Jay Manning, JZ Knight’s SuperPAC Director was finally busted for one of his many violations of Washington State’s campaign finance laws this last election. As former Director of the Department of Ecology and former Chief of Staff for Governor Gregoire, he knew better than to hide his financial affairs documents, but he did anyway. Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson was reelected, in part, on a campaign promise to more rigorously enforce the state’s campaign finance laws. Last Friday, when Ferguson filed the lawsuit (linked here) in Thurston County Superior Court against Jay Manning, Ferguson appears to be demonstrating that he is very serious about this campaign promise.
In an effort to help the Attorney General fulfill his campaign promise, we have been doing our little part to help in this process. Following the old Homeland Security “if you see something, say something” slogan, we sent a few notices of campaign violations to the Attorney General. One of these included the fact that Jay Manning, in his capacity as Trustee for Eastern Washington University and in his position as Chairman of the Leadership Council for the scandal plagued Puget Sound Partnership agency – he had failed to file any financial disclosure reports (also known as F1s).
Unfortunately for the overworked and longsuffering staff at the Public Disclosure Commission, this happens to many elected officials every year, and typically represents the majority of the simple case load for the staff as they file complaints against everyone who fails to turn in these annoying forms. However, it is less common for a political veteran like Jay Manning to miss these, and even more unusual for him to fail to submit them for such a long time. He certainly knew better.
Jay Manning politically aligned himself with a weird cult leader
As we wrote earlier, Jay Manning also succeeded in obtaining a waiver request granted by the Public Disclosure Commission to hide the client list of his law firm and to apparently keep the historic close affiliation he had with local cult leader JZ Knight a secret. It was understandable that Mr. Manning wanted to keep Cascadia Law Group’s close association with JZ Knight secret because of the political toxicity aurora which surrounds her. JZ Knight claims to channel a 35,000 year old homicidal Lemurian warrior spirit named “Ramtha” who has travelled through space and time (violating the laws of physics and common sense) to donate large sums of money to the Thurston County Democrats. Ramtha has also warned her/its followers to prepare for the impending invasion of the “Lizard People” among other apocalyptic prophesies. The Washington State Democratic
Party divested themselves of her/its cash in 2012 when videos were released to the public of her/it making racist and hate speech about Mexicans, Jews, Catholics, gays, organic farmers, and others. However, Jay Manning still ran a local political Super PAC for JZ Knight and apparently did all this without disclosing his personal financial records as required by law. Hence the original complaint, and now the lawsuit by the Washington State Attorney General. (See source documents linked at the end of this article for reference)
Sometimes no press is best
Unlike the other two complaints we’ve recently filed which have resulted in AG lawsuits, this one didn’t merit a press release. Partly, this is because it was overshadowed by the AG’s lawsuit against President Trump, which is a little more exciting and sucks all the oxygen out of the press conferences. Some also speculate this is partly because Jay Manning is a political insider, a Democrat Party stalwart, and a former campaign donor to Bob Ferguson. Regardless of the reasons for not putting out a press release on this complaint, it does look like Mr. Ferguson is striving to fulfill at least one campaign promise. It also appears more likely that he will prevail against Mr. Manning than against President Trump since Jay Manning has already admitted guilt at the last Public Disclosure Commission meeting. There isn’t much to dispute. As a former employee of the Washington State Attorney General’s office, it seems likely that Mr. Manning knows the drill and will negotiate a fine and settlement – maybe less than the $10,000 Secretary of State Kim Wyman paid last month for an even less significant violation.
Everyone gets a choice, choose wisely
Considering the fact that nearly every other complaint currently pending against JayManning is much more significant than this one, we are reminded about that scene from the Matrix where Neo is told about his choice to take the blue pill or the red pill. For Mr. Manning, he is likely regretting he swallowed the JZ Knight/Ramtha pill and ending up in this unanticipated mess. As he is well aware, this is just the beginning. He has skated past controversy for years, but joining a racist cult leader in a political alliance can have unintended consequences.
With another 30 or so pending campaign finance cases – most of which involve much more serious violations, we will do our best to help the Attorney General keep his campaign promise. This should also serve as fair notice and warning to everyone to file those campaign disclosure documents promptly, please. Don’t be like Jay Manning.
OUR CONSTITUTION BEGINS WITH THE PHRASE “WE THE PEOPLE.” IT WAS THE FOUNDER’S INTENT THAT GOVERNMENT BE CREATED BY THE PEOPLE, TO SERVE THE PEOPLE. IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION FOR THE PEOPLE TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH FAILED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE “ALTERED OR ABOLISHED.” UNTIL WE RETURN TO THE FOUNDER’S INTENT, WE REMAIN WE THE GOVERNED…
(Full Disclosure: Ramtha and JZ Knight sued the author in 2014 in Federal Court for providing videos of various racist tirades she/it made in previous years to her/it’s followers as part of a public record to the Thurston County Commissioners (whose political campaigns she/it funded). Ramtha/JZ Knight claimed that the videos were selectively “edited.” She/it refused to release a full unedited video to prove the clips were edited out of context. Finally, she/it wisely chose to drop the hopeless lawsuit in 2015 since it was obvious all JZ Knight/Ramtha claims were bogus. Additionally, all the referenced PDC complaints were filed by the author against Jay Manning and the JZ Knight/Ramtha PAC he managed. The author was hopeful to see common sense restored to Thurston County once again despite the large sums of money spent by JZ Knight/Ramtha and supervised by Jay Manning. The author has been informed that Ramtha recently travelled through space and time to berate JZ Knight for wasting her money on the Democrats in Thurston County. Life truly is stranger than fiction).
Lawsuit and other pending complaints:
Can political insiders violate campaign finance laws with no consequences?
Sampling of AG and Prosecutor documents to Jay Manning
Background articles on Attorney General lawsuits: