The trouble with Kevin Mannix. (Hint: $$$)

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

KevinmannixSo, Kevin Mannix announced today that he's running for Congress. This is going to be fun.

For all the national media and activists coming to BlueOregon today to learn more about Kevin, here's a recap: He's a former Democrat who became a Republican when his brand of right-wing politics was no longer welcome in our party. He's a four-time statewide loser (twice AG, twice Governor) who seems addicted to building prisons through ballot measures.

But Kevin's always had trouble with money. And it's liable to only get worse running for Congress.

Here's just a few of the greatest hits from BlueOregon's past coverage:

Kevin Mannix and the Millionaire Sex Weirdo, February 9, 2006.

[Millionaire and sexual hypnotist Loren] Parks gave Mannix $350,000 for his governor’s race, $310,000 for an AG run and $361,800 to Mannix’s law firm (which then turned around and paid Mannix $327,000 for “research.” As David Sarasohn pointed out in a column in 2002, the Republican candidate has become Park’s “Million-dollar Mannix.” ...

It’s a strange relationship, made even more strange by Park’s interest in – and there is no other way to describe it - sexual weirdness. How does Mannix, a social and religious conservative, reconcile himself to Park’s proclivities?

Mannix personally pockets campaign cash, April 9, 2006.

The 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.

What did Kevin Mannix do for $200,000?, March 12, 2007.

It seems that Kevin Mannix raked in over $200,000 for "fundraising consulting" in 2005 for the nonprofit arm of Freedomworks, the national anti-government organization that's been using Oregon as its personal petri dish. ...

Why would a national right-wing group give $200,000 to the chairman of the Oregon GOP and an all-but-announced candidate for governor?

Is Kevin Mannix planning a campaign money scam?, February 19, 2008.

Now, I'm no election lawyer. But as I understand it, a federal candidate can't raise money for a state campaign committee. But it's unclear whether that state campaign committee could use a federal candidate as the chief spokesman for a ballot measure.

Could Kevin Mannix be planning to run for Congress - while using a well-funded no-limits ballot measure committee to pay for the bulk of his television time?

If so, he'd be making a mockery of the nation's campaign finance laws -- and would likely face investigation, prosecution, and fines. Unfortunately for all of us, the FEC is notorious for getting deadlocked in their judgments and taking years and years to issue rulings.

Smith dispatches aide to rescue OR GOP, while former Mannix aide returns to "help" Mannix, February 27, 2008.

It seems that the Oregon Republican Party is in need of rescuing... Why does the party need to make changes? Because it's been run into the ground.
As of Jan. 31, the party listed nearly $300,000 in debts, including a $34,000 lien from the IRS for unpaid payroll taxes. Party officials have said they have made progress since then in paying off the tax lien.

Good news for Democrats: Amy Langdon, who was the party executive director who was the captain of that sinking ship, will now - apparently - go work for Kevin Mannix's apparent run for Congress.

Langdon ran Kevin Mannix's 2002 campaign for governor and took over the party post after he became the GOP chairman in 2003. According to one GOP source, Langon will likely go to work for Mannix's expected campaign for the 5th congressional district seat.

Like I said, this is going to be fun. And not just for bloggers. I'm sure the media - local and national - will enjoy digging into Mannix's Money Madness.

  • LT (unverified)

    From the SJ coverage: "To emphasize his base of support, Mannix was introduced by Gene Derfler of Salem, a former Oregon Senate president who came to the Legislature with Mannix 20 years ago. Mannix was flanked by Reps. Brian Boquist of Dallas, who had considered another run for Congress but is staying in a race for an open Oregon Senate seat; Kevin Cameron of Salem and Kim Thatcher of Keizer.".

    Boquist at least is an Iraq vet who has spoken about the Iraq War during a 2007 resolution debate on the Iraq War.

    Gene Derfler, former state senator and state rep. before that. If someone wants an interesting research project, look into his involvement in the 1990 Denny Smith campaign--the year Denny lost.

    If memory serves, Mike K. had said something about Iraq (this was in the months prior to the Gulf War) which sounded perfectly mainstream the day he said it. It may even have been not far from what GHW Bush said that day or that week. But the situation was fluid and a couple of weeks later everything looked different.

    Of course, that was awhile ago, but I seem to recall a scandal because someone (an early form of tracker?) smuggled a camera into a house party for Mike Kopetski and shot footage which had lousy audio and sound, and then the pro-Denny folks did a TV ad showing the video with an introduction by Derfler. You think the Swifties in 2004 were bad?

    One of the reference books (Almanac of American Politics, maybe) wrote up the "voice of Hitler" commercial---a radio ad claiming Mike K. supported the equivalent of "peace in our time" appeasement like Neville Chamberlin did before the start of WWII. The radio ad had an actual clip of Hitler speaking.

    There were people who thought that was beyond the pale against a candidate with a Polish name (given the history of Poland and WW II)and it went down in history as a negative ad which DID NOT work as there were people who heard the ad and decided to vote for Kopetski in protest to the ad.

    For more on the exciting adventures of the 1990 5th District race, see if you can find the Steve Duin column from maybe August or Sept. of 1990. It had a really catchy title like "Up in the Air Jr. Birdman" talking about what Denny Smith was doing at the time. If memory serves, he didn't voice an opinion on the Gulf /Iraq situation, just criticized Kopetski for saying anything.

  • Don (unverified)

    It will be a bit more difficult for Parks to have an impact on this race monetarily since contributions to federal candidates are limited. Interesting to see if he forms a 501c3 to go after whomever the D opponent is.

  • (Show?)

    My first question for Kevin would be: does he support the repeal of protection from discrimination for the LGBTQ community, as does his top supporter Rep. Kim "This Iraq withdrawal bill makes me cry" Thatcher?

    That's gonna go over well in purple CD5...!

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)

    I'm told the cheering crowd at his announcement consisted mostly of cartoonists, satirists, late night show hosts and Democrats.

  • Ernie D (unverified)

    Don't underestimate Mannix. Kulongoski and others have made that mistake. Because this is a partisan office you won't see as much media opposition as was the case with AG. He and his friends, through 527s, will run a vicious, very deceitful campaign.

  • LT (unverified)

    Ernie, did you read Posted by: LT | Mar 6, 2008 2:12:42 PM

    Those of us who lived through the anti-Denny Smith campaigns know what it takes (as do those who worked on Hooley for Congress, 1996 against Jim Bunn).

    Of course Kevin and his buddies will try every trick in the book. But if he is the nominee and NRCC is in such trouble, where will the get financial support? (Loren Parks et al might be able to fund 527s, but will those backfire?).

    Did you see the people at his campaign kickoff? Is that the best the Oregon Republican Party has to support their former State Chair who is running for federal office? And does he really have a grasp of the federal issues involved in a race for Congress?

    Kevin is well known, of the "high name familiarity, high negatives" type. Even if he lies through his teeth, how many of the people who didn't vote for him the other 4 times (2 AG, 2 Gov.) are going to vote for him now, esp. in a Democratic year?

    Of course eternal vigilance is necessary, but scared of him? Gimme a break.

  • Erik Sorensen (unverified)

    And don't underestimate the anti-immigrant base of support either. Apparently Oregonians for Immigration Reform are happy to get behind him.

    OFIR members and supporters:

    As many of you are aware, Kevin Mannix has been indispensable to us in our initiative campaign to get the Respect for Law Act on the November 2008 ballot...

  • Hart Williams (unverified)

    There's another Mannix investigative piece, from November of last year,

    Mannix: Freedom Work$? Gosh. What the HECK is Kevin Mannix doing for FreedomWorks? In 2005, he was the biggest FreedomWorks “political consultant,” for $200,089, and A consultant for $70,989 in 2004. (As I reported back on March 8). Now that the 2006 tax returns for the FreedomWorks Foundation have showed up, we see that he was paid $268,650 for “Legal services” [...]
    There's a link to the tax return and a copy of the post card FreedomWorks sent out attacking Terri Beyer in Springfield last year.
  • Taylor M (unverified)

    Thanks for the Kevbo Mannix greatest hits, Kari. I know more than a few people who will do whatever they can to keep him where he belongs, i.e. out of public office. I met Kevin when he was still a Democrat (and I was still in middle school) in his run against Hardy Meyers for AG. He may be a charmer, but he continues the Lon Mabon tradition of bigotry and statist conservatism better than anyone else in Oregon.

    Personally, I am studying law in Eugene, but I will keep voter registration at my parent's address in District 5, just to make sure Schrader or Marks has all of my family's votes come November.

    Here's hoping the DNCC gives Schrader or Marks all the help they need.

  • (Show?)

    I think Mannix's real money problem is his willingness to wreck Oregon's finances with pandering, fear-mongering, and ill-considered ballot measures designed to promote his own image over the public good.

  • Don (unverified)

    I don't think anyone is underestimating Mannix. He's come close twice BECAUSE we underestimated him. However, I think I'm confident, along with most other folks here, that if we run our race the way Oregon D's can, we'll win.

  • Don (unverified)

    Btw, I thought this was funny. My grandmother, a Republican PCP, told me last week that she wouldn't vote for Mannix because he's a "sleazebag". I wonder how widespread this feeling is.

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)


    I can tell you for a fact that there are many Republicans, myself included, who would agree with your grandmother.

    It was great this last weekend at Dorchester when I saw Mannix walking down the hall. He smiled at me, until he noticed the Erickson for Congress sticker on my lapel....

    From what I've been told, Mannix was going to be the GOP candidate for A.G., but dropped that bid when CD 5 came up. If he really cared about the party, Mannix would have run for A.G. and let Erickson have the CD5 nomination. But like many of us have been saying for years, Mannix only cares about himself.

    Some of us have also known about the ORP's sorry financial state for the last few years. The truth is as such: that debt is from Mannix's 2002 gubernatorial run.

    As such, you guys should all be supporting Mannix, because he's the best thing to ever happen to the DPO.

  • Mary (unverified)

    Mannix never has been and never will be for the people of Oregon but for his rich buddies. Oregon is not full of rich and he does not care about the people or what we want or need like Darlene. That little nasty man is nothing but a crook.

  • Ernie D (unverified)

    Thanks LT,

    That's an informative post. Mannix and Derfler worked closely together on anti-injured worker legislation for a decade so I know Derfler well. It was ironic that in his last session Derfler tried, for the first time, to get pro-injured legislation through and his longtime allies (insurers and employers) attacked him with a vengeance. The stress of it probably caused what I think was a heart attack.

    Derfler proposed the bill after neighbors on both sides of him got screwed by workers' comp. As I recall, one couldn't the insurer to provide an artificial arm or leg and when Derfler went to them, they blew him off.

    Derfler squashed a state investigation of Mannix involving his not declaring a conflict of interest on legislation.

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