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Politics

State to judge: Make Mannix turn over records now

State to judge: Make Mannix turn over records now
Kevin Mannix. (AP file photo)
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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The state has asked a judge to order political activist Kevin Mannix to submit records connected to his involvement with the Oregon War Veterans Association, a charity accused of making unreported political contributions.

The state requested the material in July and Mannix has not delivered, Assistant Attorney General Heather Weigler said in the motion filed earlier this month.

"The state has been extremely patient with the Mannix organizations," the motion states. "In contrast, the Mannix organizations have exploited professional courtesies, made unfulfilled promises and disregarded the rule of civil procedure."

The state sued the nonprofit in 2011, contending it accepted contributions intended to help veterans and diverted the money for personal use or to benefit Mannix's political campaigns.

In her motion, Weigler said that between November 2007 and May 2010, organizations tied to Mannix and his campaign office received at least $1.1 million from the veterans association — more than 40 percent of its total revenue.

As to Mannix's role with the organization, Weigler offered evidence suggesting Mannix at a minimum helped with fundraising.

She quoted an e-mail from an unspecified large donor who said he gave the charity $2 million because Mannix told him it was "a legitimate charity" and that the donation would be tax-deductible, which was incorrect.

Tyler Smith, an attorney for Mannix, said the former candidate for governor and attorney general had little role with the charity, which is currently inactive. Smith said he and the attorney general's office had been in negotiations about which records to hand over, and he thought they were close to an agreement.

"All of a sudden, out of the blue, we get this motion to compel," Smith told The Register-Guard newspaper. "We were kind of shocked by it."

Smith said Mannix is willing to provide most of the records the state is seeking, but hopes to shield internal discussions involving political advocacy.

Smith also wants the state to narrow its request. As currently phrased, the records request would require going through 20 boxes of archived records to determine what is relevant and whether any information should be redacted, he said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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