“Tax-exempt status of Olympia-based think tank under challenge by channeler JZ Knight”

JZ Knight News, Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues

By Brad Shannon in The Olympian, Sunday, November 16, 2014:

“The tax-exempt status of conservative Freedom Foundation think tank has been called into question by lawyers for Yelm-based spirit channeler JZ Knight.

Knight, who has a long-running battle with the Olympia-based foundation over its use of her videotaped spiritual talks, contends the group is acting as a politically partisan organization.

As a result, Tacoma lawyer Brooke Johnson says it does not deserve its tax-exempt status as an educational organization, which is how it was set up in 1991 with a promise of ‘regular and bipartisan communication with elected officials’ and others.

‘There is nothing wrong with advocating your position, but what we are seeing is action on a political agenda and being aggressive,’ Johnson, who specializes in intellectual property rights and nonprofit organizations, said in an interview. ‘They are aggressively pursuing people they consider to be enemies.’”

“Johnson noted the foundation’s efforts since 2012 that slammed Democratic candidates and political parties over Knight’s campaign donations, and she cited state Public Disclosure Commission reports showing that Republican candidates and organizations, and not Democratic groups, have donated to the foundation over the years.

In sharp contrast, Johnson noted, the foundation has not acted against intemperate speech by those on the far right end of the political spectrum.”
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