Mannix personally pockets campaign cash

Mannix2The Oregonian finally breaks the long-rumored story about Kevin Mannix, his campaign funds, and his personal finances. In short, large sums of money were donated to his various campaign committees, sometimes transferred to other campaign commitees, and ultimately landed in his personal bank account.

Since 1996, political committees or foundations controlled by Mannix have paid $838,000 to his law firm, other businesses or personal accounts. On multiple occasions, money moved several times -- from donor, to campaign or foundation, then into one of Mannix's private enterprises -- all in a single day.

In most cases, the funds went to him or his law firm for "management services" or "legal expenses". So far, Mannix has refused to provide invoices to justify the expenses to the campaign committees. So, what does he say?

Mannix explained payments to his law firm -- $690,646 over 10 years -- as a modest means of defraying the personal costs of his community service. Mannix, whose wife works and who has two children in college, said he has struggled at times to find a balance between demands of his business and political life.

Some Republicans have been skeptical:

Debra Gilmour paused when she saw that the campaign committee she ran for Mannix was supposed to cut a check to something called PSA Services Inc.

"I asked what benefit the campaign was getting from this expense," Gilmour recalled. "I was told not to worry about it."

PSA Services, it turned out, is one of two firms owned by Mannix that together were paid nearly $84,000 by political committees or foundations Mannix controlled, The Oregonian found. Mannix also received $63,083 in direct payments in addition to amounts paid to his law firm.

Even one of Mannix's consultants, Rep. Derrick Kitts (who is now running for Congress), is astounded.

Kitts called the payments to Mannix's law firm "mind-boggling" and said the Mannix campaign should voluntarily disclose invoices documenting the charges to his enterprises. "If people are paying the Mannix law firm," Kitts said, "then the question is, what did the law firm do for those services?"

Read the whole story. Discuss.

  • Varner (unverified)

    Wow, and this comes just after Doyle got out of jail. Good to see the R's are taking turns, so civilized.

  • More of the same (unverified)

    Speaking of Republican corruption in Salem:

    Kitt's quote is interesting... sounds like he's saying by implication that Billy Dalto ought to come clean and release his records regarding his shady 527 that he used to pay himself. These guys are truly unbeliebable.

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    Derrick "Mugs and Jugs" Kitts is the moral compass of the Party. I love America.

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    I happened to be reading over at the NW Republican blog and it sounds like this whole thing is being spun as a conspiracy by Ron Saxton and the Oregonian.

    Maybe someone could take a look to see if I read that correctly.

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    Lip smackin' conspiracy theories..yum, yum. It's hard out there to be a Republican candidate for Guv.

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)

    Candidates' 1st pre-election C&E reports are due Monday. Look for the Big "O" to be scrutinizing Mannix' C&E for "expenditures" to Kevin Mannix PC. Could Mannix be that dumb, again?

    BTW: The Oregonian's Les Zaitz, who wrote the Mannix story, is the paper's prized hit man. He did most of the work on the Oregonian's expose of pedophile Goldschmidt. If you're in public office or a public figure and Les Zaitz calls for a "few moments of your time," your career is as promising as is Derrick Foxworth's.

    • Wes
  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    sounds like this whole thing is being spun as a conspiracy by Ron Saxton and the Oregonian.

    Am I the only one who thinks that is plausible. Not, of course, the part about Mannix being a dishonest crook. That part is obviously just factual. But who do you think put the Oregonian up to exposing him? Saxton, or someone who supports him, is certainly a likely culprit.

    e did most of the work on the Oregonian's expose of pedophile Goldschmidt.

    Which expose was that? Goldschmidt called them remember? He gave them an interview after the Willamette Week told him they were finally going to publish a story about that little episode with a 13 year old.

    I suppose you are right, that does tell us how this story probalby transpired.

  • RickyW (unverified)

    Man, Dems should be disappointed that this broke before the primary. I'd think that blues would like the dirtiest candidate to come out of the Republican primary and then get hit.

    Maybe we should all donate money to Mannix's campaign to help him get through this... or fund some independent expenditure hit-pieces against Saxton to level the field. :)

  • Edison (unverified)

    Ross and David,

    Didja notice that it is only the Atkinson bloggers who are trying to blame Saxton? They all seemed pretty overjoyed about the news, though. And why where the Atkinson bloggers the first to talk about this story? Why are they pushing the story so hard?

    Who benefits the most if the conservative Republican vote is NOT split?

    Pass the popcorn, 'cause I don't think the Republican Conspiracy Show is over! Looking at the candidates, I'm not sure who would be easier to beat!

  • Becky (unverified)

    Blaming the Saxton campaign and the evil Oregonian for bringing down Mannix by telling the truth about what he does with campaign funds is about as ignorant as blaming the teachers' unions and the Oregonian for bringing down Sizemore or blaming Scooter Libby and the "liberal" media for the fact that Bush leaked classified information and then blaming Scott McClellan for having told America that whoever did it would be fired. Mannix is bringing down Mannix. And all I can say is thank God for tattletales, paper trails and investigative reporters. Without them, politicians would be doing even worse stuff than they are right now.

  • Demo (unverified)

    I would never buy a used car from Kevin Mannix.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    Blaming the Saxton campaign and the evil Oregonian

    Blame or credit. My point was that Saxton's hand in it is not exactly implausible. Neither would Atkinson's, except the Oregonian would be less likely to be a willing tool.

  • Jesse O (unverified)

    That piece was written so as to be so thick with details that the average reader's eyes would glaze over. It was a sidebar on the front page, not a big picture, so I think that Mannix survived the hit, if it were such a hit.

    The reactions to the numbers were buried, more or less. The story needed to be "Mannix personally enriched himself to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars," not "the GOP gave Mannix's campaign money that gave another campaign money that gave money to a law firm."

  • Silence S. Golden (unverified)

    WHOA! I can't believe your huge LEAP OF LOGIC to your headline! Personally pockets campaign cash? Is that what the article said? No! In the final unclimactic paragraph, Zaitz couldn't even get Phil Keisling to say that Mannix had done anything wrong. This story goes over the complicated funding of several pacs and blurs the line between business and politics so much that people are so confused they just submit to the underlying tone of the article. Have you ever looked at a Union PAC's records? It would boggle the mind for the Oregonian to ever consider a story on that.

  • Becky (unverified)

    Sinlence -

    Are you blind for real, or do you refuse to see? How hard is it to figure out that money going to Mannix's law firm - aka Mannix - is money going into Mannix's pocket, regardless of how many Mannix-controlled entities it was shuffled through in the same day to get there? This kind of thinking is why so many creepy politicians can be caught red-handed and still have a loyal following. There is no leap of logic in the Oregonian's article. Just because Mannix, a lawyer, can figure out that following the letter of the law will keep him out of jail no matter what his intentions (as intent, no matter how obvious, is nearly impossible to prove), doesn't mean he didn't do anything wrong. Not that it matters to true believers.

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)

    I worked for a GOP campaign in 2004. We got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from the state party, because they were too busy trying to pay off Mannix's campaign debt. Mannix has made a lot of enemies within the party over the last few years for turning the state party into the "Mannix for Governor" committee. He's finally getting called on it, and many of us are pleased about it.

  • Tammy Brotton (unverified)

    Hello we are Atkinson Bloggers,we didn't make this stuff up Atkinson bloggers are not all big and powerful,we Just follow the demonrats turned repubican Trail line such as mannix and or saxton once demonrat turned republican, Atkinson is the real republican,How come the liberal media will only talk about the liberals and not give any credit to the one true candidate that is republican.that is senator Jason Atkinson . The other candidates for Governor were Rino (Republican in name only) senator Jason Atkinson is the True republican Candidate for Governor who is not corrupt who wants to serve the people as Governor. Atkinson for Governor 06

  • Scott McLean (unverified)

    It's important for people to separate the campaign facts from Mannix changing political parties some years ago.

    I'm concerned that some critics are opposed to a Republican once being a Democrat. They may also not like a Republican becoming a Democrat.

    In Oregon most people I know think of themselves as independent thinkers, who vote for the person, not just for the party label.

    Is changing parties a sin? Or salvation?

    I'm thinking it's something in between.

    What matters about the people we vote for is do they make a stand for what we believe, and are they believable--trustworthy?

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    The problem with the Atkinson bloggers starting the rumor about Mannix only to spin it to Saxton via the Oregonian (well besides the conspiratorial nature of it) is that we would have to have SOME influence in the media.

    And, as we all know, according to Kari we are just a bunch of bloggers talking amongst ourselves and have no influence at all.

    yip yip

  • LT (unverified)

    Tammy, is your goal to gain votes, or just to slam opponents when you say things like "demonrats "?

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)

    Wow...first we have Kari on nwrepublican, now Coyote is on blueoregon...who says bipartisanship is dead?

  • Madam Hatter (unverified)

    "As anti-Mannix as most of the previous newspaper coverage has been, the latest episode calls into question the journalistic ethics of some Oregon newspapers. Today, major Oregon newspapers have quoted another Oregon newspaper, The Portland Oregonian, as the authoritative source for information in articles, with spiced-up headlines, based on an original article published in the Sunday edition of the Oregonian about Mannix's financing of his 2006 campaign.

    The Salem, Oregon, Statesman-Journal and the Medford Mail Tribune published an article syndicated by the Associated Press which bases its authenticity on a piece of journalistic pride from the Oregonian. The major fault I have with the AP article is the spiced-up headline that is obviously designed to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Mannix's campaign finances. Judge for yourself."

    Read it all here.

  • Ernie (unverified)

    The following was written in November 2005 but its info is still relevant. I couldn't get it published at the time.

    Oregon’s perennial candidate…and loser

    It’s now official, Kevin Mannix, Oregon’s three time loser to statewide office, is giving it another go. Never mind that his political committee’s amended September Supplemental Report of 2005 shows he’s over $223,000 in the hole.

    Over the years Mannix has operated several political committees that have intertwined personal, political, and business activities. One of these committees was Justice for All II. He closed it on February 23, 2005 after writing checks to his law firm totaling $10,088.49 to bring about a zero balance. Yet, one day earlier, Lanphere Enterprises, which operates local automobile and motorcycle dealerships, contributed $10,000 making the payment possible. And there are other incidents. Among them, Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp. made an $8,300 contribution to Justice for All II almost four months after the November 1999 election even though Liberty’s business has no connection to crime victims. The next day, Mannix paid two businesses he controlled almost $8,700.

    Mannix, a private practice attorney, made himself a household name by way of tough-on-crime initiatives that went after individuals. Yet Mannix’s record is that of a hypocrite since he routinely helps corporate interests to escape or shield themselves from wrongdoing committed against consumers and workers. One example is that Mannix represented Doerfler Farms which was fined $375,000 by the state for numerous violations of child labor laws, including actions that endangered children’s lives. Mannix got the fine down to $50,000.

    Attorney Kevin Mannix prevents Oregonians from receiving critical and necessary medical treatment. In 1995, while a state representative, he pushed through Senate Bill 369. Its major component was found unconstitutional in 2001 but not before tens of thousands of workers had been irreversibly harmed with no recourse for justice due to Oregon’s statute of limitations law. SB 369 was introduced just days after the Oregon Supreme Court found 1990 legislation unconstitutional. The court’s 2001 ruling was almost identical to 1995’s and on the same grounds. Essentially, the 1995 legislation’s sole purpose was to make null the court ruling so as to continue a denial of constitutional rights. An ethics complaint involving conflict of interest clearly shows that Mannix’s law firm profited from his legislation. He had 151 cases impacted by his “retroactively-applied” legislation. In fact, there’s a pattern of Mannix using elective office and political influence to benefit him or his law firm clients.

    Mannix was also behind Measure 81, defeated by voters in May 2000 by a 3 to 1 margin. Its goal was to restrict pain and suffering awards in all lawsuits. It was in direct response to a court ruling that found similar 1987 legislation unconstitutional. And in the 2005 legislative session, Mannix led lobbying efforts in support of House Bill 2743 which would have made pharmaceutical companies not liable when their drugs harmed Oregonians. In the 2002 General Election cycle alone, candidate Mannix received $626,000 from the pharmaceutical and health products industries. That even eclipsed the $415,000 Loren Parks had given him.

    In 1996, Mannix’s Ballot Measure 40 attempted to amend the Oregon Constitution in at least eight places even though a separate vote was clearly required for each amendment. When found unconstitutional, it created case precedent that has since been the basis for overturning both conservative and progressive-minded ballot initiatives approved by voters. But it Mannix a household name so he could seek higher office!

    And then there’s Mannix’s lack of money management skills. His September political committee report puts him over $223,000 in the red. That’s only $362,000 better than his deficit one year earlier. Exclude suspicious, last minute pledges totaling $233,600 (they reduce his deficit), including a questionable single pledge of $200,000, and Mannix has gained little ground. Will current contributors be paying off existing debts like in the past? Is that why Mannix is running once again?

    Those who’ve documented Mannix’s legislative activities, law practice, campaign finance reports, and his inconsistent actions and public statements, many which are over the top, see a fiscally irresponsible, ethically challenged, and morally bankrupt opportunist. It’s clear that Mannix is incapable of leading our state. It’s time to show him the door once and for all.

  • Ernie (unverified)

    Here's some more. I have tons of this stuff on Mannix!


    The attorney stated that he was terminated after repeatedly bringing up concerns involving illegal activities occurring within the firm, including election law violations. According to the plaintiff, these violations occurred while Mannix was a candidate for Oregon Attorney General in 1996. Mannix settled the suit 3 1/2 years later, paying his former partner $35,000.00.

    Lawsuit Involves:

    Breach of Fiduciary Duty; Diversion of Assets - Derivative Claims; Wrongful Termination; Wage Claim; Interference with Prospective Business Advantage; Accounting.

    The suit was filed in March 1997 and is available through public records. The plaintiff was a law partner/stockholder of Mannix, Nielsen, (The Plaintiff) & Crawford and states that he was terminated after repeatedly bringing up concerns involving illegal activities occurring within the firm. Among several things, he accuses Mannix of diverting assets of the law firm (shareholder equity) to fund his election campaign.

    I have court documents, including sworn statements, and they're damaging.


    House Bill 3378 (1999), sponsored by Representative Kevin Mannix, successfully abolished the five-member Pioneer Cemetery Commission and replaced it with a different seven-member panel with identical responsibilities. Mannix had a personal involvement with the competing board, having done legal work for its leader. Mannix acknowledged helping organize the competing group.


    In 1999, Kevin Mannix defended two companies that coordinate the gathering of signatures for initiative petitions. The companies argued that they had no legal obligation to pay Oregon unemployment taxes. Mannix, perhaps more than any other recent legislator, has used the initiative process to get his agendas into law. That same year, Mannix sponsored HB 2439 which would have made it much more difficult to prove, by legal standards, that an employment relationship exists for such companies.


    House Bill 3378, sponsored by then-Representative Kevin Mannix, successfully abolished the five-member Pioneer Cemetery Commission and replaced members with a seven-member panel. Mannix had a personal relationship with the new board, having done legal work for its leader. Mannix acknowledged helping organize the competing group.


    Mannix's failed House Bill 2535 would have placed restrictions on gun owners rights. A group, Oregon Gun Owners, angered gun owners by supporting this bill and SB 700. A well-researched Web site at states that Oregon Gun Owners contributed $30,100 to Mannix's Political Action Committee between September 15, 1998 and September 30, 1999, including $20,000 soon after the legislature adjorned. Mannix succeeded in getting House Bill 2535 passed in the House but it failed in the Senate.

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