Democrat candidate Deb Wallace withdrew from her bid to replace outgoing Brian Baird as Representative of Washington’s Third Congressional District and spoke out against fellow state legislator Jaime Herrera when she did.
Wallace accuses Herrera of “shirking her duties by being absent from the House floor ‘for hours on end’ during key votes over the last few weeks in order to campaign” and “cast votes for her while she is absent from the floor.”
I disagree with just about everything Wallace proposes but can’t say I find her to be a dishonest person. We have far different values, but she doesn’t impress me as an opportunist, just misguided in her liberalism.
Jaime Herrera fired back with “Deb has no credibility, she has no proof.”
Herrera also issued an email statement, sent out by the Clark County GOP that stated,
Rep. Deb Wallace, a Democrat, has withdrawn from the race for Congress in the 3rd District but on her way out wants to throw some mud at me.
Wallace alleges that I have been away from the House floor “for hours at a time” during votes this year. That is false. I have one of the best voting attendance records in Olympia. In three years I’ve only missed a total of 10 out of 1,863 possible floor votes. All of the votes I missed took place before this year, and all were excused absences — I missed a few votes the day my car broke down on I-5 and the others on the day I attended my grandmother’s funeral.
Every single legislator is called off the floor from time to time for meetings. This happens most often when constituents arrive at the Capitol hoping to meet their legislators. When that happens, it is a longstanding House practice for the legislator to instruct their seatmate how they intend to vote, and allow the seatmate to push the legislator’s voting button while the legislator spends a few minutes with their constituents. I have done this, as has Rep. Wallace and virtually every legislator who has served in the House in at least the past few decades, but this does not equal “hours” away from the floor.
I am very active on this session as Assistant Floor Leader. In that role my duties include moving around the floor to work with legislators who are about to speak, and stepping into the wings of the chamber for leadership meetings. At those times I am not sitting in my seat but I am deeply involved in the legislative process.
I stand behind my voting record, which is available at http://www.washingtonvotes.org, and I stand behind my hard work and service to the people of my legislative district.
This is one of the first, but it won’t be the last untruth that is told about me this year. I’m ready for this fight. The goal of restoring America and representing the people of Southwest Washington is too important a goal to be sidetracked by this kind of nonsense.
Thank you for reading this message.
Left out of Herrera’s denial and counterattack is having others cast votes for her during these “rare absences.”
Wallace’s allegations have some supportive evidence as well, since Ms. Herrera ignored her absence from the Legislative session Tuesday morning to attend a campaign fundraiser on her behalf in Seattle.
Also left out of the denial was her flight back to Washington D.C. Thursday for yet another high dollar fundraiser given on her behalf by mentor, Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers.
As the Columbian’s Kathie Durbin put it, “Herrera was scheduled to take a red-eye flight to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night for a campaign fundraising event Thursday.”
Saying she would be gone for “less than 24 hours,” I am left wondering why the event wasn’t scheduled a couple weeks from now, after the legislature adjourns or Saturday, on a weekend? Is it really that essential to pander to special interests in Washington D.C. for donations already?
While Jaime’s excuse is plausible, it still has holes and appears to be very carefully worded. If, as Ms. Wallace charges, others cast votes for Jaime during absences, doesn’t that throw water on the claim, “10 out of 1,863 possible floor votes missed?”
She says, “I stand behind my voting record.” Does that include her votes to force childcare centers into public unions and to place the operating and maintenance employees at a commercial nuclear power plant into a union also?
On a more personal note, I am left feeling more and more slighted by Jaime Herrera since she called my home three times on the evening of February 9 and in that call, promised to send me an email explanation of her reasoning behind her pro-union votes, beyond it being simply a “moral issue” to her.
If she cannot keep her word on such a simple promise, what else might she not be completely up front about?