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Mannix: Freedom Work$?Hart Williams for Salem-News.com
Gosh. What the HECK is Kevin Mannix doing for FreedomWorks?
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - In 2005, he was the biggest FreedomWorks "political consultant," for $200,089, and a consultant for $70,989 in 2004, as reported back on March 8th.
Now that the 2006 tax returns for the FreedomWorks Foundation have shown up, we see that he was paid $268,650 for "Legal services."
This is particularly interesting since Mannix is chief petitioner for several ballot measures THIS year, and was a gubernatorial candidate in 2006 (* losing in the primary). In 2002, Mannix was the GOP's nominee in the gubernatorial race, and lost narrowly to current Oregon Governor Ted Kulongosky.
Even MORE interesting, in early 2006, BlueOregon noticed The Oregonian's coverage of Mannix's cookie-jar raids of his campaign funds: "Mannix personally pockets campaign cash in the news".
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 committees, 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.
This is, to our knowledge, the first reporting of the additional $268,650 ("Legal services") that went to Mannix in 2006. When added,with 2005's $200,089 ("Fundraising consulting") and 2004's $70,989 ("Consulting"), the total comes to $539,728 since 2004, or another 78% above that $690,646 for ten years — assuming that the extra half-million went into Kevin Mannix's pocket. No. It just went into Kevin L. Mannix, PC.
This is especially intriguing because it's the way that FreedomWorks does business, TOO.
From their OTHER 2006 tax return (That was FreedomWorks FOUNDATION, this is from FreedomWorks, Inc.), the following are listed as "Related Organizations":
"Citizens for a Sound Economy" ["Dormant" since CSE was morphed INTO FreedomWorks in 2005]. FreedomWorks' Chair, Dick Armey, the former GOP House Majority leader under Newt, back during the Impeachment days, made over a half million dollars for running it in 2006.
In the case of "Citizens for PERS Reform" we see another OREGON issue. Remember, FreedomWorks is a NATIONAL "free market" policy shop, and political something-or-other. What are they doing so heavily invested in little, teeny Oregon?
Are we their laboratory petrie dish? With just a shade more than 3 million people and our initiative and referendum system, perhaps Oregon makes a nice statistical electoral model for experimental legislation.]
And for each of the officers, the explanation of one of the "Related" relationships is the same:
" Historical relationship/Common board members and officers."
The reason is that FreedomWorks Foundation ALSO paid the officers. For instance, "Honorable Richard K. Armey" received $100,833 in compensation from FreedomWorks, Inc. BUT he also received $403,333 from FreedomWorks Foundation. (How much Armey received for operating the Oregon branch of the operation isn't listed.)
Now, FreedomWorks has been quite active in Oregon, sending out "hit" pieces on several legislators earlier this year … in a NON-election year, which seems strange.
And, the FreedomWorks, Inc. tax return shows that in 2006, they spent $5,198,677 for "Federal and State campaigns: Advocacy, research and education on reforming Federal and state policy in areas such as taxation, social security, spending policy, litigation reform and other related issues."
Adding "Public Affairs" and "Other Programs" you get $5,461,994 So, about 85% of FreedomWorks, Inc's money is spent on advertising. The other two significant expenses are salaries and fundraising. The reason that FreedomWorks is an "Inc" is that it's a 501(c)4, which means that it can spend money on political campaigns, but they don't have to reveal where they GOT the $6,507,198 that they spent in 2006.
They still have to pay tax on the money, but they don't have to reveal their donors. Got that? Now, FreedomWorks Foundation — which, according to their tax returns, comprised 79.4% of Dick Armey's brain in 2006 — is a Foundation because it's a 501(c)3 CHARITABLE organization, which means that contributions are tax deductible, just like if Dick Armey was the head scoutmaster for the Girl Scouts of America or the Red Cross.
Now, here's what Kevin Mannix, PC is up to this year. According the the September 2008 I&R Statement of Contributions and Expenditures, Kevin Mannix, chief petitioner of "Oregonians for Safer Neighborhoods" Initiative Petition 40, lists contributions of $128,000 from only two sources. An "in kind" contribution from Loren Parks of Las Vegas Nevada, with a notation "A" and "Democracy Direct" which one assumes is a line of credit with "Democracy Direct, Inc." who is listed as having paid out $49,191.42 mostly to petition gatherers.
Initiative Petition 40, "Creates Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences For Certain Theft, Identity Theft, Forgery, Drug, And Burglary Offenses "
The other contribution is $5500 in "in kind" contributions from Kevin L. Mannix, PC, which is the same entity that FreedomWorks' $268,650 was paid for "Legal services."
Now, what's interesting here is that NEITHER Mannix nor Parks has laid out one thin dime, and the $49,191.42 that Democracy Direct has laid out (evidently in hard cash) is listed as an unpaid debt. ("deficit")
That's not the only petition with the same funding constellation.
The same September C& E filing lists IP51 [" Court Must Sanction, Under Specified Circumstances, Attorneys Who File Frivolous Pleadings Or Motions In Lawsuits"] which received $134,700 in "In Kind" contributions, and not a penny of actual contributions. Four parties contributed. Parks of Vegas $125,000 (also with the "A" and "Democracy Direct" notation. Kevin L. Mannix PC lists several different dates with IK "donations" in $200 and $500 increments for $3700 in phantom contributions.
Add to this mix two $3000 "IK" contributions from Northwest Physicians and Doctors Company PAC, both with the notation: "S, Consulting (funds given to OR Tort Reform Coalition for use on IP51 ").
This time, Democracy Direct lists $55,938.36 in funds they HAVEN'T spent ("Unexpended Agent Balance") so, money's been spent, even though no money has actually been given to the petition committee (the catchy "Protect Citizens From Excessive Lawyer Fees PAC"). Several expenditures to petition gatherers and combines of same, who don't tend to operate on credit, last time I checked. And, Mannix is not listed as the chief petitioner on this one.
Oregon anti-tax advocate Bill Sizemore also is funded by Parks in the same manner, IP32*, $37,000 in IK contributions, with "A" and "Democracy Direct" listed, and $2327.62 in Democracy Direct expenditures listed as a "debit." (No cash petitions. Just use Loren Park's magic credit card.)
There's IP54 [ Amends Constitution: Allows State Or Local Governments To Use Their Regulatory Authority To Restrict "Strip Acts"] which Kevin Mannix is the chief petitioner for, and representing " Oregonians Protecting Neighborhoods" which is not to be confused with the aforementioned "Oregonians for Safer Neighborhoods."
Of the $11,617 of IK 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.
IP53 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 contributions. 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 largess 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.
So, what is Kevin Mannix doing for FreedomWorks for all of that cash? Selling insurance? And how does he have all that time to be donating his legal services to so many petitions?
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