Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Saturday, February 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 32° Fog
News >  Spokane

Small donation to Spokane school board campaign appears to violate federal tax law

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 27, 2017, 8:19 p.m.

A small donation made to a Spokane Public Schools board candidate appears to violate federal tax law.

The Bridge, a gospel church in Spokane, donated $50 to school board candidate Jennifer Thomas’ campaign. Thomas didn’t know the donation violated federal tax law and plans to return the money, she said.

The donation doesn’t violate state law, said a Washington State Public Disclosure Commission employee. However, federal tax law “prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches.

The donation occurred when Aaron Tilbury, the founder of the Jonah Project, a nonprofit at which Thomas works, bought two tickets to one of Thomas’ campaign events. Tilbury said he paid for the tickets using a Bridge checkbook. The Jonah Project is an offshoot of the Bridge. Tilbury said the Jonah Project is in the process of filing for its own nonprofit status.

Thomas is challenging school board incumbent Michael Wiser in November’s election.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email

You have been successfully subscribed!