Echoing moves by the state Democratic Party and other candidates, Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero said Tuesday night she is giving away $3,600 in campaign contributions received from Yelm-based channeler JZ Knight, whose comments about Catholics, Mexicans and gays have caused a political stir.
Romero, who was the last South Sound candidate to defy Republican calls to give the money back, went a step further than the party, congressional candidate Denny Heck, or state Senate candidate Bruce Lachney – all of whom are donating money received from Knight to political causes or charity.
Romero also called on Knight to “retract” her statements, describing them as “highly offensive” and “grossly disparaging of a large portion of the people who live in Thurston County.”
Spokesmen for Knight and her Ramtha School of Enlightenment have said her remarks were taken out of context during a talk about the sexual abuse by Catholic priests and that she has always supported gays and lesbians.
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But in a news release, linked here, Romero said new videos released Friday (which prompted state Democrats to give away $70,000 received from Knight) offered clearer evidence:
The Democrat said she is giving the money to two charities – one sponsored by SafePlace in Olympia and that assists Latina victims of domestic violence and another, called C.I.E.L.O., that serves as a cultural center for Latinos and others in the community, Romero said.
Romero and other Democrats had been under pressure from state Republican Party chairman Kirby Wilbur to distance themselves from the comments.
Her Republican challenger, Andrew Barkis, also called for her to so.
The first tape spliced footage of Knight speaking with other footage from Romero’s attendance at a candidate forum at Knight’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment.
Other videos showing Knight talking about gay men being former Catholic women and one showing her talk about Mexican immigrants breeding like rabbits were posted online by the Freedom Foundation, a think tank that has tangled with Thurston County commissioners over land-use issues.