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Dick Muri thanks rival Heck for handling of JZ Knight’s contributions; Knight going to court over video leaks

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on Oct. 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
October 31, 2012 3:13 pm

Republican Dick Muri offered compliments to his Democratic rival Denny Heck in Washington’s 10th Congressional District race today, thanking Heck for giving $3,500 in campaign contributions from Yelm spiritualist JZ Knight to a women’s domestic violence shelter in Olympia. Knight’s comments about Catholics, gays, Mexicans and Jews have produced a political backlash in the past week, and three South Sound Democratic candidates have donated the funds to charity or educational groups.

The state Democratic Party also is donating $70,000 from Knight – split two ways, to the pro-Referendum 74 campaign and to the Anti-Defamation League.

Muri strikes a different tone than state Republicans in the press release he put out today, which says:

Dick Muri comments on Heck’s SafePlace donation
Lakewood, WA – Last week 10th Congressional District candidate Dick Muri called on his opponent Denny Heck to donate a $3,500 campaign contribution he had received from cult leader JZ Knight, to a charity. This request came after video footage surfaced of Ms. Knight making offensive, explicit remarks about Catholics, Jews, Gays, and Mexicans to a crowd at Ramtha’s School of the Enlightenment, in Yelm.
Yesterday, Heck’s Communications Director issued a statement denouncing the remarks and announced the campaign will be donating the contribution to SafePlace’s freedom from sexual and domestic violence program.
Muri stated his enthusiasm over Heck’s pledge to donate the $3,500 to the Olympia based charity.
“I would like to thank and commend Denny for doing the right thing by denouncing Knight’s remarks, and donating her contribution to such a noble cause. There is no place in this world for such bigoted sentiments. My opponent and I certainly have our fair share of disagreements. But, this display of good will illustrates that, Republican, Democrat or otherwise, belief in upholding a standard civility and decency is something we all can agree on.”
Heck’s decision to donate Knight’s contribution to charity follows suit with other Thurston County Democrats and the Washington State Democratic Party donating Knight’s contributions to worthy causes.

Our post on Heck’s decision to give away the money is here, and comments made later by the state Republican Party chairman Kirby Wilbur about state Democrats is here. Thurston County commissioner Sandra Romero explained her decision to give away $3,600 to charities here, and state Senate candidate Bruce Lachney’s explanation is here.

Spokesmen for Knight and her Ramtha School of Enlightenment have said her remarks, which were posted online in the form of videos, were taken out of context during a talk she gave earlier this year concerning the sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The spokesmen say she has always supported gays and lesbians although one other video posted online by the Freedom Foundation in Olympia show her describing gay men as former Catholic women.

Lawyers for JZK, Inc. also are going to court Thursday to seek a restraining order against a former Ramtha student, alleging she illegally used portions of copyrighted videos to make her own video, which she posted on YouTube.com. That video spliced film of Romero speaking to a candidate forum at Knight’s property with portions of the video showing Knight make derogatory comments about the Catholic Church.

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