Regarding Conquest Church, LLC:

We wrote and sent this Letter to the Editor of the Yakima Herald-Republic on 7/16/17. It was printed, after editorial cuts, on 7/26/2017.

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the 7/16/17 Letter to the Editor from Philip Ostriem.

Keith Effler, who is running for Yakima City Council in District 4, and Micaela Razo, who is running in District 6 have both taken campaign contributions from the Conquest Church LLC. Philip Ostriem is named as a “manager” in their articles of incorporation, which can be seen here:

The "registered agent" of Conquest Church LLC is Jared Bower, who is also Keith's campaign treasurer. This group has several videos on youtube, in which they talk about fielding and supporting candidates for local elected office. In some of these, Keith is in the room.

Even more weird is their video series called "Demonic Warfare", in which Jared Bower talks about the importance of exorcising demons. He also talks about exorcising demonic influences from public life.

For my own full disclosure, I have been married for 43 years to Kay Funk, MD, who is also a candidate in District 4. You can visit the campaign website at:

Mike Collins,



Regarding The Rain Shadow Report:

I doubt that Keith realized what he was doing when he wandered into this. However, when I make statements about racial profiling and ICE cooperation, I know that some people will oppose those statements, so I think carefully about the law and long term strategy. This is an important part of my decision-making process over my 35 years of working in medicine.

Separation of church and state is the first sentence in the Bill of Rights, so mingling religion with civic life should raise huge red flags in the mind of any candidate for public office, and that person should think carefully about potential violation of the law. Keith, apparently, does not have that capacity to be cautious or self-critical. If elected, he will carry that carelessness to the city council.

I am not anti-Christian. I appreciate the morality lessons of the New Testament. Faith based organizations can generate a lot of positive enthusiasm. But when that group bonding turns into Groupthink bad things happen. Yakima already has serious questions about stealthy church involvement in the homeless service projects which have been awarded public money. There are lines which should not be crossed, and those need to be carefully watched.

Other articles:

Yakima City Council candidate complies with PDC request to amend finance report

Expert says candidate's involvement in 'Rain Shadow Report' inappropriate, could break state law

Yakima City Council candidate says he wasn’t involved with ‘Rain Shadow’

Violation of election law :

YHR article on Conquest Church, LLC, campaign contributions :

Yakima Business Times


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