FBI: Threat Against Baird “Not Serious,” Will Kathie Durbin Apologize?

by lewwaters

Brian Baird 7 Yesterday, November 10, 2009, we were treated to an update finally on the Brian Baird death threat saga from this past August. After many emails, phone calls and pressing comments from bloggers, readers and citizens within Washington States 3rd Congressional District, the local paper of record, the Columbian, published the article, FBI to investigate alleged threat against Baird.

If readers recall, this all began this past August when congressman Brian Baird announced he would hold no town hall meeting with constituents. After some disparaging remarks by Baird, he relented, apologized and held the town halls.

August 19, the day after the first town hall, he was heard at a Rotary Club luncheon making another comment of, “if there is a Ryder truck parked out front, it has my name on it.

Clark County Conservative covered this and a statement of offense released by Clark County GOP Chair Ryan Hart, Brian Baird Steps On His Tongue Again.

Ever the apologist for the congressman, the Columbian’s Kathie Durbin, who attended the luncheon and according to anonymous sources did not even hear the comment, blasted Mr. Hart for this release, covered at Baird Milks Ryder Truck Comment for the Columbian article, Death threat disclosure by Baird draws criticism.

Also of note is that another local blogger, Bob Koski, called and was told by the Capitol Police that no Police Report was filed, leading the Columbian to print their articles, Capitol Police told about possible Baird threat and Press Talk: Moving forward on the Baird story by managing editor, Lou Brancaccio critical of bloggers on the matter.

Needless to say, the Columbian was more critical of Ryan Hart than Brian Baird for continuing to make another assertion and in reference to his Ryder Truck comment, they did not even justify it by good English, they made no sense in their defense.

The whole thing seemed to drop at the August 24th article by Brancaccio. We heard no more until October 24 I personally picked up the baton from Koski and began making my own phone calls back to Baird’s D.C. office and Vancouver office and eventually to the Capitol Police Department themselves. I even emailed Brancaccio inquiring about what is the status of the investigation into the death threats and was told, “no updates” covered at Congressman Baird, What Happened To The Death Threats?

In the ensuing weeks, I and several other readers began leaving comments on the Columbian website inquiring about the investigation and lack of information on any updates. Basically, all were either ignored or we received the occasional, “they release no information on ongoing investigations,” which is what the Capitol Police Department spokesman told me too.

Over 2 weeks later, yesterday November 10, the front page of the Columbian ran, FBI to investigate alleged threat against Baird with once again, Ms. Durbin gleefully rubbing readers noses that questioned the validity of the alleged threats or questioned no updates on it into the “fact’ that it had moved ahead to an FBI investigation.

She said, “But he incited a new flare-up on Aug. 19 when he alluded to the death threat in an offhand comment at a Rotary Club luncheon without explicitly explaining the reference. McVeigh used a Ryder truck in the bombing.

At the time, Clark County Republican Chairman Ryan Hart called the remark ‘just unbelievable.’

Baird responded that his brief comment had been ‘taken out of context for cheap political gain’.

Don’t be confused by the date and time of the posting, the article disappeared for a bit and reappeared after some questions of where did it go from the online page.

Within hours of the article, managing article Lou Brancaccio left a “teaser’ in the comments section of, “Make sure to read Wednesday’s Columbian print edition. There is a follow to this story that took me completely by surprise, mainly because of timing. One day we report the FBI is investigating this case. The very next day….. It will only be in the print edition in the morning.

As early as I could make it to the nearest newsstand, I broke my vow of not paying for a copy of the paper and bought one to see what I expected to see, a sub-headline of Threat to Baird not serious, FBI says.

Kathie Durbin wrote this one also and seemed a bit more subdued in tone as she wrote, “The FBI said Tuesday it has closed its investigation of an alleged death threat against U.S. Rep. Brian Baird after concluding that the message left on Baird’s Washington, D.C., office phone in August did not constitute a serious threat.

The article has since come available online and can be read HERE.

I am left to feel that the whole death threat matter was dropped in hopes it would just go away and to supply a little cover of Baird. As said before, the Ryder Truck comment made August 19 at the Rotary Club comes across more like a attempted joke being told that totally bombed, not an explanation of any threats received.

Of most importance, the matter is resolved and rather quickly too it seems once the public began applying a little pressure. But, a few questions remain too that ought to be answered.

There should be no reason now not to release the original Police Report Baird’s office claims they submitted. We should be able to see if Koski was correct or if he was mistaken in when or if a real police report was filed and if one was, what date it was reported.

Also, will Kathie Durbin apologize to Ryan Hart and the Clark County Republicans for her insinuations last August? She gleefully repeated our being offended at the insensitive comment on the Ryder Truck yesterday, but just dropped and ignored it all today.

I don’t know about you, but I seriously feel Ryan Hart is owed an apology from Ms. Durbin as is Bob Koski if no Police Report was filed when claimed.

Whether she will step up and issue one is another matter entirely.

2 Responses to “FBI: Threat Against Baird “Not Serious,” Will Kathie Durbin Apologize?”

  1. Thanks for your strong words on this Lew; if it were not for you and a small band of other people who continue to insist on finding the truth about this, Brian Baird would have gotten away cleanly.

    I had the audacity to simply pick up the telephone, and expose Brian Baird and/or his staff for the liars they are. I don’t blog anymore, but I do stand by my statements.

    Columbian editor Lou Brancaccio, Editorial Editor John Laird, reporter Kathy Durbin and the rest of the “staff” at the columbian continue to refuse to investigate what should be clear by now, that there was no report made to the Capitol Hill Police Department before August 22, 2009, even though the columbian reported that 2 separate “death threats” had been “turned over for investigation” to the CHPD by Congressman Baird’s Staff. I still have no idea how the columbian was able to publish that statement as fact without confirming that a report had indeed been filed.

    I find it ironic that the columbian has a standing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the City of Vancouver, for a copy of all e-mails between Vancouver City Council Critters and their constituents, but cannot find a pair of nuts between all of them to use that very same FOIA to obtain a copy of the police report that the Congressman and his staff repeatedly claimed they had filed.

    What are they hiding for Congressman Baird??

    I stand by my original statement of fact about this matter and have never seen anything anywhere that disputed me. Instead we have consistently seen the columbian editorial staff repeatedly dance around the issue, hurl personal insults at bloggers like myself and Lew Waters, and absolutely refuse to answer even the most basic questions about that report. In that regard the columbian remains as bankrupt of journalistic integrity as they are bankrupt financially.

    At some point, private efforts to secure that police report, if indeed one does exist, will succeed and Jesus help Lou Brancaccio if it can be proved that he helped a US Congressman perpetrate a lie.

    That is indeed what this comes down to.

    Stout hearts…

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