WA Think Tank Demands Search of State Email for Bias Against Government Critics

Derogatory references to "libertarian," "tea party"...


In a move inspired by the IRS' scrutiny of the tea party and other nonprofit groups, the Olympia-based Freedom Foundation has filed records requests with four Washington state agencies asking for employee emails and other records containing certain words, including "tea party," "Catholic," "Mormon" and "redneck."

The requests were filed in May. Representatives of the libertarian-style think tank say they are looking for evidence of bias toward the public and regulated organizations.

"We tried to come up with terms that we thought would be logical to be used in correspondence about possibly targeted groups," Glen Morgan, property-rights director for the nonprofit organization, which has a hard-right reputation for its battles over land-use limits in environmentally sensitive zones and its perennial criticism of government regulations and spending.