The fallout from sexual misconduct and rape allegations against Seattle nightlife impresario David Meinert continues this week, as Gov. Jay Inslee donates money given to his campaign by Meinert.
Gov. Jay Inslee has said he will donate to Planned Parenthood $1,500 that Seattle nightlife impresario David Meinert gave to his campaign between 2013 and 2016, the latest development in the growing fallout against Meinert from recent rape and sexual- misconduct allegations.
Inslee’s move follows King County Executive Dow Constantine’s decision last week to either return or donate the $5,161.46 in campaign donations he received from Meinert, who owns the 5 Point Cafe and co-owns The Comet Tavern and Lost Lake Cafe. The returned political donations were first reported by The Stranger.
On Monday evening, Caleb Heimlich, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, called on other elected officials who have received donations from Meinert to return the money and “denounce his actions as disgraceful.”
“Our elected officials should show clear judgment by returning the contributions and denouncing this behavior,” Heimlich wrote in a statement.
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Artists signed to Meinert’s management company Onto Entertainment have also begun distancing themselves from the onetime power player in the local music scene. Just as Capitol Hill Block Party, which Meinert once produced, got underway last Friday, Seattle band Hey Marseilles released a statement saying the group is “working on a path forward, but know that path will not include David Meinert.”
“Regarding the allegations against David Meinert, one of the owners of our management company Onto Entertainment: We hear these women. We believe these women. We’re sickened by his behavior,” it read.
On Tuesday, a representative for The Lumineers — who shot to fame with platinum hit “Ho Hey” in 2012 — said the band has “parted with” Meinert and Onto Entertainment.
Last Thursday, a KUOW report detailing allegations from five women accusing Meinert of sexual misconduct, including rape, sent shock waves through Seattle’s restaurant and music communities. The incidents allegedly took place between 2001 and 2015. Of the two alleged rapes, one was not reported to authorities at the time, while prosecutors declined to press charges in the second, according to KUOW.
KUOW said that, in two interviews, Meinert “denied the specific allegations of rape and sexual assault made against him.” He did acknowledge, in a lengthy Facebook post that has since been deleted, that “I have been pushy and continued to make advances when I should have understood they were not welcome.”
“I don’t claim to be perfect and certainly have many faults,” he wrote last Thursday. “That’s not a secret. Age and fatherhood and the #metoo movement have given me a different perspective on my past actions.”
Meinert could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
As roughly 29,500 music fans flocked to Capitol Hill Block Party over the weekend, fliers calling for a boycott of Meinert’s bars were hung on utility poles outside the gates on Saturday. Throughout the festival, several Seattle artists also called on fans to avoid his businesses, including The Comet Tavern — a longtime hangout for local musicians. According to Block Party’s current owner Jason Lajeunesse, who also co-owns The Comet and Lost Lake, he acquired the long-running festival from Meinert and Marcus Charles in 2011 and neither have been involved since.