Friday, October 12, 2007

The Primary Source of Cheryl Haskins' Campaign Money

It took a little digging, but I've discovered that a huge amount of Cheryl Haskins' campaign contributions have come from pastors, elders, and/or members of The City Church in Kirkland, where her husband Aaron Haskins is an Associate Pastor. The City Church is an enormous, nondenominational "megachurch" with links to conservative causes. Here's a list of the largest contributors to Cheryl Haskins' campaign (from the WA State Public Disclosure Commission):
  1. Mitch Soule (Kirkland): $5,000
  2. George & Norma Reece (Bellevue): $5,000 combined
  3. Russell & Julie Zylstra (Medina): $5,000 combined
  4. Rocky Tannehill (Medina): $2,500
  5. Neil & Gail Schoeber (Issaquah): $2,500 combined
With the exception of Russell & Julie Zylstra, I have confirmed that all of the above individuals are associated with The City Church in one form or another. Just Google "Mitch Soule Church," and you'll see what I mean. There are many other contributors from outside of Renton that I haven't been able to associate with the City Church (including the Zylstras), but I'd venture to say that the vast majority of Cheryl Haskins' funding is coming from church members. That's a guess, not a statement of fact.

Must be nice to have wealthy pastors and parishioners at your disposal. Too bad for Cheryl that none of them seem to live in working-class Renton.


Anonymous said...

I find it more than a little disturbing that her funding is coming from sources that may or may not have any idea as to what's "best" for Renton. While I don't love the idea of her church (however indirectly) funding such a major part of her campaign, I'm most bothered by Renton's absence from the list of hails-froms.

Ralph said...

It is unfortunate that bigotry and hatred exist anywhere, but it is especially unfortunate when they are disguised as "righteousness". The present state of our divided country is a result of many divergent opinions regarding economy, self-protection (guns), reproductive rights, international terrorism, and the unwillingness of our citizens to embrace the very foundation of our Constitution which states that "All Men are Created Equal".

Throughout the world people are discriminated against, imprisoned and even killed due to their personal religious beliefs. I can not accept any act of harming another because he/she holds beliefs other than mine, or those of their individual religious community.

I only hope that Cheryl Haskins will open her mind and her heart to the gay community which she obviously, yet unnecessarily, fears. We are among the most loving, supportive and nonviolent people in our own country and worldwide. We can offer great support financially, humanitarily and spiritually - - if Ms. Haskins can overcome her hateful religious prejudice. If not, she will sing in the choir in Hell with Jerry Falwell. ---RalphJ

Renton Citizen said...

Eloquently put, Ralph. I'm saddened that such an intelligent and talented woman would choose to direct her energies toward a negative cause. Personally, I'm not out to change her mind about anything, just expose her politics. But maybe in the process, she'll be forced to reexamine the basis of her fears.

Anonymous said...

I am extremely disappointed and enlightened all at the same time. I am an African American female who is a Renton citizen. I was excited when I saw Ms. Haskins' billboard b/c I saw a face that looked like me. I thought Ms. Haskins would be representative of me and all that it means to embody being a strong, educated, African American woman. I visited Ms. Haskins' website; read about her background (she is family-oriented/educated/civic minded..all pluses)but I was disappointed when this information (closeted homophobia disguised as family values)came out. I believe in equality and equity for all individuals regardless of(race/orientation/gender/nationality/creed/religion..etc..). I am always amazed by intolerance and ignorance especially within the black community. Prior to the civil rights movement, African Americans were denied access to equal rights/civil rights based solely on race. So I am always astonished when those in the African American community allow themselves to be used as pawns by the right wing social conservative majority who parade around being morally superior(which has turned out to be a complete hippocracy...look at Haggard and Craig as the latest examples). No matter how pretty the package (i.e. Ms. Haskins)Prejudice/Intolerance/Bigotry is always ugly . I think it's fairly clear that Dr. King wasn't homophobic given that Bayard Rustin, an openly gay african american civil rights activist was one of the principal organizers of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Rustin counseled Dr. King Jr. on the techniques of nonviolent resistance which were used to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Coretta Scott King spoke out against such bigotry which has been disguised as spiritual based ideology. I believe everyone is entitled to their own personal opinions about homosexuality however ones personal religious beliefs should not be used to deny equal rights/human rights of another group. I am a lesbian but I would feel the same way if I was heterosexual. I'd have been fine with Ms. Haskins if personally she felt homosexuality was wrong b/c everyone is entitled to their personal opinions but the fact that she is the executive director of an organization who sole purpose is to deny the same rights afforded to others to another group of individuals is very polarizing and can't be overlooked. I am saddened b/c part of me feels she would've been a very articulate innovative and effective leader and a break from the norm plus a positive role model to young black women. Ignorance/Intolerance should never be ignored and tolerated even when the face looks like mine. I went to her opponent's website (Parker)..and his website didn't exactly scream diversity/acceptance either....maybe I should run next term...hmmmmm...............

Renton Citizen said...

Powerful stuff -- thank you so much for your wisdom and honestly. One of Cheryl Haskins' organization's biggest "talking points" is that it's offensive to African Americans to relate racial discrimination to gay issues. The most powerful way to counter that statement is to hear from people like yourself who are both African American *and* gay or lesbian.

You have my vote! :-)

HRD said...

Mrs. Haskins must be better for Renton than I first imagined. With this kind of opposition being pushed against her she must have quite a bit more to offer our growing city. When did it become bad to be involved in a church, even a mega church? Lots of people belong to large organizations. Is there an unwritten rule that only Renton money can be used in Renton? We sure like it when people from other areas patronize our businesses, don’t we? Is she the only one with money coming from people outside of Renton? I would be really surprised it that were so. And is it wrong for Mrs. Haskins to have the ability to raise more money than others? When she’s elected we will want her to raise money for our city from as many sources as possible and not just from the citizens of Renton. For some reason it seems to be ok for Hillary Clinton to raise more than her competitors but not Mrs. Haskins. Hmm that’s odd. I thought it was a good thing to be honest about what you believe, especially in the market place of ideas and the public arena. At least she has not tried to pretend to be someone she isn't or to say something that she doesn't really believe. It takes temerity to be honest in our politically correct society. I guess one should only be honest if you agree with the majority or the establishment. I like people who don’t mask what they really believe just to gain an office. So what if she believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman. We all did until recent years. There are others who believe the opposite is should be true. I wish the hypocrites would back off. It is so appalling to me that those who claim to be so tolerant can be so intolerant of those that believe differently than they do. No you probably are tolerant except when it comes to evangelical Christians. The bottom line is that we can use some "New faces in Renton" that are honest and a few on November 6th.

Renton Citizen said...

Thanks for your comments. However, in my opinion, the point is that Cheryl Haskins has *not* been honest or upfront about the causes she has been involved in over the past couple of years. The fact that her organization just gutted its own website clearly demonstrates that doesn't want people to know about her divisive political past. She has tried to paint herself as a community volunteer with fresh ideas, but someone who has served as the mouthpiece for the anti-gay lobby in WA State for the past 18 months is hardly apolitical or without an agenda.

I actually admire evangelical Christians, especially those that spread a message of hope, charity, and tolerance, which I believe represents true Christian ideals. Being evangelical is completely different than being a literalist (or "Dominionist") Christian who seeks to remake our society into a theocracy. I honestly don't think that's Cheryl Haskins' goal, but she has allied herself with groups that espouse such ideologies and must therefore be held accountable for her associations.

Anyway, this isn't about "gay marriage." It's about being upfront about your divisive politics, your lack of involvement in the Renton community, and the source of your campaign funding. Cheryl Haskins has yet to credibly address any of those issues.