foundation. Prior to starting a political consulting firm in 2011, Brian served for 19 years as the legislative affairs director for the Building Industry Association of Washington. Brian built the association’s legislative program into a powerhouse lobbying operation, which was recognized as the most aggressive and effective in the state. Before moving to Washington in 1991, Brian served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).