Mannix Pays Off Debts, But Faces Questions

Kevin Mannix has paid off $347,000 in outstanding debts from his previous runs for office, but the move has raised more questions than it answered.

From the Oregonian:

For years, Republican Kevin Mannix has owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign debts while waging what turned out to be three failed races for statewide office.

Now, just weeks after planning to run for Congress, Mannix has swiftly paid off $347,000 in debts with loans from his Salem law firm.

Mannix, who is running for the congressional seat left open by the surprise retirement of Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore, was able to pay off his creditors by "calling in the accounts receivables" from his solo law practice, according to his campaign manager.

The source of the money used to pay off Mannix's debt remains unknown:

[Amy] Langdon did not disclose where the money came from to pay off the large debt, citing confidentiality between Mannix and his legal clients. Mannix declined to be interviewed about his campaign finances.

One big source of legal work for Mannix has been FreedomWorks, the Washington, D.C.-based group that seeks lower taxes and less government regulation. The group reported paying Mannix $540,000 in legal and consulting fees from 2004 through 2006. The group's 2007 report has not been filed.

Langdon said none of the law-firm money came from Loren Parks, the wealthy Nevada businessman who has donated more than $1.5 million over the years to Mannix's assorted campaigns, ballot measures and other causes.

Despite Langdon's expertise with debt, the timing and lack of transparency of the move is being questioned by a number of groups:

Janice Thompson, executive director of Democracy Reform Oregon, a campaign watchdog group, questioned why Mannix did not pay off his creditors earlier if he had the ability to do so.

"I think it raises questions about the full transparency of the source of the money," she said.

Cary Evans, a spokesman for one of Mannix's political rivals, Mike Erickson, said his campaign finances could be an issue in the upcoming primary campaign.

"He has been in a number of campaigns with large loans from specific individuals and then borrowed from one place or another to pay them back or not pay them back," Evans said. "Honestly, this is probably the same kind of scheme, if you ask me. And while it may be legal, it sure puts a lot of question onto who those individuals are who are funding him."

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • (Show?)

    To "pay off debts" with loans (i.e. more debts) is a sort of interesting mathematical/political spin somersault.

    If his law firm GAVE the money to the campaign, then it would be paying off debts cleanly.

    Instead, it's "Mannix borrows from Peter to Pay Paul." Or, "Mannix pays off credit cards (by borrowing from other credit cards)."

    Color me unimpressed. Except by Mannix's ability to fund his political campaigns through overpriced advice to FreedomWorks.

  • Jason Skelton (unverified)

    Sweet scam: funneling campaign contributions under the guise of "consulting" or legal work. Making it even easier is that you can give them in large lump sums and earned upon receipt.

    Mannix is an active bar member, so if I ever see him at a CLE or something I will have to ask him about this.

  • (Show?)

    The group reported paying Mannix $540,000 in legal and consulting fees from 2004 through 2006.

    Here's what I want to know: What the hell legal work did he do? It's not like they're particularly active in Oregon.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)

    Kevin Mannix is such a wonderfully flawed candidate, I sincerely hope he ends up being the Republican candidate. I especially like that Mannix's campaign refuses to disclose (or even discuss) where they get their money.

  • not2late (unverified)

    If Mannix is playing clever accounting games, then someone should look for a Mannix complaints file at the Oregon Bar Association to see if he has done the same with his law clients. Might be interesting.

  • Hart Williams (unverified)

    That's not quite correct, Kari. FreedomWorks has been quite active -- under the radar -- in Oregon. The Dick Armey figureheaded astroturf group spends more money in Oregon than in ANY OTHER STATE IN THE UNION.

    As much in one year (2006) as they spent in all other states COMBINED. (And mostly to Kevin Mannix). Just because you don't see 'em don't mean they ain't there and nasty, as anyone familiar with chiggers can tell you.

    <h2>They are stealthy, and they are scary, and I documented it all in Kevin Mannix's Dirty Little Secret, which I will commend to your attention for a FIFTH time.</h2>
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