Washington State Democrats will jettison estimated $70,000 in tainted campaign funds donated by self-proclaimed ‘mystic’ J.Z. Knight, a decision made late Friday nearly five days after videos of Knight making bigoted and racist comments about Catholics, gays, Jews and Mexicans became public.
NW Daily Marker has reported since Monday that Knight has also given handsomely to the Democratic National Committee and the re-election campaign of Pres. Barack Obama, some $60,800 in total based on Federal Election Commission records. Some of the donations were received at a fundraising event attended by Obama and Knight, at which the two were photographed together (photo at right).
The comments made by Knight have created a firestorm of controversy appear in videos made by former students at Knight’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment that were given to the Freedom Foundation – a libertarian think tank – who made them public.
The targets of Knight’s profane rants include Catholics, gays and Mexicans:
“F— you, you Catholics!”
“We will come on you in a terror. We will bring… St. Peter’s temple down and we will swallow it in the sea.”
“The invasion of the Mexicans who just breed like rabbits, they are poison.”
“I’m telling you this, every G—damn Mexican family is a Catholic —they’re breeding like f—ing rabbits.”
“All Mexicans are not worthy of conscious thought.”
“San Francisco is beating off the Catholics from down below.”
“All gay men were once Catholic women.”
So far, no decision appears forthcoming from the Obama campaign or the DNC about following the lead of Washington’s Democrats to dump Knight’s hate-earned cash.
According to the report in The Seattle Times:
After resisting calls to return the cash when some of the videos surfaced earlier this week, a party spokesperson Friday evening said the Democrats have decided to donate half the Knight money to the campaign for Referendum 74 to legalize gay marriage, and half to the Anti-Defamation League.
“Recently, we’ve been made aware of comments made by a contributor to the Democratic Party that do not reflect our party’s values. While we did not solicit any contributions from JZ Knight, it is important that we make it clear that we view her comments as offensive and do not condone this kind of vitriol,” said state Democratic Party [Chairman] Dwight Pelz in a statement through a spokesperson.
The Times story did not indicate whether individual state candidates who have received monies from Knight and the Ramtha School of Enlightenment – $3,600 by 2nd legislative district state Senate candidate Bruce Lachney, $3,600 by Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero, $1,800 by State Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens – have joined with Pelz in ditching the toxic cash.
Still, Pelz & Company have not exactly donned the hairshirt to walk a penitent path to repair the damage done by five days of vacillation on whether to act ethically or to keep sitting on tainted funds. Delivering a $35,000 bag of cash to Approve Referendum 74 campaign headquarters – vaunted by the Democrat’s progressive base as a Normandy Invasion of sorts against conservative values – can hardly be considered a painful act of contrition.
In fact, if Knight’s words were considered toxic enough for State Democrats to return the money, how do they become clean simply by handing them over to another campaign? Knight has every right to say what she said, but free speech is partnered with the freedom of society — as distinct from the government — to mete out social consequences for speech it does not like. The decision of Pelz represents a win-win for progressive Democrats with no real resolution on behalf of Catholics who were those chiefly offended.
Since most of Knight’s bigotry is aimed at Catholics, some might scratch their head and wonder, “Wouldn’t a donation to Catholic charities be more appropriate?” Appropriate, yes, but almost certainly a choice that would be been tut-tutted by Democratic operatives. Democrats and Catholics are on the White House’s “pay no mind” list right now, and in the larger view Catholics might foolishly use the money to fund dangerous things like pregnancy counseling centers, food banks, or other subversive endeavors.
Come to think of it, is the Catholic Church for or against the same-sex marriage referendum Knight’s money is being redirected to support? Knight would surely describe it more colorfully, but on closer inspection of the Democrat’s mea culpa I’ll just say that I’m beginning to see the ironic outline of another very obscene gesture aimed at the Catholic Church.