Mission Omission

What Redmond Pastor Ken Hutcherson Failed to Disclose About His "Christian Values"–Fueled Campaign

Mission Omission

Kelly O

It's well known that Pastor Ken Hutcherson, the leader of Redmond's Antioch Bible Church, has it out for the members of the Snoqualmie Valley School Board. They got on his bad side in 2008 by allowing a "Day of Silence" at Mount Si High School that was designed to raise awareness of discrimination faced by gay teenagers.

What's less well known is that after Hutcherson lost his 2008 fight over the Mount Si Day of Silence, and after he got booed while speaking at Mount Si's Martin Luther King Jr. Day assembly that same year, he quietly made it his business to make the entire Snoqualmie Valley School District feel some pain.

Specifically, this year Hutcherson used money from a nonprofit he controls to help fight against a $56 million bond measure that would have helped repair Mount Si High School's decaying floors, installed wheelchair accessible ramps in the school's portables, and fixed other buildings in the district (while also paying for construction of a new middle school).

"I said, 'All right, there's more than one way to skin a cat,'" Hutcherson told The Stranger on September 16, explaining his opposition to the bond measure.

The measure failed by one vote in a February 8 special election. Then, after Hutcherson took out a newspaper ad against it and flew an anti-bond-measure banner behind an airplane, the measure failed again in an April 26 special election—this time by about 1,000 votes.

Problem is: Hutcherson didn't tell the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission about the money he was spending to fight the bond measure, even though he was behind two sizable independent expenditures. In April, Hutcherson used the nonprofit KHM Families Inc. to pay $450 for the half-page ad, which ran in the Snoqualmie Valley Record and urged people to vote no on the bond measure because "we cannot trust the school board to protect our children." He also used the nonprofit to foot the $500 bill for hiring the airplane to pull a banner around the school district's skies reading: "VOTE NO ON THE SNO VALLEY SCHOOL BOND."

Hutcherson told The Stranger that he wasn't aware of the reporting requirements, and that the expenditures fit within his nonprofit's mission, "Because it's for helping families—helping families stand strong on the Christian values." (The most recent tax filing available for KHM Families Inc. declares that the nonprofit operates "exclusively for charitable and religious purposes.")

Hutcherson added that he resorted to hiring a plane to pull a banner because "it cost more than a hit man." He then said he was joking about the hit-man thing.

Lori Anderson, spokesperson for the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, says Hutcherson's lack of expenditure reporting could ultimately result in a fine, "if they don't file the report." The commission, Anderson said, will be getting in touch with him.

Hutcherson, for his part, said he's waiting to be contacted. "I have not heard anything," he said. "If they want the books, the books are wide open." recommended

With research by news intern Marley Zeno.


Comments (31) RSS

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Baconcat 1
So if Ken Hutcherson doesn't get his way, he'll take it out on kids and the disabled.

That's some classy shit right there.
Posted by Baconcat on September 21, 2011 at 9:16 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 2
@1 - It's a level playing field.
Posted by MacCrocodile on September 21, 2011 at 9:28 AM · Report this
@2 Also a very Xtian one.
Posted by maddogm13 on September 21, 2011 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Have you asked the IRS about their non-profit status?
Posted by cruddee on September 21, 2011 at 11:10 AM · Report this
monkey 5
What #'s 1, 2, 3, and 4 said.
Posted by monkey on September 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM · Report this
sikandro 6
He hired a plane because it cost more than a hitman? Is that supposed to be less?
Posted by sikandro on September 21, 2011 at 11:17 AM · Report this
treacle 7
Planes are cheaper than assassins?

Also, allegedly Xtian leaders think it's funny to joke about killing people?

And they think that making things worse for people and children and schools is a way to further Christian values?

Ye gods. The man has gone mad with what little power he has.
Posted by treacle on September 21, 2011 at 11:22 AM · Report this
Eli Sanders 8
@6: No, he said "more."

This was Hutch attempting to make a joke about the relative cost of a plane vs. a hit man.

I didn't get it at first, either.
Posted by Eli Sanders on September 21, 2011 at 11:27 AM · Report this
The Sky Bully has a lot to answer for with twats like this on his side.
Posted by tiktok on September 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM · Report this
iridius 10
Can someone chime in here about the legality of a non-profit that isn't geared towards politics getting into politics?
Posted by iridius on September 21, 2011 at 11:56 AM · Report this
iridius 11
Churches are typically 501(c)(3) organizations as I understand it. The actions taken here by Hutcherson seem to violate the IRS code:…

Isn't it time someone reported him?
Posted by iridius on September 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM · Report this
sloegin 12
Yeay verily, blessed are those who make the crippled unable to access public buildings and make lame the children who walketh on bad flooring.

Luke something something...
Posted by sloegin on September 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM · Report this
it's been mentioned before, but that man shows the effects of repeatedly enduring some serious head trauma.

david duerson had honor. ken's a living, angry mess.
Posted by deepconcentration on September 21, 2011 at 12:04 PM · Report this
Hurting disabled children will sure show them gays. Look what they made him do!
Posted by also on September 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM · Report this
ObeyTheFist 15
The fine for mixing tax-exempt status with disqualifying activity should be the loss of tax-exempt status, not a financial penalty.
Posted by ObeyTheFist on September 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 16
@15- He'd just create a new tax-exempt entity.

The penalty should be a fine, losing tax exempt status and getting exiled to Canada by trebuchet.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on September 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM · Report this
Lord Basil 17
This is all an obvious and ridiculous lie!
Posted by Lord Basil on September 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM · Report this
@15: So basically any tax exempt organization that has political opponents is toast. Pick any org and I'll bet you can find some example, somewhere, of someone engaging in disqualifying activity. I'm not justifying it, just saying there's a reason we don't use the death penalty for jaywalking.
Posted by also on September 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM · Report this
Running bonds and levies are not an "even" playing field. The entity that needs to pass the bond, the school district, can not campaign or ask people to vote yes. If they are lucky, there is a parent group that will band together to help get it passed. The PDC looks at the formation of such groups very closely to determine if they are in compliance. It is terrible if he is allowed a free pass while us citizens are following the PDC rules.

Ken is being a douche, wielding what little power he has available to him. It doesn't sound like much but $1,000 spent on a school bond election can make the difference of a couple of percentage points. Add on to that the burden that school bonds require 60% of the vote (The only item left that requires 60% of the electorate) and it gets very hard to pass a bond.

Posted by kmq1 on September 21, 2011 at 1:39 PM · Report this
merry 20

Just.. wow.
Posted by merry on September 21, 2011 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Douches gonna douche
Posted by brokn2pieces on September 21, 2011 at 1:55 PM · Report this
@16 Canada has done nothing, NOTHING to deserve that. Go splatter his ass somewhere else.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 21, 2011 at 2:11 PM · Report this
"... stand strong on the Christian values."

They should plead with God to plague the School Board's harvest with locusts, then burn the buildings and kill everyone - women and children too. Plenty of "Christian Values (tm)" precedent for that in the Good Book.
Posted by ctmcmull on September 21, 2011 at 2:14 PM · Report this
What a nasty human being. I hope he pays a big fine and if possible does jail time.
Posted by Weekilter on September 21, 2011 at 4:00 PM · Report this
Well, if he loses his church, he would be an ideal hire for any drug cartel due to his love for terrorizing innocent people. He's probably mulling over offers right now.
Posted by MacGruber on September 21, 2011 at 8:21 PM · Report this
Hutch --
yur Religiosity's a Crutch

for such a curmudgeon
to use it as a bludgeon

is a bit much.

But, Thank GOD Religion is such Good Business!
Posted by 2embarassed2byTP on September 22, 2011 at 3:40 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 27
He should be a politician, he already understands the game they play ... and has about the same morals to boot.
Posted by KittenKoder on September 25, 2011 at 1:13 PM · Report this

Dear Hutch Hutcherson,

Make you a deal, you keep your church out of our schools and we'll keep our government out of your church. It's the same deal we've made everyone else and it seems to have worked just fine for the last 235 years or so.
Posted by MichaelfromHA on September 25, 2011 at 1:51 PM · Report this
The fine is Washington state thing with the public disclosure commission. Tax exempt status is granted by the IRS.
Posted by bribri on September 25, 2011 at 11:52 PM · Report this
The penalty should be a fine, losing tax exempt status and getting exiled to Canada by trebuchet.

Other than abusing our blameless neighbo(u)rs to the north, I like the cut of your jib. And your nym!
Posted by tensor on September 26, 2011 at 11:14 PM · Report this
He believes he is called to be a pastor and therefore his actions are automatically justified to the public and to his congregation, he is justified because he can find a scripture to back anything he does. Christianity is convenient for any excuse you do in life. Look at how many have gotten away with it so far.
Posted by roberle73 on September 27, 2011 at 9:50 AM · Report this

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