Archive for August 30th, 2009

August 30, 2009

Rep. Baird Retreats From Living Room Meet

by lewwaters

Congressman Brian Baird has sure been making the news lately, during this recess.

He’s had to apologize for references to “brown-shirts,” “lynch mob tactics,” “Timothy McVeigh” references and do a fast dance on a Ryder Truck comment at the Rotary Club meet, prompting the Columbian’s to run interference for him by penning an article “explaining” the ‘inartful’ comment as referring to a “death threat” he alleges he has received.

I say, “alleges” because no one can confirm such a threat was received or reported to the authorities when contacting those authorities his staff alleges to have reported it to. All that is said is “an investigation in ongoing,” with no explanation of what is being investigated or when it was launched.

Most of this was used by Brian Baird as his excuse for initially denying citizens of Washington States Third Congressional District a face to face town hall meeting, where he obviously feared intense opposition to his expected support of the proposed healthcare reform measures and two highly questionable votes in support of massive spending bills that he could not possible have read first.

We eventually received a town hall meeting in Clark County, where he did indeed receive an earful. We even made National News as a video of Marine Veteran David Hedrick came out forcefully confronting him on some very relevant points.

But, prior to all this, Baird held what he calls a “tele-conference” townhall, where those aware of the call could call in and by dialing ‘*3’ be placed in queue to ask him questions live, on August 7.

One of those calls was from a lady in Pacific County who offered a peaceful meeting with him in her living room; to offset any worries he had about having to face a hostile crowd at a town hall. Baird readily accepted the meeting and scheduling such a meet began.

Nansen Malin, the woman who made the offer told me that almost immediately after the tele-conference ended, members of the national media, desiring to cover the meeting since she identified herself as the Chair of the Pacific County Republican Party, contacted her.

By August 17, Kelly Love, Baird’s district director contacted Ms. Malin and after discussing possible dates, options and scenarios, to include security, press and an invitation list, September 1 was agreed upon for this meeting in her home.

Nansen was told a member of Baird’s staff would be getting back to her “very soon.”

The next day, August 18, Nan opens her newspaper to read that Baird has announced a town hall meeting in Ilwaco on Sept 1.

She fires off an email to Kelly Love inquiring about the conflicting dates, expressing her displeasure at not being contacted and asking if the meeting in her home has been cancelled.

Kelly calls Nan from backstage at the Clark County town hall and tells her the meeting in her home is still on and they now desire to hold it in her garden instead of the living room.

Not hearing from anyone on Baird’s staff, Nan again emails Kelly Love on August 24, receiving an apology from Ms. Love and the explanation, “I was under the understanding that our Chief of Staff was going to call you back. I apologize.”

On August 26, Nan returned a call from Kelly Love where she again apologized for no one calling her back to tell her that they had scheduled an alternate event in Ilwaco and explained that congressman Baird had every intent on honoring the agreed upon meeting in her home, but “after reading your blog posts,” congressman Baird will not be coming to her home.

Kelly did extend an invitation to Nan to attend the Ilwaco town hall.

Did Brian Baird think a Republican would just kiss his butt in blog posts or adopt the Democrat Party mantra and roll over?

Did he even actually intend on making the meeting?

Kelly Love even admitted to Nan, in reference to reports of Republicans “acting badly,” “no, no, the town halls have all been very civil. There have been no problems at all.”

Did he back off because he could not ensure coverage would be favorable to him?

It all sounds to me as if Baird’s slick political manner swung into high gear because he spoke too soon during the tele-conference, but he will never state any such thing.

An August 13 editorial in the Daily Astorian mentioned the scheduled meeting between Ms. Malin and congressman Baird and acknowledged, “Seaview’s sane and reasonable county GOP Chairwoman Nan Malin invited Baird to her home for a civil discourse on health care.”

Even they see that Ms. Malin is “sane and reasonable” in an editorial that heavily condemns other GOP pundits, leading me to accept that any meet in her home would be what was offered, “a civil discourse on health care.”

Isn’t that what Brian Baird has been clamoring for all this time?

Is he now afraid to honor his agreement and chooses a flimsy excuse of she writes pro-Republican posts on her blog?

Maybe he is just hallucinating about Ryder Trucks again.

UPDATE: The Columbian, always on top of things, finally mentions Baird’s backing out of his agreement. Baird cancels ‘living room meeting’ with GOP chairwoman