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Manweller seeks freshman term in Washington House

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Matt Manweller

WA St. Representative - Thirteenth District

Posted: Monday, October 29, 2012 9:00 am

ELLENSBURG - Matt Manweller, the Republican candidate to represent Washington's 13th district in the state House, said he sees government as the problem, not the solution.

"The problems of Washington state went from being abstract problems to very in-your-face problems," he said. "We have a horrible economic situation, and my friends and children are going to need jobs."

And while Manweller mulled the idea of running for some time, he said he had no interest in running against a fellow Republican.

So once state Rep. Bill Hinkle, R-Cle Elum, decided to retire, Manweller began to seriously consider tossing his hat in the ring.

A professor at Central Washington University, Manweller faced some scrutiny earlier this week after records request were filed into unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct involving students made in 2006, causing university officials to open an investigation, according to The (Ellensburg) Daily Record.

Manweller filed a suit against the university, saying the school violated its own policies for opening the investigation with no new information since the allegations.

"It just is so obviously politically motivated for (CWU) to come up with this six years later ... then to look into this again the week before ballots go out," Manweller said. "It's not a great thing, but I don't think it's a deal-killer."

But Manweller also said his experience as an educator would be an asset in Olympia. He's familiar with higher education and it's inner workings, the cost of which is spiraling out of control, he said.

Bonuses the state awards to university presidents should be capped at 20 percent of their yearly salary.

"I have no problem giving bonuses if the people have worked hard and earned them," he said.

The state's K-12 system also has room for improvement, he said.

"I'm not interested in blaming teachers. That's been done, and that doesn't work," he said. "We need to empower principals. They need to be in charge of their schools."

He's in favor that educators be promoted based on quality of service, not the current system that's weighted toward length of service or quality attained.

Manweller, a member of the American Federation of Teachers union, called his and other unions, including the Washington Education Association and labor unions, "the barrier to reform."

"I'm deeply intimate with the issues," he said because of his involvement. "I know that we're the problem."

Other statewide topics he views as paramount include what he calls "the non-elected bureaucracy": those who run state departments who are government-appointed rather than chosen on by the electorate. These agency's rules and regulation combine to form the Washington Administrative Code, or WAC, and are not approved by the Legislature.

One such policy would have required farmers to notify every neighbor within a specific range a day before spraying occurred.

"That's just a glaring example where you might want to get Legislative approval before you start doing something like that," he said. So one of the first bills Manweller said he would introduce would require Legislative approval of WACs before their effects are felt.

He'd also work to suspend prevailing wage laws for construction of new public schools, which are adding anywhere from 30-35 percent to the costs of schools, he said. A bond measure for a school district has a better chance of passing at $120 million as opposed to $170 million for the same construction but inflated payments.

And like other candidates in the Basin county area, water is also near the top of his priorities.

"My community is based on a vibrant agricultural industry and, without water, my community could die," he said. "In Grant County, specifically, I like the plans coming out of the Columbia Basin Development League."

One of the league's key goals is to resolve depletion to the Odessa subarea aquifer. That aquifer is particularly important to this race as Legislative lines were redrawn earlier this year to include Lincoln County in the 13th district.

Like most running for state office, the budget is going to play a big role. He said the Legislature should have had plenty of time during the last session to pass the biennial budget, which trudged its way through several special Legislative sessions before finally being passed.

"If we didn't spend six weeks discussing gay marriage last year instead of focusing on what's really important, it would have been done," he said. "Let's focus on the work at hand instead of going off of six weeks of philosophical or ideological debates."

Manweller has gone on record against gay marriage, affirming traditional marriage: between one man and one woman. He also is opposed to abortion, he said.

His opponent, Moses Lake contractor Kaj Selmann, is in favor of those measures, which Manweller called some of the biggest differences between them.

"But the biggest difference for us is that I could be a legislator on day 1," he said. "I have the education, I have the experience, and I have the understanding of public policy that he simply lacks."

Manweller has been teaching at Central for 10 years. He and his wife have two children, ages 3 and 20 months, and in his free time he enjoys fly fishing, road trips and camping.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Domanost posted at 4:44 pm on Sat, Nov 3, 2012.

    Domanost Posts: 93

    ROTFL. Tenure... [tongue]

  • chiefaeronca posted at 4:12 pm on Sat, Nov 3, 2012.

    chiefaeronca Posts: 27

    After Mr Manweller was a LOBBYIST for CWU, the president of the University was given a $500,000.00 RETENTION BONUS (after only two years of service), $50,000.00 of furniture for the Presidents Mansion and tuition increased by 14 %. Then guess what Mr Manweller was given Tenure. As well as CWU sweeping allegations of sexual misconduct under the proverbial rug. He is also bad at math, he began working at CWU in 2003. That is not ten years, that would be nine.

  • Leh posted at 7:19 pm on Wed, Oct 31, 2012.

    Leh Posts: 1

    There would be no earthly reason for CWU to want to politically block Matt. But sexual allegations are serious ... and not a desirable quality for congressional candidate. The fact that he bends truth is equally scary from a man who should have high ethical standards. Which fortunately Kaj has.

  • SteveVerhey posted at 7:09 pm on Wed, Oct 31, 2012.

    SteveVerhey Posts: 5

    There are two posts about the Manweller affair here: .

    Manweller will be unable to carry out his duties as "Representative" if elected. He should withdraw.

  • Georgie posted at 6:36 pm on Wed, Oct 31, 2012.

    Georgie Posts: 3

    Manweller is such a walking confliction. He has campaigned on tort reform but the first thing he does is run to court and file suit. So lets think just a minute...he filed suit against Central Washington University which is the State of Washington....of which he is running for state office with a salary to be paid by the state taxpayers! He is no stanger to restraining orders...his first wife filed one against him during thier divorce proceedings so he filed one against her. He filed a restraining order against Fred Huber, the man he attacked outside the radio station where he lied on air about his wife Linda Huber a former democratic county commissioner to discredit her political career. He carried those lies forward to a court of law. He actually admitted in court that he hit Fred first "because he looked aggressive"...hit him three times so hard that Manweller broke his hand. Huber was 3 months post surgery from abdominal cancer Central should have fired him then.. And now he files a restraining order against his current employer to hide the information about his dirty, dirty deeds. Do we need this much drama in our lives? What would he do in Olympia...embarass us, that's for sure.

  • anotherlocal posted at 4:50 pm on Wed, Oct 31, 2012.

    anotherlocal Posts: 2

    The Columbia Basin Herald left out many facts. If you want to be better informed go to the Ellensburg paper in 10/30/12 issue.

    You do have the right to be informed.

  • chiefaeronca posted at 8:41 am on Wed, Oct 31, 2012.

    chiefaeronca Posts: 27

    When he decided to run for public office he had to give up his first wife and remarry before anybody figured out his history, to better position himself as a moral, traditional type. If you you have been to any of the forums or debates (which he hasn't figured out the difference yet), you probably noticed he made sure to have his second wife and babies there, no matter how distracting and unhappy they were. He always made a point of pointing them out (like we could have missed them) so everybody would understand he was a 'traditional' man. If he didn't have something to hide he wouldn't have to be so obvious about it.

  • chiefaeronca posted at 7:36 am on Wed, Oct 31, 2012.

    chiefaeronca Posts: 27

    @ aronicat. "..., or wasteful lawsuits and investigations six years after-the-fact."

    If you would do your due diligence in researching Mr. Manweller you would find he has a history of being predatory toward female students. I have three grandchildren, two of which are female, that concievably will be old enough to work as a 'page' during Manweller's tenure in Olympia. I would not want him ogling, fondling, or harrasing my granddaughters while 'doing the peoples work.' Would you really be okay with a predator in the legislature when your daughter comes of age to be a page?

  • ccurtis posted at 2:04 am on Wed, Oct 31, 2012.

    ccurtis Posts: 1

    Look if Manweller does not like gay marriage well ok fine then. But next time he wants to marry one of his students perhaps it should be put up for a popular vote.

  • Georgie posted at 7:34 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    Georgie Posts: 3

    Above it states that Manweller "affirms traditional marriage between one man and one woman....yet he is on his second wife so he must believe in "one man, one woman and then another woman." He actually got his current wife pregnant while still married to his previous wife (and he was around 40 years old at the time). LIttle known fact that you won't find on his professional vita...he taught at Hurricane HIgh School in Hurricane, Utah and he was the soccer coach...the team manager, a sophomore became his wife two years later within days of her high school graduation (he was 30 years old then). I think we should elect a man with a higher moral fiber to represent the people of the 13th district. We don't want him to embarass us in Olympia by acting in the same manner as he has been.

  • johnny left posted at 7:15 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    johnny left Posts: 5

    The person we elect to represent us in the 13th should represent us all regardless of which county or party or backgrounds. this candidate had started his campaign very early and has pandered special interest to acquire substantial funding;who knows what he has promised in return.Also he has claimed endorsements where there are none! [ellensburg daily record and ???] and recently the "illicit advancements for female students story he claims that the university found it "UNSUBSTANTIATED" when actually i read that yes those things did happen,but due to the time lapse [poor handling by U.] the issues could not be pursued further. Be that as it may the Question we must ask ourselves is do we trust matt alone with our daughters; sisters mothers;or wives ;when they have an issue to take to their representative? I see too many character flaws and integrity issues in this candidate. He had plenty of time and money to bring these issue to light early on of his own accord instead he has chosen hide and deceit. Then he claims its political! He is right; he chose to run for a political office and to try to hide pertinent information from his potential constituents.Perhaps the best spot for matt is in his current position as a professor ;now that the record is clear and his colleagues and employers are aware ;he can be monitored and all can be safe again,PLEASE dont give him a new pool to destroy!!! There is a very moderate well qualified candidate in Kaj Selmann.

  • bbenson posted at 2:46 pm on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    bbenson Posts: 5

    Compare the two articles on Matt Manweller and Kaj Selmann. Kaj is a person who demonstrates great integrity, honesty and genuine concern. He is committed to LISTENING and getting detailed information on which to base decisions. His first question on any decision will be "is it fair?" Manweller has been accused of lying, sexually harrassing students and has been filmed shouting and degrading aconstituent who asked a question (See the Yakima Herald, Daily Record and Utube for verification). Manweller claimed to have been given the endorsement of the Ellensburg Daily Record on his Facebook page. He did NOT receive their endorsement. Manweller is not a person you can trust to be looking out for our interests. He will be looking out for his own! This is why so many Ellensburg citizens support the Moses Lake candidate, not the Ellensburg candidate. He is an educator, but he is not going to be a force for improvement in education or reduction of tuition. He will paralyze legislation while Kaj Selmann will work RESPECTFULLY and deliberatively to arrive at effective legislation that will benefit the 13th District. Please give your vote to the one who will intelligently and carefully weigh all decisions based on the needs of the people he represents. KAJ SELMANN!

  • aronicat posted at 8:33 am on Tue, Oct 30, 2012.

    aronicat Posts: 1

    Van Brunt highlighted an important feature in this article: the legislature needs more teachers who will find solutions for students. The cost of tuition increases on the backs of students every year by double digits (2-4 times the rate of inflation) and everyone should agree this is a problem. Lawmakers' and administrations' solutions are changing one oversight board for another, or pack more students in classes, or wasteful lawsuits and investigations six years after-the-fact.

  • ThinkAboutIt posted at 9:48 pm on Mon, Oct 29, 2012.

    ThinkAboutIt Posts: 1

    Mr. Manweller has been has been engaged in the academic community all of his adult life. He has shown contempt for the voters of Washington, demonstrated volatile behavior and is exceptionally good at pandering to a voting block he needs to elect him. I doubt he has any more respect for members of the Ag Community than he does his own collegues.

    His problem with "alleged" reports of past sexual harassment is that he knows that at some level they are true. Why else would he be so vehement that any trace of the episode be expunged from his record? Me thinks he doth protest too much!

    Manweller doesn't give a hoot about you, me or central Washington. He's just wants out of a small pond where the water temperature is too hot! Think about it. He's too good for his collegues, too good for the rural community, and soon he'll be too good for Olympia. He'll do more harm than good for his- please don't send him to the legislature. We need someone who knows how to work with others. Not brag about his PhD and how smart he thinks he is!