One full day after a video showing “mystic” and six-figure Democratic donor J.Z. Knight using vile anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic and anti-gay language made news on our pages, across Washington state and beyond, State Democratic Party officials are still refusing to return more than $66,000 in donations Knight has given in the 2012 election cycle.
As we reported Tuesday, in the current election cycle, Knight has given $66,300 to the Democratic Party and candidates in state and local races.
The self-professed spirit channeler has also given at least $60,800 to the Democratic National Committee and the re-election campaign of Pres. Barack Obama.
Republicans have taken issue with video-recorded statements made by Knight in which she is heard to disparage Catholics, make vague threats against the Catholic Church, and offer denigrating remarks about Jews and homosexuals.
“F— you, you Catholics!” Knight shouts during one clip in the video.
The spokesperson for the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle declined our request for comment.
Derogatory statements Knight makes about other groups are slightly more esoteric and too graphic to print here. The video is still available on our original post.
[Ironically, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin’s retweet of our post prompted its own act of bigotry by someone calling themselves “Allen Smith.” Smith’s Twitter profile identifies him as an “Attorney/Advocate for Social Justice.” Apparently Smith’s code of social justice excludes members of the Church of Latter Day Saints.]
Still, during and after the initial wave of negative press, the State Democratic Party is sticking by their woman.
In one sense, who could blame them? In the toughest political fight of the last thirty years for Democrats, it just makes sense to keep the 35,000-year-old Pleistocene-era warrior Ramtha on your side, even he’s nothing but a figment in the mind of a crazy woman with a fairly obvious drinking problem? It’s just best to play it safe, eh?
Perhaps that’s why Benton Strong, communications director of the State Democratic Party, affirmed in multiple statements to the press that none of the thousands of dollars his party had taken from Knight would be returned.
Wednesday afternoon, we contacted State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz to see if there might have been a change of heart. We did not receive a reply to our request for comment or an update.
So, we went down the food chain to the gubernatorial campaign of former U.S. congressman Jay Inslee and sent an email to Inslee campaign spokeswoman Jaime Smith and campaign manager Sterling Clifford asking whether Inslee – as the potential leader of the State Democratic Party should he be elected governor – had asked or would ask Pelz to return the money. There was no response from the Inslee camp.
Of course, Inslee would have ever right to lobby Pelz to give back Knight’s funds since the former congressman’s campaign has been by far the largest beneficiary of the State Democrat’s campaign fund in which Knight’s cash is co-mingled. Eighty-five percent of the more than $2 million spent by the State Democratic Party from its non-exempt fund for the 2012 election – some $1.68 million and change – has been directly spent on Inslee’s gubernatorial campaign.
Inslee’s reluctance to make the good decision – on the one hand distancing himself from Knight’s vile comments, on the other acing himself out of much-needed campaign cash – is somewhat predictable, based on his recent, bumpy track record on other ethical challenges. Though Inslee has jealously claimed the right to carry the torch on women’s issues, he’s chosen to fundraise alongside a cadre of men noted for having a different kind of burning when it comes to the female gender.
We have previously reported on Inslee’s passing of the hat during the 2012 election cycle alongside:
- former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, whose reputation as a womanizer climaxed in 2007 had an extramarital affair with the wife of his then-campaign manager;
- former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, an aspiring politician taken down by a federal investigation that identified him as the infamous “Client 9” in the records of a high-class escort ring;
- and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who, well, we all know what he did. (If you don’t remember, you can read it in the Starr Report.)
The ethical conflict over the Knight donations and Inslee’s somewhat pathological attraction to the wrong kind of men begs for some kind of reconciliation against the self-defined values of the Democratic Party. As the Washington State Republican Party noted in a release to the press Wednesday, the 2012 Washington State Democratic Party Platform contains a stirring plank on the subject of fairness and tolerance that can be appreciated by all:
“We, as Democrats, place the welfare of the people as our highest priority. We believe in the values of community, dignity, equality, opportunity, fairness, tolerance, respect, and the common good of the world we share. These values provide the basis for our ideals and are supported by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our actions define our society.”
Can there be much hope for a Democratic Party that blithely ignores its own platform principles? For the sake of Washington state and the nation, let’s hope not.