A house divided.
And Tinker to Evers to Chance.
The PAC money from Oregon goes INTO FreedomWorks in Washington, D.C. And the money comes back into Oregon from FreedomWorks in Washington, D.C. (as we learned in part one and part two). Now, we look at the confluence of those two money streams.
L to R: Ross Day, Russ Walker, Kevin Mannix — Oregonian photo
Ross Day is a boyish, earnest lawyer who says his mission is to rescue the most powerful political tool that conservatives have in Democratic-controlled Oregon: the ballot initiative. Day has joined forces with two of the state’s top conservative political activists — former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix and anti-tax crusader Russ Walker — to form a petitioning firm and an accompanying think tank aimed at providing a steady supply of credible ballot measures. [...] In addition, the trio formed a for-profit petitioning firm called Voice of the Electorate, which they also refer to as Vote Oregon. Day, working out of office space donated by Mannix next to his law firm in Salem, is the chief executive of both nonprofits and the petitioning company….
That’s after this possibly FreedomWorks-funded congressional campaign fizzled in the 2008 Oregon primary (and this issue dogged Mannix throughout the campaign):
Mannix pays old campaign debts as he launches new campaign Republican Kevin Mannix settles $347,000 in campaign debts as he starts his bid for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District Tuesday, March 18, 2008 JEFF MAPES and DAVE HOGAN The Oregonian Staff 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. [...] 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….
The relationship continued (and continues).
bottom of page 8 FreedomWorks Foundation’s 2009 return (a 501(c)3 fully-deductible “charity” that is “absolutely not allowed to engage in electoral politics” to quote a right-wing “foundation” shill on NPR this morning.
And, for some Christmas Cheer, FreedomWorks FOUNDATION was selling posters of the 912 rally signed by Dick Armey himself, just in time for Christmas. How very special.
[* Or, as they note:
Click Here: To reserve one original 9-12 Taxpayer March on Washington Poster for a donation of $19.99
Click Here: To reserve two original 9-12 Taxpayer March on Washington Posters for a donation of $35
Click Here: To reserve your Dick Armey Limited Edition 9-12 Taxpayer March on Washington Poster and “Tea Party: The Documentary Film” DVD for a donation of $150
Because, as we all know, Dick Armey needs "donations" to pay his $500,000 a year salary.]
Armey speaking “charitably” at the 9-12-09 rally in DC
And, in April, they’d held rallies, too …
April 15, 2009 Tea Party in Salem (Oregon’s capitol) from the Oregon GOP’s flickr feed
Thousands in Oregon protest taxes and bailouts, tea party-style Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 2:39 PM Updated: Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 8:42 PM [by] Janie Har, The Oregonian
In Oregon, protesters served a warning to majority Democrats eyeing tax increases to plug the state budget, said Russ Walker, Oregon director of FreedomWorks and vice chairman of the state Republican Party.
Opponents of higher taxes, he said, would gather signatures to send any legislative surcharge to the ballot.
“This is the shot across the bow,” Walker said.
The tea parties were hailed as a grass-roots uprising by their organizers, which included FreedomWorks, a Washington D.C.-based group headed by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey….
At the end of 2009, “FreedomWorks” (whether Foundation, PAC, 501(c)4 = “Inc.”, or what-have-you — it’s impossibly mixed up) was selling their “Christmas” stuff out of the “Foundation” and their “non-partisan, non-electoral politics” on their blog:
Specifically, we have identified three key priorities. I am asking for your help and support to ensure their success.
1. The Fight against Government-Run Health Care isn’t Over. Yes, the Left has moved their planned takeover of our country’s health care system forward, but their coalition is extremely fragile and we have multiple opportunities to derail the legislation as the two chambers try to settle major differences between their bills.
2. April 15th – Tax Day 2010. In the same spirit as the historic 9-12 Taxpayer March on Washington, FreedomWorks is helping to organize another mass-demonstration in Washington, D.C. American taxpayers have had enough of out-of-control spending and continued attempts by the Left to erode the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. Last time we took our message to the front lawn of the Capitol, this time we will take it directly to Barrack [sic] Obama’s front door! (details soon to follow).
3. FreedomWorks PAC. 2010 presents us with a unique opportunity to change the political battlefield and tip the balance of power towards champions of our limited government agenda. FreedomWorks PAC will be ramping up this election season to elect new champions of freedom and to defeat the entrenched political class that currently owns and controls our government.
Richard Russell “Russ” Walker at the April 15, 2009 Salem Tea Party
[Common Cause has an extensive tracing of Walker's activities if you want to dig into the details. "A Political History of Russ Walker and FreedomWorks" (October 2009) .pdf.]
Meanwhile, In a slightly shabby neighborhood of Salem, Oregon …
One block south of Kevin Mannix’s Salem office …
On the same 2008 tax return, we see this line:
He’s moved his office slightly. 2003 State Street is next door to 2005 State Street, in Salem, Oregon, next to Bruce Wood Insurance Agent for State Farm Insurance, at 2005 State Street. Now, Kevin Mannix’s law offices are listed at 2007 State Street. Here’s 2005 State Street:
2005 State Street, Salem, Oregon: State Farm Insurance
And here is 2007 State Street, the address that money comes into and out of, the Law offices of Kevin Mannix, among other pursuits.
Above: Kevin Mannix’s office at 2007 State Street in Salem, Oregon Below: street view with homeless person
The physical building where FreedomWorks’ money goes in and mystery money comes out of in Salem (and homeless person)
This is the current office of Kevin Mannix, though which at least about a million dollars of FreedomWorks’ money has passed through since 2004. This is what the homeless guy would see if he turned around 180 degrees and looked Northeast down towards 19th and State Street:
And here’s the view if he walked in the direction already facing to the next building (southwest towards 21st):
Next door the other direction
Now, you might be wondering WHY you need to know where Kevin Mannix’s office is.
Well, first of all, as noted in Part ii, that office in Salem, Oregon has received nearly a million dollars of FreedomWorks Foundation’s (the “charity”) money between 2004 and 2009 for “legal work” and “fundraising consulting.”
But it’s ALSO the address of some very interesting entitities. Such as “Common Sense for Oregon,” who just sent out this piece, as noted in the Ridenour Press:
According to publisher of Ridenbaugh Press on October 5th:
Common sense? Published by Randy Stapilus at 4:15 pm under Oregon In the mail It says important, highlighted in red, so it must be. Now if only they’d tell us why. It’s an unusual come-on. It breathlessly urges the recipient (our household got two, one for each registered voter) to detach and return a card showing which of our two local state House candidates we’d support. The two in our district are the incumbent, Republican Jim Weidner, and Democratic challenger Susan Sokol Blosser. (An analysis aside: In this year, Weidner has to be considered the favorite, but Blosser is well-known and has run an intensive campaign, so the contest has to be considered competitive.) The sheet says, “Your opinion matters. That’s why we’re asking you to review your two choices for State Representative and send in the card of the candidate you favor. It only takes a few second and postage has already been paid.” Well … my opinion as a voter may matter, but what follows from that is that I should vote. Our first question was, how many people may think that in doing this, they’ve already voted? The other immediate question was, who is Common Sense for Oregon (their logo but not their mailing address calls them a political action committee) and what do they want the cards for? They don’t say….
But, Staphilus notes:
… the filing in the Oregon Secretary of State’s office for Common Sense for Oregon PAC, which lists as its directors Ross Day and Kevin Mannix. Mannix is the former Republican candidate for governor, attorney general and the U.S. House, and former state GOP chair. Day previously led Oregonians in Action, which (like Mannix) was heavily involved in conservative ballot issues, most notably the land use Measure 37. Its web site emphasizes opposition to government waste.
Well, at least we know WHERE the cards came from.
Next door to this place (to the Right) –>
They originated in some fundamental sense in those law offices, where Common Sense for Oregon is registered, as is VOTE OREGON LLC, and VOTE LLC, with Russ Walker, until recently vice-chair of the Oregon Republican Party (ORP) and employee of FreedomWorks and its predecessor, whose name escapes me, back to 2000. Walker’s FreedomWorks Oregon has been involved in some interesting mailings before. As I covered back on November 12, 2007:
But let’s return to that office on State Street. Who is President of “Common Sense for Oregon” (According to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Corporation Division filings?)
Kevin Mannix. (Secretary is “Glenn Pelikan.”) He’s the “REGISTERED AGENT” as well.
Of BOTH the:
- [Reg. No.] 570358-92 COMMON SENSE FOR OREGON FOUNDATION, and
- [Reg. No.] 570359-91 COMMON SENSE FOR OREGON, INCORPORATED
One is, of course, a “charity” and the other is, naturally, a 501(c)4 “hide the donors” civic league.
Because this is the Hydra: lop off one head, and it grows two more. But they keep repeating the same behaviors over and over, just like the original. (In this case, Citizens for a Sound Economy, whose 501(c)4 became Freedomworks, and whose 501(c)3 became Americans for Prosperity.
the old CSE logo:
and FreedomWorks OLD logo:
and the NEW logo:
and the Americans for Prosperity logo:
Don’t know how John Fund, formerly “On the Trail” for the Wall Street Journal, and now with the American Spectator, wandered into the shot. Oh, wait. I do.
And, of course, you KNOW that there’s a “AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY, INC.” There is. We know that All of the Above were founded and funded by the Koch Brothers. We move on. And that name, Glenn Pelikan? Why does that ring a bell in my memory? Oh, right:
“Mannix: Freedom Work$?” (12 Nov. 2007) [...] Of the $11,617 of I[n] K[ind] contributions, $11,617 came from Kevin L. Mannix PC. The Salem Golf Club ponied up $1500, and another $180 in miscellaneous cash contributions filled out the C&E report for a grand total of $13,297. Even more astoundingly, the $1680 in cash just covers the total cash expenditures of $1443.25. Kevin L. Mannix, PC had supplied 87% of the financing … all “In Kind” of course. And it’s comforting to know that golf courses care so much about regulating strippers. There are more. All with the same pattern: regular billings of about $200 to $500 listed as “In Kind” contributions from Kevin L. Mannix, PC. [Oregon] I[nitiative] P[etition] 53 has exactly the same contributors and numbers as IP51. Same Chief Petitioner (Glenn Pelikan). Slightly different PAC name: “Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse PAC.” And, Kevin L. Mannix, PC, IK contribution: $3700. The “Crimefighters PAC” is pushing Petition 41, and Kevin Mannix is, again, chief petitioner, and the ENTIRE contributions come to $178,500, with zero cash contibutions. Loren Parks kicks in $173,000 “A” and “Democracy Direct” and Kevin L. Mannix, PC, kicks in the other $5500 IK. There are no other contributors. There are more petitioners (three) than there are contributors (two) and numbers of actual pennies on hand (not a one). There are more examples, but you get the picture. Surely this legal largesse can’t all be coming from the same 2006 Kevin Mannix who* “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.” Well, just a random guess, but it seems like he’s found that balance. [...]
[* See "Mannix personally pockets campaign cash" from BlueOregon, April 2006.] OK. They’ve been in the petition business for a few years, together. Let’s see. What about VOTE LLC and VOTE OREGON LLC? Er, it’s kind of mixed up, but, VOICE OF THE ELECTORATE LLC is the registree for V.O.T.E. OREGON LLC, Same address:
REGISTERED AGENT Start Date 03-09-2009 Resign Date Name ROSS ALAN DAY Addr 1 2007 STATE STREET CSZ SALEM OR 97301
Slightly different registry numbers, 585345-96 and 586665-96. Same agent. Same address.
And, so on and so forth.
In one case, Ross Alan Day lists his employer as Common Sense for Oregon
The same holds true with Ballot Measure 73, which began its life at petition booths under the title of the “Sex Crimes and Drunk Driving Sentencing Act.”
570358-92 DNP ACT OREGON 01-08-2009 01-08-2011 Entity Name COMMON SENSE FOR OREGON FOUNDATION
And we see: Kevin Mannix President; Registered Agent, 2007 State Street, Salem Oregon, etcetera. Same thing for (no surprises here, folks!)
570359-91 DNP ACT OREGON 01-08-2009 01-08-2011 Entity Name COMMON SENSE FOR OREGON, INCORPORATED
and these (three more heads to the hydra):
530185-95 OREGON ANTI-CRIME ALLIANCE
524429-94 OREGON ANTI-CRIME ALLIANCE FOUNDATION
524425-98 OREGON ANTI-CRIME ALLIANCE, INCORPORATED
All Kevin Mannix, 2007 State St. etc.
My ballot came in Saturday’s mail. And, as of Monday, October 18, 2010, this is what we know about the “Yes on 73″ committee Committee number 14709 at the Oregon Secretary of State’s website (Hint: just plug the number into the search box and hit “search”): :
Gee. Every single contribution but one from Kevin Mannix or Mannix-controlled entitities. Except one. For exactly $100 of “miscellaneous” contributions. When you look at the petitioning level, it gets even stranger. This is one page of the much longer expenditures report for Committee number 13498 at the Oregon Secretary of State’s website (Hint: just plug the number into the search box and hit “search”):
Every entity listed is controlled or a partnership with Kevin Mannix. And virtually every entity does business through 2007 State Street in Salem, Oregon.
And those are the only entities that “contributed” to this ballot measure’s signature campaign. They more or less repeat on the “Yes on 73″ committee.
OK: We know that a million dollars has poured into that address from FreedomWorks since 2004. And we know that all of this comes back out, completely hidden by an endless variety of masks and masquerades, but still all c0incidentally linked by Kevin Mannix.
And, as I look at my Oregon Voter’s Guide, all of the statements contained in FAVOR of Mannix’s proposition come from entities controlled by Kevin Mannix:
What does it mean?
Well, I have my ballot in my hand, and my voter’s pamphlet, and, despite Oregon’s decades of public disclosure laws, I know nothing whatsoever about who’s financing this Draconian ”law and order” measure.*
[Nobody else ponied up to support it. Mostly, prosecutors, etc. are against it, because it's simply an unfunded prison mandate when Oregon's releasing prisoners wholesale because we can't keep our jails open and staffed.]
Instead of taking the time-honored path of legislation through consensus, Mannix and his backers have written a “take it or leave it” ballot measure, stealth financed the signature gathering (and ask yourself, who’s not going to sign something called (from the Oregon SOS website):
Statement of Organization for Petition Committee
Name: Sex Crimes and Drunk Driving Sentencing Act
Statement Effective From: 01/05/2010 to present
Filing Type: Amendment
Address: 2700 State St [sic]
Salem, OR 97301
Campaign Phone: (503) 480-0523
Name: Kevin L. Mannix
Mailing Address:2007 State St.
Salem, OR 97301
Work Phone: (503)364-1913
Email Address: email@example.com
And that’s the point.
[Note: this doesn't have anything to do with Oregon. I merely
stuck it in for dramatic effect, rather than spending a long time
finding something apropos to put here. - hvs mgt.]
What does all this mean?
Well, partially it means that FreedomWorks has been extremely interested in Oregon’s internal politics for at least a decade now. And they have gone to great lengths to hide their involvement — prima facie evidence, many would agree, that something is extremely fishy about in this not-State of Denmark.
They’re not even a particularly good “charity” according to Charity Navigator:
Worse, our state media seems to not give a flying FUCK that we have reached this sorry state of affairs. Rome burns while they fiddle around with the ho-hum minutiae of another campaign. And, after years of patient infiltration FreedomWorks has … but soft.
My point is not to point fingers, except to say that after years of fighting financial transparency laws, one politician — former GOP state chair, GOP nominee for Attorney General, and GOP nominee for Governor, and former Democratic (and Republican) State Representative — Kevin Mannix has finally succeeded.
He may well be the very first politician caught red-handed laundering money from himself to himself, via himself.
I doubt that he’ll be the last.