* The Olympian headline focuses only on donations of JZ Knight to Dem campaigns
* Every election cycle, the media attempts to condemn candidates for accepting Knight’s money
* In 2008, 2012 and 2016, Knight’s contributions to candidates make front-page headlines
* Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Roy) said he represented all constituents, including Knight and her students
* Auditor Mary Hall (D-Lacey) took same stand and won in Yelm area districts
* Hall was first Democratic County Auditor elected in 71 years
* No Republican or Independent County Commission candidate has ever visited Knight or RSE
* RSE is an economic contributor to SE Thurston and Yelm revenue streams
* Democratic candidates follow Republican Campbell’s bold stand, support ALL constituents
* Omissions of largest donor(s) to opposing Independent candidates not in the public interest
– “Thurston commission hopefuls talk goals, gophers and Ramtha money”
By Lisa Pemberton, The Olympian, October 20, 2016
– Editor’s Note:
While I appreciate that The Olympian reporter Lisa Pemberton has been the only one from her newspaper to participate in a Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE) event (July 2006), her report Thursday evening about campaign contributions to Thurston County Commissioner candidates and listing only JZ Knight’s donations, was misplaced. In every election cycle since 2008 when Knight first decided to contribute in local races, Republican candidates all the way up the line to the Washington State Republican Chair Susan Hutchison have condemned this region’s Democratic candidates and the Thurston Democrats for accepting Knight’s donations. Yet an elected Representative from their own Republican party, Dr. Tom Campbell, DC (R-Roy), was the very first elected official to accept Knight’s contributions and subsequent invitation to visit RSE in 2005 when Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. addressed the school’s student body in Yelm on environmental issues.
Rep. Tom Campbell said he represented all constituents, including Knight and her students
and recognized the economic contributions Knight and her businesses make to the region’s revenue stream. Further, he acknowledged that prior to 2010, RSE drew the largest annual number of worldwide visitors to the area, except for state government. In 2008, Thurston Democrats Chair Roger Erksine (deceased) followed in Rep. Campbell’s footsteps being inclusive of JZ Knight and RSE students, underscoring these are not only area voters, yet live and work here, own vibrant businesses, participate in local civic issues, and have been part of the fabric of the culture here for over 30 years. County Auditor candidate Mary Hall (D-Lacey) followed and took the same stand and Knight’s donations and won in Yelm’s surrounding districts. Hall was first Democratic County Auditor elected in 71 years. While Republicans and the media piled-on in criticizing Democratic candidates accepting Knight’s campaign donations, current Democratic candidates have taken the same stand as did Rep. Campbell over a decade ago – they WILL accept Knight’s contributions, will visit her school, and will meet with RSE students to discuss issues that are important for this area’s future. County Commission District 2 candidate Kelsey Hulse solidly affirmed her accepting Knight’s money to Pemberton in The Olympian:
“‘My thinking is, I spent some time down there, went to the school fundraiser they have and the interactions that I’ve had with folks who prescribe to the belief system have been universally positive,’ she said. ‘ … And surprisingly diverse, quite frankly.'”
– Bottom line:
Pemberton’s report solely focused on Knight’s donations to the two Democratic County Commission candidates and to the People For Thurston County, a new political committee. Had Pemberton taken a balanced approach to her story, she could have informed and educated The Olympian readers on the top source(s) of funding to the largest campaign war chest with $87,667 in donations to-date, that of County Commissioner District 2 candidate Gary Edwards, a 5-term Republican Sheriff (retired) now running as an Independent. The major contributor(s) to Edwards’ campaign and District 1 Commissioner candidate John Hutchings campaigns would have been instructive to read. With such an omission, this blogger says she missed an important opportunity.
Click here for the contributors list and dollar amounts to Edwards campaign, type in “Edwards, Gary” then see the donations from the Bormans, their Keystone Masonry, plus other building trades, the Schornos, and the Clapp/Williams sisters & family.
Click here for the contributors list and dollar amounts to Hutchings campaign, type in “Hutchings, John” then see the donations from the Bormans, their Keystone Masonry, plus other building trades.
I find such omissions, in an unbalanced report published the same day as the ballots were received in area mailboxes, unwise and not in the best interests of the voting public.
– UPDATE: October 23, 2016
Perennial Thurston County election propagandist against Democrats, Glen Morgan (former of the Freedom Foundation) has again taken aim in this election, and has The Olympian’s ear. That is why
Pemberton ran with listing only Knight’s donations above, because Morgan filed suit against one of her non-profit recipients. Again, this is a tactic he does every election cycle – yawn.
Then there is this story out today:
“Cooper and Hutchings say they’re both upset by PAC’s robocall”
“The message states that it was paid for by Friends of Jimmy and We Want to Be Friends of Jimmy Too. Both political committees are led by property rights activist Glen Morgan of Rochester, a frequent critic of the Board of County Commissioners.”
We Want to be Friends of Jimmy Too has raised $2,300; its donors include Terry Ballard of Lacey, Gene and Janet Weaver of Rochester, Dream Weavers Inc. of Rochester, Kevin O’Sullivan of Olympia and Pat Tarzwell of Shelton, according to Public Disclosure Commission reports,” by Lisa Pemberton.
Blogger Klein was the Event Services Manager for Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment from 2003-2014 and has been a student of Ramtha for 31 years.