Human beings yearn for truth the way they yearn for life-giving oxygen. And yet, as technology continues to grow the number and reach of information sources, that particular commodity becomes increasingly scarce.
In this agenda-driven age, even words spoken from a pulpit need to be digested with a healthy skepticism.
Virtue-signaling, wokeness, social justice, climate change scare tactics, social ostracization for the unvaccinated and the cancel culture have abused facts to the point where many openly question whether objective truth still exists.
Hypocritical influencers, media moguls, radical politicians and preening corporate leaders want the American people to bear the sole blame for colonialism, poverty, inequality, global warming and COVID deaths.
The liberal elite desperately need for the American people to feel guilty and ashamed. They belittle and condescend.
That’s precisely why we at the Freedom Foundation have nothing but pride for the work we do. We exist for the sole purpose of lifting people up and giving them dominion over their own lives.
Specifically, we want public employees to have the facts and be empowered to stop funding government unions if they so choose.
Every night we go to sleep and ask, “What did I do today to get someone out of a government union?”
Our methods are as simple as they are effective. But our efforts depend on timely, unhindered access to accurate public information. Absent government transparency and the rule of law, our truth-telling mission becomes impossible.
Ohio’s Freedom Foundation team has made more than 800 open-data requests since early 2021. As a result, almost a quarter of a million Ohio government workers now have access to facts being actively suppressed by the very union that confiscates their money and claims to have only their best interests at heart.
Thankfully, public officials and administrators often honor the law and their commitment to open government. They dutifully provide the data, and we thank them for their public service and willingness to do what’s right.
But not always. Our quest for contact data via open records requests is frequently met with resistance. Public officials treat us with suspicion and act inconvenienced.
But it isn’t laziness or incompetence that motivates their foot-dragging. It’s their allegiance to a labor union whose ability to continue operating as a protected monopoly is threatened by the truth our activities expose.
However open those responsible for actually processing information requests may be to the importance of government transparency, it is the nature of bureaucracy — even in politically conservative states — that those in leadership positions see themselves as defenders of the bloated status quo.
Because the objective of career bureaucrats — namely, increasing their agency’s size and influence — tends to line up perfectly with those of labor leaders who purport to represent government employees, too many agree to do the bidding of a union rather than serving the public and obeying the law.
Even if it means their coworkers get left in the dark about their First Amendment right to cancel dues payments.
For the Freedom Foundation, knowing how to reach government workers is mission critical. And the quest to acquire contact data — however mundane it may seem — is a very important part of the story.
Government workers want to know about their right to cancel union dues, and taxpayers want government workers to understand their right to keep their money from sustaining union politicking and electioneering.
Public records laws exist to make this information accessible to anyone asking for it. If unions and their appointed gatekeepers within government can’t deal with that, maybe it’s because they have so much to hide.