It was just this past May when Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler raised a few eyebrows around her district over a comment she made and reported in the May 4, 2012 Columbian, the unofficial daily newsletter of the CRC and Democrat Party, that she intended to endorse both incumbent County Commissioners up for reelection, Republican Tom Mielke and alleged Republican Marc Boldt.
Considering that Commissioner Boldt has been sanctioned in November 2011 by the Clark County Republican Party for abandoning the party platform, turning his back on constituents who elected him and began siding with Democrat Steve Stuart, even to the point of saying “nothing would get done if he didn’t compromise with Stuart,” Herrera Beutler began catching flak, just as she predicted she would.
One such example was an open letter written to her by Carolyn Schultz-Rathbun with a copy posted on her blog, Cry Beloved Country.
As candidate endorsements began coming out, Commissioner Boldt did not receive the endorsement of the GOP, which went to his challenger, David Madore, a successful business owner in Vancouver, Washington. Boldt was denied a speaking position at the Clark County GOP convention and denied access to party resources as he continues to thumb his nose at the party and constituents, still claiming he is a Republican, but has “moderated his views.”
After the flak Herrera Beutler received from constituents, many were shocked to see Commissioner Boldt release the follow announcement of being endorsed by her.
Almost immediately, word began crossing throughout the district that she did not endorse Boldt and was actually upset over his issuing that claim in a mailer and on his website.
Hearing that she was upset over the announced endorsement, people began contacting her office prior to the August 7 Primary Elections.
One person who contacted me about it said of that contact,
“I just got off the phone with Ryan Hart. He kept saying that Jaime was “totally surprised by the mailer that came out,” that she knew Marc since she was a kid, that she didn’t authorize Marc to do that…. round-and-round. But you know what – when I asked him since she supposedly wasn’t very happy with Marc doing that – did she intend to express that publicly or put out anything …? He just danced around that saying that “well the ballots are due in 2-days and it probably won’t hurt Madore.” Again I say “so there is not going to be any response from Jaime?” “Well she doesn’t have anything against David.” So there will be no response from Jaime to clear-up his ‘unauthorized’ endorsement that she is supposedly upset with him about.”
Another posted on facebook, “what I heard was that Jaime’s campaign camp did not authorize Marc to use her picture in his mailer or website.”
Yet another person posted, “Why doesn’t Jaime’s campaign make a public statement instead of having supporters call people? Looks like playing on both sides of the fence.”
One, an elected official, offering a defense of Herrera Beutler not issuing a public statement said, “Jaime isn’t going to do that. I wouldn’t even advise she do it. We know she was upset by it and unlike others isn’t going to air party dirty laundry in the press.”
Reminded that such a statement is not “airing dirty laundry,” but setting the record straight, responded with,
“If it was me I would call privately and have a firm conversation about it” and “I don’t live in the district so I didn’t see the flier. It depends on what was said. If it is just a photo, that shouldn’t mean much, but it is misleading and more of a reflection on the person doing it.”
Given a link to Boldt’s website where it is prominently shown as more than just a photo drew the response,
“Odd to say the least. It says it in the headline but the story indicates that they are going to be at the same event. I wonder if Jaime does know it is still there.”
Given the number of people that have contacted her over it, how can she not?
If Herrera Beutler in fact is not endorsing Marc Boldt, voters have not only the right, but the need to know. Regardless of what anyone thinks about Herrera Beutler and her performance in office, an endorsement for a county official from a sitting Congresswoman is a strong endorsement.
If she is not actually endorsing Boldt, then the claim of endorsement is a lie.
If she actually is endorsing Boldt, why the need to tell those who contact her office that she doesn’t? She’s a grown woman now, no need to bow before local elected officials she once may have retreated from.
Is she trying to help an old friend of the family while trying not to lose votes from conservative Republicans disillusioned with Commissioner Boldt voting the Democrat Party line so often?
She is all but guaranteed reelection, what with her district being redrawn in her favor and a weak candidate opposing her from the Democrats.
Either way it is, it is indicative of the gutless performance I expected from Herrera Beutler when she first ran for Congress in 2010. She hasn’t disappointed in the low expectations I have had of her.