MEDIA WATCH: AP Goes to Kevin Mannix for Comment… On Marriage Equality?

Kevin MannixResponding to yesterday’s announcement by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum that she won’t defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court, the Associated Press went for comment to… Kevin Mannix?

Last year, Rosenblum signed on to U.S. Supreme Court briefs arguing it was unconstitutional to deny gays the right to marry.

Kevin Mannix, an attorney and former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, said the legal environment surrounding gay marriage is “in flux.”

“The most that can be said about (the federal) legal decisions is that it is a gray area,” Mannix said, “and in those circumstances, the vote of the people deserves the benefit of the doubt.”

Let’s be clear: Kevin Mannix is not an expert on the legal cases surrounding marriage equality. He’s a partisan ideologue who wants to keep Oregon in the dark ages.

But also? “Former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party” is just about the most charitable way one could describe Mannix. While he was running the party, the organization made the unusual step of paying Mannix $37,000 to pay off his old campaign debts (“State GOP Helps Chairman Retire Debt,” Oregonian Sept. 2004)—a move that was highly criticized within the party. Months later, he stepped down in order to run for governor… again. (And in the process racked up even more debt.)

He’s actually spent the last two decades unsuccessfully running for office and—most critically—enriching himself by exploiting Oregon’s initiative system. Mannix has a looooong history of creating complicated webs of organizations (foundations, non-profits, corporations, etc.) to hide the sources and movement of his campaign funding.

It’s preposterous that Mannix is putting himself forward as an expert on the legal status of marriage in the state, which he’s clearly not. He is, however, an expert at attempting to rehabilitate his image–which he has had to do many times, usually in preparation for his next (failed) campaign. He’s also got experience with financial shenanigans:

“With Kevin Mannix, his personal and political finances have always raised eyebrows,” The Oregonian, January 29, 2013

“State goes to court to seek cooperation from Kevin Mannix in veterans charity case,” The Oregonian, January 28, 2013

2 Responses to “MEDIA WATCH: AP Goes to Kevin Mannix for Comment… On Marriage Equality?”

  1. Ron Buel

    I would like to point out that although Kevin Mannix has run for statewide office many times un-successfully, I believe that he only ran for Governor once, again un-successfully. I agree with your article that it was absurb for AP to go to him for comment on marriage equality. Utterly predictable, however.

  2. Scott Moore

    Hi Ron,

    He was the GOP candidate for governor in 2002, and tried again for the nomination in 2006, but was beat in the primary by Ron Saxton.


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