Posts tagged ‘Kathie Durbin’

July 6, 2010

Jon Russell Accused of Claiming an Academic Degree He does Not Hold

by lewwaters

Jon Russell, Washougal Republican City Council Member, Mayor Pro Tem, former candidate for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District and now candidate for Washington States 18th Legislative District seat being vacated by Jaime Herrera has been accused in both the Columbian and on Clark County Politics blog of laying claim to a degree he does not hold.

Jon Russell’s degree

Both the Columbian and Thomas Edison verify it: Russell’s claim of a college degree is fake.

In a pathetic effort at deflecting the attention away from his exposure, Russell claimed Clark County Politics blog “is designed to do nothing more than to tear down my credibility,” adding the blog owner, Kelly Hinton, “backs one of Russell’s opponents, Ann Rivers, in the 18th District race.”

I know both Hinton and Rivers and yes, they are business partners and friends, but I also know that his blog was exposing Russell long before Ann Rivers began campaigning for the seat Jaime Herrera is vacating. I can assure you Ann Rivers has no connection to this revelation on Russell’s degree he claimed.

Russell claims he “has earned more than the 60 credit hours required for an AA degree,” which is meaningless if he did not fulfill the requirements necessary to actually obtain the degree.

In yet another pathetic effort, Russell claimed, “I’ve always said I’ve earned my degree. I’ve never said I obtained my degree.”

From a screen shot of Russell’s About Me page on his website from November 2009, I read his claim of “Jon’s experience in politics started as he was working on his degree in political science first at Vincennes University and finally at Thomas Edison College in Trenton N.J.

His About me page, effective July 6, 2010 says, “Jon’s experience in politics started as he was working on his degree in political science first at Vincennes University and finished his degree at Thomas Edison College in Trenton N.J.

Calls made to Thomas Edison “confirms that Russell enrolled in courses there, but says it has not granted him a degree.

Even Russell “concedes that he never got around to doing the paperwork required to get the actual degree.”

This type of resume’ embellishment has made news elsewhere in recent months as we saw Connecticut’s Democratic Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, who gradually insinuated he served in Viet Nam when he never did. Or Republican Mark Kirk, who overly boasted of a minimal unit citation as if he were personally awarded a citation of high merit.

And now, we apparently see Jon Russell building a resume he is not yet entitled to.

Jon is not the first politician to try this tired tactic of embellishment and I can assure you he will not be the last. But, be it Military Service or Academic claims, they will continue to be exposed, maybe even sooner than some think.

March 13, 2010

Brian Baird Death Threats: End Of Story?

by lewwaters

Some might recall the disquietude seen in August of last year when Democratic congressman, Brian Baird was refusing to hold face to face town hall meetings with constituents by claiming it was out of concern over the security of attendees due to some alleged death threats issued to Baird.

Here in Washington States Third Congressional District, Baird’s district, it received much attention, as any death threat must be taken seriously. As it turns out, perhaps it was deliberately taken too seriously this time.

For those of you who are not here in Wa. 03, you can read about it at Baird Milks Ryder Truck Comment, Congressman Baird, What Happened To The Death Threats?, and The Columbian: Mouthpiece For Democrats.

After calls from constituents to Baird’s offices and pressure placed on the Columbian’s editorial staff, in November, over 2 months after the claims of the death threats surfaced, we were to discover that they were not considered “credible” by the FBI, case closed.

Or, so one would think.

On February 27, 2010, my friend and fellow blogger on Clark County Politics posted the results he obtained from a Freedom of Information Act query into the so-called death threat that concluded in the heavily redacted report, “Incident close request sent 2009-08-14 19:59:46.0.”

In other words, congressman Baird KNEW at the time he relented to town halls and made the off-color remark at a Rotary Club luncheon on August 19, 2009 that there was no serious death threat made or pending. It had been investigated; contact with the offending person had been made and settled as the untoward frustrated comments from a person in Kansas, not here in Washington State.

Nearly two weeks later, we are treated to articles from our paper of record, the Columbian informing us of much the same. FBI releases details about Baird threat probe.

Managing editor, Lou Brancaccio also penned, One more Baird story saga lamenting the saga and in essence, trying to appear as if they were on top of it all long.

In late October, I had some email exchanges with Lou asking about updates and was told there were none. In comments on the papers website we were told they were making frequent calls back to D.C. asking for updates and were not receiving answers, which I too did not receive when I made calls myself to both of Brian Baird’s offices and to the Capitol Police.

That they were unwilling to answer my inquiry two months after the case was closed strikes me as odd. Of course, I’m not a journalist with press credentials either, which I would think would grant inquiries by the press more leeway to information.

In another email exchange with Lou, after they published in November that the threats were found “not credible,” I asked if writer Kathie Durbin was going to apologize to Clark County GOP Chairman, Ryan Hart for her published indications of his being offended by the August 19 comment at the Rotary Club luncheon as off-base.

After revelation today of the case being close on August 14, I feel Hart is owed a public apology by the Columbian even more as his being offended was right and in order.

Fortunately for Baird, he has announced his retirement this past December or this would definitely be a campaign issue, indicating his dishonesty with constituents.

For the Columbian, I am left to ponder if this was journalistic malfeasance on their part of not wanting to pursue a story shedding light on a Democrat they have long supported and wanting to allow the story to simply die. Or, were they duped by Baird and his staff and not wanting to look further into it.

Perhaps it is a combination of both. If journalists had treated Richard Nixon in similar manner during the Watergate scandal, he might have retired an honored man, instead of being forced to resign in disgrace.

Regardless, the Columbian recently emerged from financial bankruptcy.

Let’s hope they can also emerge from such journalistic bankruptcy as well.

January 28, 2010

What Is Kathie Durbin and The Columbian Up To Now?

by lewwaters

Any regular reader of the Columbian knows that we can always count on Kathie Durbin to fawn all over Liberal Democrats and write against Republicans. It’s almost a given that whatever she writes will always be biased towards the left.

Nothing illegal in that, but objectivity in reporting is not her strong suit.

That is why I was a bit surprised to see her pen the January 26, 2010 article, Herrera pushes GOP health care reforms as if 3rd Congressional District candidate Jaime Herrera is a driving force in Olympia.

As one of the least experienced Representatives of either party in Olympia, she isn’t.

Odd in all of this is that the health care debate and program is a federal policy, not a state policy. What possible effect could state policy on health care have in regards to federal policy?

But, why that headline? Why publish something with a headline as if Jaime Herrera is the second coming?

The following day, the Columbian ran an article on the House in Olympia approving a bill authorizing Child Care workers to Unionize, a move that will surely impact and hurt single parent households and low income families that must rely on child care to watch their children while they work.

This will be the third time Jaime Herrera, supposedly a conservative Republican, has voted to authorize such a policy and somehow, she does not receive praise from the Columbian for this vote.

Could the reason they fail to mention her ongoing support for such a pro-union vote be that they know full well conservative Republicans do not agree with such moves?

How many conservative Republican candidates do you know of that receive financial support in their campaigns from the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) as does Ms. Herrera?

How many conservative candidates do you know of who even support more Unionization today?

Maybe Jaime appreciates how well the Unions have helped out the automakers and large cities like Detroit, New York and others and wish to see Washington State follow suit?

Still, I was left wondering why the Columbian did not tie her to a pro-union vote, but Kathie Durbin praised her effort on a health care position.

Then, it dawned on me. We saw this back in 2007 and 2008 as the media strongly supported the nomination of John McCain, probably one of the weakest candidates we have ever ran, for president. Obviously, they knew he was weak and having him nominated for our party would give the Democrat candidate an easier run, as we saw happen in the November vote.

Is this the move now? Is Ms. Durbin selecting such headlines and stories to convince GOP voters to select Herrera over more qualified and stronger candidates, to give the Democrats an easier run in replacing retiring Brian Baird?

After all, if they are so proud of her work in advancing health care, shouldn’t they be equally as proud of her work in advancing union membership, even though it will hurt low-income workers with children?

Let’s not allow the media to bamboozle us again and stick us with a weak unelectable candidate.

Do your homework and see for yourself just who really has the best interest of citizens in the 3rd Congressional District at heart.

January 17, 2010

Clueless Blue Donkey’s In Clark County

by lewwaters


I am always amazed at just how clueless and spiteful Democrats can be. Maybe because for the first half of my life, I was a Democrat, born and raised into a staunchly Democrat household in South Florida.

I’ve watched as they high jacked the Civil Rights movement they so strongly fought against and filibustered in the 1960’s and even how they coerce a Republican President into how necessary tax increases are only to use that tax increase they pushed for as a campaign gimmick against that same Republican President.

I guess it should have come as no surprise to see that same level of cluelessness coming out of the chair of the Clark County Democrat Party, Dena Horton into today’s Columbian.

While Ms. Horton may have a short leg to stand on in complaining about Ann Donnelly’s description of the Blue Jackasses convention (I wasn’t there so I don’t know), her other vitriolic ramblings are remarkably clueless.

Horton brays, “The Columbian is often accused of being a ‘liberal rag’ by the conservatives, which the Clark County Democrats find baffling when The Columbian continues to print columns by conservative columnist Ann Donnelly while offering no alternative view as a counterpoint.

I am left wondering just how many John Laird’s, Lou Brancaccio’s, Tom Koenninger’s and Kathie Durbin’s must the Columbian publish to equate one Ann Donnelly column every other week in Horton’s world?

Laird runs a weekly column that I have yet to see any pro-conservative stance ever taken. Brancaccio is more even handed, but definitely leans left. Koenninger leans further left and I doubt Kathie Durbin has a kind thought ever towards anything conservative. If so, I can never tell by her writing, especially as she trumped up a controversy last September, Podunk Reporter Creates Issue, Boasts of Resolution.

I saw no “counterpoint” printed in regards to that manufactured controversy and even just last week, John Laird copied it with his vitriol masked as humor, Confessions of a new Republican.

Dena has the audacity to actually state, “We have important elections coming up in 2010 and it does not serve The Columbian’s readership, the general public, or the integrity of the elections process to cause mass confusion about the process by printing inaccurate information.”

Does she really want to go there? Outright lies against President Bush and 8 years of vitriol and demeaning hatred thrown at the man by her party? Does she forget the fraud of the 2004 Washington State Governor’s election?

As far as that “important elections” goes, yes, we are watching Massachusetts very closely too and it isn’t looking all that good for their State jackasses back there right now.

Unbelievably, Horton cries, “Unfortunately, it seems as though not much has changed and our pleas for truth and fairness have fallen on deaf ears.”

Dena dear, you Democrats wouldn’t know “truth and fairness” if your donkey’s tail was bitten. We sat and watched as every sort of hatred and mean-spirited message was sent out against the GOP and President Bush.

We saw as you used the Troops and the very war your party voted to authorize as a campaign tool for political gain.

We watched as your party seized control of Congress with lies, innuendoes, subterfuge and dishonesty straight out of Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals.’

We watched as despicable conduct by a President from your party was excused, just to have you come back later and point fingers at others over similar “immoral” conduct.

I was at the Hilton the evening in November 2008 when a junior senator was propelled into the Presidency by playing the race card and one of your number placed the sign outside the ballroom, “The night America came together.”

None of you have yet to explain why America cannot “come together” unless a group of jackasses controls the country and continues to bankrupt us.

The whiny column written by Blue Donkeys Chair Dena Horton is indicative of spoiled little children who don’t always get their way and throws a tantrum.

If Clark GOP Chair, Ryan Hart, wrote such a column every time a leftist column appeared in the Columbian, he’d have to be on full time employ.

Americans are waking up to the ploy, Dena. I suggest you get used to not having “fair and balanced” being your point of view only!

As a famous Democrat once said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

I guess that was back when Democrats cared about more than remaking America into a socialist mecca and carbon copy of the failed Soviet Union.

November 11, 2009

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.

October 24, 2009

Baird Snubs Columbian, Accused of Grandstanding By Castillo

by lewwaters

Brian Baird 7 Castillo

I found it somewhat peculiar to sign on to the Columbian’s web site Tuesday, October 20 and see Kathie Durbin had written yet another fawning article on congressman Baird pertaining to some new proposals he has recently dreamed up on health care, Baird suggests sweeping reforms.

Although some of the thoughts Baird presents may hold a certain degree of merit, I found it most peculiar that his op-ed outlining these ideas turns out to be a “Special” to The Seattle Times, located well outside of his district, Washington State’s 3rd Congressional District and in fellow Democrat Jim McDermott’s 7th Congressional District. McDermott’s name appears nowhere within the op-ed appearing in the Seattle Times nor in the articles from papers located within the 3rd District that cover his new found ideas, leaving me believing he had nothing to do with any part of these new ideas of Baird’s.

Wouldn’t you think these ‘grand new ideas’ should be presented to Baird’s constituents, not McDermott’s? That is what I find odd in his presenting this op-ed only to the Seattle Times and not to the Columbian or even the Olympian, 2 of the largest newspapers within his district.

Could there be a specific reason constituents were not easily made privy to his ideas? Surely the Columbian, very supportive of him over the years, would run any op-ed he submitted.

Unconfirmed rumors heard around town claim some at the Columbian are a wee bit irked over it, but you cannot tell from Durbin’s fawning article above.

Out of the 3 challengers vying to replace Baird in the House next year, only one is calling him on this “newly unveiled proposal to overhaul the federal tax code, merge all government health plans, and adopt a means test for Medicare recipients,” David Castillo of Olympia.

Kathie Durbin covers David on his accusation in her Thursday October 22 article, Republican accuses Baird of grandstanding.

In spite of the less that appropriate headline, she seems to actually give David fair coverage interviewing him on his accusations.

David said, “Baird offers no explanation why he made no such call for tax reform when Republicans controlled Congress and many of their members were pushing for the same agenda. He is making this call for change only when Democrats are in charge and his own leadership has shown absolutely no indication this is policy they are willing to address.”

Coverage of the op-ed from the Daily News Online, also within Baird’s district, credits him with explaining, when asked why the silence up until now, “I thought it was fair to let President Obama and the leadership of the House and Senate take their best shot.”

Isn’t that big of the congressman, allowing the president and congressional leaders months to “take their best shot.”

Truth be known, these ideas are DOA, dead on arrival, should they actually be brought before congress, after all the months they have invested and all the backroom deals made in secrecy. Any novice can see that. Member of his own party will not agree to just scrap everything they have done in favor of a whole new approach as suggested by Baird.

I have every reason to believe that he knows that, which would somewhat explain why his ideas appeared in the Seattle Times and neither the Columbian nor the Olympian.

This is also why Castillo accuses him of another grandstanding play saying, “Baird gives no rational reason why Congress and the American people will turn to his solutions when President Obama — with a built-in bully pulpit — has been unable to convince a majority of Americans that his ideas are viable.”

As can be expected, Baird accused Castillo of “a personal attack,” adding, “That cheap shot doesn’t contribute to solving our problems. How else is one supposed to discuss policy initiatives other than by publicizing them?”

Uh, congressman Baird, did it occur to you to “publicize them” within your district to your constituents, not the Jim McDermott’s constituents?

The last time Baird was caught ‘with his pants down,’ so to speak, he dreamed up his Ryder Truck death threat claim, which remains unresolved.

Castillo is correct in calling Baird on these grandstanding plays of his lately.

Baird is trying to appear relevant in the debates currently ongoing and takes the easy road, publishing new ideas, but outside of his district where most of his constituents will not even read about them until he comes back later to show his ideas that didn’t make it.

Southwest Washingtonians, we can do better, we deserve better. We need to call Baird on his grandstanding and his claim of limiting his terms to 12 years, as he stated the election before his defeat of Republican Linda Smith.

2010 is year 12 for Baird. 2010 should be Brian Baird’s last year in Congress. We deserve and need strong representation with new conservative ideas.

We need a man who isn’t afraid to call matters as he sees them, David Castillo.

October 10, 2009

Lou Brancaccio Shows Bias In Crying Non-Bias

by lewwaters

Lou Brancaccio, embattled managing editor of the Columbian newspaper, is still trying to create the appearance of ‘fair and balanced’ paper. This time, he is doing it over the papers coverage of both the Republican and Democrat conventions coming to Vancouver in 2010.

He does it in his October 10 weekly column, Press Talk: Of fairness and this column.

Always following the normal liberal venue of “victim,” as he opens the column with,

“When it was announced the state Democrats were bringing their convention to Vancouver, it was a big — and good — story for the area.

We put it on the front page.

Then I waited for my phone to ring and my e-mail box to fill up. I wasn’t disappointed.

Why? Because some would think we’re favoring the Democrats.”

He then goes on to list one critical email received and his reply.

I’ll take him at his word that the announcement for the GOP convention was also front page because I no longer buy the Columbian But I will ask, was that only email received? Are we to believe he only received critical emails from conservatives and none from the liberals?

He then goes to lament on a complimentary email received from one I have to assume is a liberal on his October 2 column addressing the recent loss of the Olympics in Chicago, Press Talk: Too bad how we make decisions.

We see “fair” coverage of political conventions for both parties criticized by a Republican and “fair” coverage of the Olympics denial praised by a Democrat.

No Democrats were critical of the coverage of the conventions and no conservatives were praising the coverage of the Olympics loss, right? We don’t know about other emails or calls received, but that is what we are led to believe.

Yeah, no bias there, uh huh.

Let’s look at the “fair” coverage of the conventions and see if the coverage really was fair.

On June 23, the Columbian ran an article announcing the Clark GOP securing the 2010 convention for Clark County. It consisted of 173 words about the convention being held in Clark County and another 94 words of filler addressing the elections this year.

October 5, the same Columbian reporter, Kathie Durbin, ran the article announcing the Democrat convention coming which consisted of 273 words on the party and convention itself and some 62 filler words on general matters and acknowledging the GOP convention.

Both conventions are mentioned within days in the weekly Cheers & Jeers Column. However, the October 10 Cheers & Jeers states,

“Cheers: To Clark County’s growing stature as a place for meetings and conventions. This week the Democrats announced they’ll hold their 2010 state convention here next June. The Republicans likewise have picked us for their convention.”

“Republicans likewise?” Shouldn’t that be “Democrats likewise,” indicating the GOP first secured a convention months ago?

Likewise, to be fair, the June 25 Cheers & Jeers column was several times larger than the Oct 10 column mentioning the Democrat convention. Of course, then there was no idea that the Democrats were to follow suit in bringing their convention here too.

Lou mentions receiving emails and phone calls, as noted. One thing he leaves out though, is comments from readers online. The June 23 column announcing the GOP convention has some 11 comments critical of or complaining about the Republicans.

The June 25 Cheers & Jeers has 3 such comments. I have to assume those critical are Democrats.

The June 23 article, in the comments section has 2 critical of the Democrat convention with 1 liberal seemingly expecting an onslaught from us. There none either way on the October 10 Cheers & Jeers column.

That doesn’t show any bias on the Columbian’s part. They have no control over what citizens leave in comments, other then the ability to delete if need be.

But it says something more about those within our community, to me.

This post may seem nit picking, what with word counts and such, but is it any less than Brancaccio having a slow news day and turning to selected emails for his column?

Where is his column on Brian Baird now taking a stand on voting against measures he hasn’t had time to read, after voting for the two largest spending bills in recent history and not having tome to read them?

Where is the column on his two challengers criticizing him for such a “stunt?”

Why do we have to turn to the Lewis County Chronicle or the Olympian to read such news on our congressman and not find it in our own local paper?

Where are the investigative articles on all the charges of corruption in Mayor Pollard’s City Hall?

Lou Brancaccio claims to receive complaints of right winged bias from liberals, but I fail to see just where, other than those fringe leftist who think any coverage of Republicans is bad.

Does this post show any bias? I’ll leave that up to you, the reader to decide. Of course, having more than just one conservative column running every other week compared to weekly columns by Lou, John Laird and Tom Koenninger might forestall many claims of left-winged.

Then again, liberals are said to already be crying about bias due to that one column every other week and we must keep them happy, right?

I’ll end by saying to Lou Brancaccio; “there are none so blind as they who will not see.”

October 3, 2009

Yes Lou, “It Is Too Bad How We Make Decisions,” Isn’t It?

by lewwaters

Lou Brancaccio The irony of Lou Brancaccio’s column in the Saturday October 3 Columbian is just too much to pass up.

Lou joins in with those Obama admirers who are seemingly stunned that the IOC could possible reject a personal plea from the One and his better half, MO. That the whole world isn’t enamored with such an inexperienced junior senator who has no idea what to do, other than engage in self glorification in every speech as are those Americans who fell for the canard of Obama completely escapes those like Lou Brancaccio.

For those reading this not in the Clark County Washington area, Lou Brancaccio is the managing editor of our paper of record, The Columbian, struggling through chapter 11 currently over decreasing revenues.

Lou pens a weekly column, Press Talk, editorializing his opinion, predominantly Democrat, as are many other failing newspapers across America.

The irony dripping from the title alone of his latest screed, Too bad how we make decisions is unbelievable, given that many in the community have called Brancaccio on his own decisions of making mountains out of molehills in favor of Democrats while often completely ignoring legitimate news stories that may paint Republicans in either favorable light or expose their own bias.

Many instances have been noted not only on this blog site, but several others within the community and even in the comments section of many articles written by Lou or his vitriolic cohorts, John Laird and Kathie Durbin, just to mention two.

Lou, who I believe once said he hailed from the Chicago area himself, laments on how the world doesn’t see the true Chicago today and instead of seeing the good of the city, focuses on such as Al Capone or the violent 1968 Democratic Convention held in the city.

Nowhere does he note that his choice of president has spent the entire 8 months of his presidency to date traveling the globe and apologizing for America being such a lousy country.

Even Bill Bennett noted on CNN that for once, Obama would be forced to praise America.

But to me, the irony isn’t so much that the IOC saw through the self aggrandizing speeches of both of the Obama’s but that Lou can’t even see his own poor choices in decision making that results in casting half of the community his paper claims to serve aside in favor of the political rhetoric of the left.

The editors ignore the voices of the community in matters of importance as tolling a new bridge across the Columbia River, taxing citizens for Universal Healthcare that is rapidly failing across America and even same-sex marriage, which has been soundly defeated everywhere it goes before a citizen vote.

Instead we see editorial after editorial trying to convince us how wrong we are, how we are not up to par with our values and at times, how dumb and bigoted we may be for not agreeing with leftists.

What you don’t see in editorials are mentions of outrageous comments made by Democrat Alan Grayson, mentions of False Democrat claims that offend conservatives or even mention of how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening a Nevada newspaper, even though I personally sent Lou that article.

They don’t even have the courtesy to return a comment of “screw off, Republican.”

To be fair, I must comment that the editor of the Letters to the Editor section does pretty good job of approving letters from both points of view. But a paper cannot live by LTE’s only.

Lou tells us, “The International Olympic Committee turned a deaf ear to Chicago.”

From where I sit, the Columbian and Lou Brancaccio turns a deaf ear to half of Clark County, the conservative half.

He goes on to say, “In many ways we are all part of Chicago. And the Olympics will be worse off without it.”

Is he not part of Clark County and does not ignoring so many within our county leave his papers revenues “worse off?”

Even more ironic today, after lamenting on LeGarrette Blount, University of Oregon football player who punched out an opposing player, Lou says, “Consequences are not just set up for the offending party. They are also set up to show society what happens when you do wrong. Apparently, slaps on wrists for major wrongdoing is standard operating procedure in sports.”

Could not the same thing be said in regards to the ACORN scandal Lou is barely covering?

Could it not also be said of misdeeds of Democrat party members who still sit in chairmanships of committees and who the so called press doesn’t bother to write much about?

Could it also be said of a failing newspaper who chooses to ignore half of the community they claim to serve?

Yes Lou, it is too bad how we make decisions.

From where I sit, yours don’t seem much better than what you claim for the IOC.

October 1, 2009

Columbian Failing Community

by lewwaters

On September 9, 2009 Barack Obama’s pitch to a joint session of congress on his healthcare plan was briefly interrupted by an outburst from South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson, who shouted “you lie” in regards to a statement of illegal immigrants would not receive non-emergency healthcare under Obama’s proposed plan.

Wilson apologized that evening to Obama and later Obama modified a portion of the bill that would have indeed allowed illegals to obtain the healthcare Obama said they wouldn’t.

Still, those two words touched off a firestorm from Democrats and made numerous mentions in Clark County’s “paper of record,” the Columbian.

On the night of the speech and Wilson’s infraction, Kathie Durbin wrote her “review” with Obama address gets raves from Washington dems; mixed review from GOP and just as she did with the Brian Baird Ryder Truck comment at the Rotary Club luncheon, missed the infraction as she made no mention of it.

The Columbian made mention of Wilson’s outburst on September 10 with an article from the AP, “Obama hopes his pitch will sway health care debate.”

September 11 brought mention of how a “CNN Truth Squad Analysis” showed Wilson to be “incorrect,” with In Our View: Areas of Agreement

September 15 brought another AP article, Jimmy Carter: Wilson comments ‘based on racism’ soon followed by the AP’s Wilson’s son disputes Carter’s claim of racism on September 16.

September 20 they ran another AP article, Wilson shout could reverberate next November.

The September 24 edition of the Columbian saw mention again in yet another AP article, Geography makes difference in health coverage.

Several letters both condemning and praising Wilson’s outburst were also published as were a multitude of comments left on the online section of the paper.

Managing editor Lou Brancaccio even used the incident in his September 14 Press Talk: What is the end game?, again decrying the incivility seen throughout he country, especially in political discussions.

Brancaccio, if you will recall, began calling for more civility back on November 8, 2008 with his editorial, Come together …right now, basically saying now that Democrats controlled everything, we all need to “come together.”

I appreciate Brancaccio’s call for civility since he is a newspaper editor, can understand when a politician makes such an outburst as did Joe Wilson, agree it is newsworthy and should be reported.

However, I am left a bit befuddled that the outbursts of Florida Democrat, Alan Grayson recently merit no mention in the Columbian.

Will Sunday’s Press Talk see Brancaccio condemning Grayson? Where is Kathie Durbin saying how over the top Grayson is in claiming Republicans wish people to “die quickly?”

Should I expect John Laird to write how the tone of discourse is damaged when a junior congressman from Central Florida claims Republicans are “foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals?”

The Columbian lays claim to “Serving Clark County, Washington.”

Wouldn’t be more truthful to claim “Serving Clark County, Washington Democrats,” since they only seem capable of reporting when Republicans commit transgressions?

Is there a reason the Columbian, who claims to be a balanced source of news, continues to only report when Republicans do wrong and ignore Democrats who become embroiled in wrongdoing until forced to make scant mention by public outrage?

With the Columbian failing to represent a large portion of Clark County residents, it is little wonder they face the financial troubles they do.

September 28, 2009

Poor Lou Brancaccio, He Doesn’t Get It

by lewwaters

Lou Brancaccio, managing editor of Clark County’s Columbian newspaper sits in a tough position, given that the paper is still under financial difficulties. Without knowing the exact hierarchy of the paper, I’m assuming the title of “managing editor” places him with the responsibility of how the paper is ran and what is ultimately published.

I’ve never met Lou nor even spoke with him on the phone, but have exchanged words with him in the comments section underneath many articles, especially his editorials. Based on that I’d say he is more reasonable than others who write for the Columbian.

Like I said above, he sits in a tough position as managing editor, but he just doesn’t get or see the bias of the paper overall, referring back to the 2004 endorsement of President Bush and a couple editorials softly critical of congressman Brian Baird this summer to claim they are not biased.

What goes unmentioned on the 2 soft criticisms of Baird is the apologetic articles at the same time and days after, including one excusing Baird’s poorly executed joke about a Ryder Truck with his name on it, missed completely in the first article, but labeled an explanation of a death threat after several in the community expressed displeasure in it.

Lou does it again in his Sunday September 27 editorial, “Press Talk: Have a question for Dr. Lou?” basically explaining how the public trusts what they read in print more than from other sources.

I can somewhat agree with that, but as I’m sure Lou has noticed, print media across the country is losing subscribers, readers and yes, advertisers too, the sources of their income.

America has long history with the print media extending back before the birth of our country. Even then, sources were considered credible and non-credible, depending on how the public accepted what was printed.

Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of our country, was an early proponent of Freedom of the Press, yet he too became very critical of the press and how they published reports.

This is what Lou Brancaccio seems to miss out on, that criticisms of the Columbian are not necessarily meant to discredit either him or the Columbian, although I will readily admit some comments left on articles are out of line and unreasonable, from both perspectives.

Lou says in his editorial, “I find it interesting that — oftentimes — the very folks who tell us we’re no good and no one cares what we write and no one is reading us anymore, are the same ones that implore us to cover something they believe is important.”

Personally, I think Lou oftentimes blends comments from people who post unreasonable comments with those who are trying to tell Lou why we no longer buy the paper and how we would like to see it improve.

Yes, we are asking for coverage of stories currently not being covered. Yes, we are asking for more coverage of conservative issues. Not total conservative only, just some balance to John Laird and Kathie Durbin, to just mention 2.

We cancelled subscriptions and stopped buying the paper because we grew tired of seeing our views and values constantly trashed in the pages of the Columbian. We sought alternative sources and even though not print media, many of us discovered Fox News, much hated by liberals, but actually “fair and balanced” in presenting both sides and giving time for representatives of both major parties on issues of importance.

Don’t bother trying to tell me that programs such as Bill O’Reilly, Hannity, or Glenn Beck show their bias. Geraldo Rivera and Greta Van Susteren are not conservatives and even though I’m not a huge fan of any of the 3 first listed, they are no worse than Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow.

But, back to the Columbian.

To show Lou an example of bias I mentioned Kathie Durbin’s “exposé” of the GOP mailer that offended a local liberal Democrat couple, GOP fundraising ‘survey’ outrages some recipients that appeared on the front page of the local section on August 24.

Repeated contacts expressing offensive mailers and emails received by Republicans from Democrats have been ignored both by Lou Brancaccio and Kathie Durbin.

Running the article by the editor of the Washington Times elicited the reply of, “Lew you are right, seems like a lot of fuss over nothing. It’s amazing what the press won’t cover, and then they get all wrapped up on something like this. Unreal.”

Running it by Lou brought out, “Not exactly sure what your point is by citing the Denny story. We did that story just like we did the Congressman Baird stories. The chips fall where the chips fall. And from our perspective they fall on both sides.”

What about the perspective of those lost customers, Lou? As with any business, if the customer is not receiving the service they desire they go elsewhere.

Currently there is a lone conservative columnist, Ann Donnelly who has a column appearing every other week. Yet, we read liberal reporters and editors on nearly a daily basis.

No one is asking anyone to change their views or go against their values, just give conservative readers and former subscribers more equal coverage. You might even gain some of us back.

Lou asks, “Why would the very same people who say the mainstream media isn’t worth the paper we’re printed on implore us to cover something?”

It’s called balance, Lou.

The Columbian is Clark County’s main print media source and it is in financial difficulty. We don’t want to see the paper fail and have been reaching out trying to tell them why we no longer buy the paper.

Lou says in his editorial, “We all need to accept — even embrace — different viewpoints.”

All we are asking for is more balance in editorials and articles with that “different viewpoint.”

September 10, 2009

Rep. Baird, The ‘Silent Middle’ Is Speaking Out, You’re Not Listening

by lewwaters

Now that the August recess is over and our congrescritters have returned to their ‘Ivory Halls’ in Washington D.C., Barack Obama went before the nation last evening with his pitch to salvage his heavily flawed takeover of our Health Care System.

Reactions are predictable, Democrats praising any word that comes out of the false messiah’s mouth and Republicans continuing to point out the lies and other fallacies in this ‘pie in the sky’ campaign speech.

In that regard, Washington States 3rd Congressional District Representative Brian Baird is quoted in day after article appearing in the Columbian newspaper, August 10, 2009 saying, “It’s time for the ‘silent middle’ to be heard.”

He also says, “The silent middle is going to have to speak up — the silent middle who have listened and taken the time to understand this.”

Congressman Baird, with all due respect, are you a simpleton?

Who do you think it has been confronting you at town halls? Who do you think it is that has flocked to town halls to express their displeasure with this proposed takeover of our Health Care System?

David Hedrick is the “silent middle.” Nansen Malin is the “silent middle.” I am the “silent middle.” Every single person that braved organized union thugs to speak out against this pig in a poke proposal is the “silent middle.”

Nansen Malin is the “silent middle” when she invited you to her home.

Ryan Hart, Clark County GOP Chair is also part of the “silent middle” who is speaking out when he called this ‘pie in the sky’ plan “too expensive for the nation to afford as it struggles to emerge from the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

We, the “silent middle” are no longer silent. We are sick and tired of being ignored by elected officials such as you, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and so many of the rest who we send to Washington D.C.

We are the ones who have chosen to blog about matters long ignored by the media, who are little more than propaganda mouthpieces for the Democrat Party.

We are the ones who have tired of being spoon fed talking points in this biased media outlets who only speak in glowing terms of Democrats and demonize our long held values and beliefs.

It is we who take to time to read bills that you and your cabal in D.C. vote into law without reading it yourself and we send you emails, letters and call your offices to express our displeasure, usually only receiving form letters in response, but always ignored.

You unknowingly supplied me that proof when you switched your position on the Iraq Theater of the War on Terror. After meeting you at the Vancouver Barracks on Memorial Day and expressing my support to you, I received and email answer to an earlier an email I sent you days earlier expressing my thanks.

You did not thank me for that expression of support, but sent me an explanation of and justification of your changing your stance. In simple terms, you did not even read my email.

When you were embarrassed by David Hedrick at the August 18 town hall in Clark County, you didn’t just move on, but took another opportunity to ‘knock him down’ with a cheap shot.

You did not return to your district to listen, but to preach.

You lied when you said you hadn’t made up your mind on how to vote. You did not listen to any opposing comments from the “silent middle” that are no longer silent. You defended and justified every portion that concerns us.

Congressman Baird, the “silent middle” as you call us is no longer silent. We are waking up and we are angry, angry at being ignored by you and the rest back in D.C. We are speaking out and demanding you listen.

We have legitimate concerns and we want answers.

We have grown tired of being treated like children who must be taught potty training by government.

We are frustrated at being taken advantage of by government and having our paychecks tapped more and more for government programs, those who still have jobs that is.

You ask for the “silent middle” to speak out.

We did, all during the month of August.

You blocked your ears and didn’t listen.

This “silent middle” you ignored intends to speak out again in November 2010.

August 29, 2009

Podunk Reporter Creates Issue, Boasts of Resolution

by lewwaters

At one time or another we all have received unwanted mail. Be it by post or email, we all receive something that holds no interest or at times, might even be somewhat offensive, something we disagree with and definitely something we didn’t want.

It is a given in today’s information age that this will happen on occasion.

Most of us who consider ourselves ‘normal’ may grimace or even cluck our tongues as we deposit the offensive piece of mail into the nearest trash can or slide our cursor to the upper right of the offending email and simply click the provided little ‘x’ for deleting such unwanted material.

Of all the people I’ve known in my near 61 years of life, no one ever felt the need to contact a local newspaper to make an issue of such received material. In fact, no news reporter in the dozens of places I’ve ever lived would ever accept such a non-story; much less make it a front-page issue in the local section of the newspaper.

That was before.

Enter Raymond and Louise Denny; recently retired to La Center from Connecticut and self described “liberal Democrats.”

The Denny’s claim they received a GOP fund raising survey and were especially offended by one question contained in it and took the extraordinary step of contacting Kathie Durbin, the ‘Podunk’ Reporter in our failing local paper of record, the Columbian.

Instead of just telling the Denny’s to grow-up and throw it away, Ms. Durbin joins in with the Denny’s and blows it all out of proportion, as I reported on in The Columbian: Mouthpiece For Democrats posted on August 25.

I was more shocked to receive an unwanted email myself from the DCCC’s Jon Vogel, who just somehow happened to find the very same survey question offensive and distorted it in their own fund raising email sent out to supporters and others on their ‘spam’ list, also reported on by yours truly at DCCC Mirrors The Columbian on August 28.

Lo and behold, the August 29 Columbian contains, Nat’l GOP backs off ‘inartful’ mailer, by, you guessed it, our own sweet little Ms ‘Podunk’ Kathie Durbin, where she boasts,

“A GOP spokeswoman conceded, in an interview with The Associated Press distributed Friday, that the question, part of a fundraising mailer known as a “push poll,” was “inartfully worded.”

The question and others in the mailer, called “Future of American Health Care Survey,” have been featured on several progressive-leaning political blogs and have attracted national attention since being reported Tuesday in The Columbian.”

Most offensive is that several times now in the Columbian’s own comments section, I have alluded to a “fact check” card sent out by the Democrat Party which contains blatant lies about the GOP’s stance on the healthcare issue.

This particular “fact check” card was sent as an attachment to an email received from Marlon Marshall, DCCC National Field Director on August 18, 2009 and titled, “Scare Rush and Sarah Right Back.”

You may obtain your own copy by clicking HERE for as long as it remains.

First on this “fact check” card,

MYTH: Grassroots Protestors are Disrupting Town Halls
House Republican Leader John Boehner’s Office: “Back home for the August recess, rank-and-file Democratic Members of the House are facing a backlash from their constituents.”
FACT: Lobbyist-Run Groups Are Orchestrating Extremist Mobs Republicans and well-funded special interest groups are sending far-right extremists to local town halls to stop any meaningful discussion of Health Insurance Reform. Some of these mob scenes have turned especially ugly – including the hanging of Members of Congress in effigy and use of Nazi SS symbols.”

Well before this “fact check” card was made available it was shown and proven that those of us going to townhalls and expressing our displeasure are less “well organized” than supporters who receive their ‘marching orders’ from Obama’s Organizing For America or from Unions and supplied with professionally made signs.

No one complains about them sending their ‘troops’ to townhalls. But, if we email each other and go to townhalls voluntarily and for no pay, we are considered “well-funded special interests.”

Unmentioned anywhere is that on several Craigslist sites you will find ads for “PAID” activists to work in support of the Democrats Healthcare Reform measure and offered between $10 to $15 an hour to do so.

Also in this “fact check” card is,

MYTH: There is a Republican Plan Minority Whip Cantor: “The Republican plan” provides “access to affordable basic coverage.”
Fact: “Republicans have yet to coalesce around a single plan.” Even though the House Republicans’ “Health Care Solutions Group” guaranteed a counter proposal, they have refused to release a plan to the public.

So, is this blatant lie mentioned because the GOP doesn’t have a “single plan?”

Guess what, my friends, NEITHER DO THE DEMOCRATS!!

Congressman Baird admitted openly that they have several versions they are working on at the August 18 townhall.

Or, is it due to, “they have refused to release a plan to the public?” Also a blatant lie.

Remember this was sent on August 18, 2009. That is pertinent because June 17, 2009, CBS News, hardly considered a friendly outlet for the Republican Party, ran the article House Republicans Offer Health Care Plan and supplies a link to that very plan.

Kathie Durbin has nothing to say about this blatant lie issued by her favored party nor about several mentions by many of us on the right being offended by such lies. We don’t merit her time much less front-page mention in the Local Section of the paper.

But, a Liberal Democrat couple does!

Ms. Durbin mentions,

“The story was also picked up by CBS News, the Huffington Post, Politico and the AP.”

Isn’t that convenient? National Left-Winged media becomes interested in a small town couple receiving a survey by mistake and taking issue with one question in it.

Also note that one of our longer term residents, a U.S. Marine Veteran who confronted congressman Baird, is referred to as “ranting.”

Indications are that the paper of record produced this “report” without even talking to the Marine and surprise, surprise, surprise, also written by the same sweet little ‘podunk’ reporter.

Reading Ms. Durbin’s latest promote the DNC screed this morning, I shot off an email to Ms. Durbin, produced below.

Hello Ms. Durbin,

I apologize first for sounding upset, but I am. I am offended that you give such space to an alleged offensive question in a GOP fund raising mailer that even you admit is standard procedure for both party’s.

I am offended that more space is granted to the RNC disavowing the alleged offensive question.

Most of all, I am especially offended that there is total silence from you and your newspaper in regards to Republicans being offended at blatant lies in a DNC “Fact Check” card emailed out when our townhall commenced with Representative Baird.

You may view the card at http://dccc.3cdn.net/1aa7eb30369019f33a_drm6iyjf8.pdf

And if I may ask, why is a Democrat couple who allege they mistakenly received the GOP mailer and are offended given such prominence in coverage, but we Republicans are not.

Is this what the Columbian considers “Fair and Balanced?”

I have yet to receive any reply.

I almost cringe thinking what we will see from the most vitriolic John Laird’s weekly screed Sunday Morning.

UPDATE: I ran this story by the editor of a Major National Newspaper and received this reply, “Lew you are right, seems like a lot of fuss over nothing. It’s amazing what the press won’t cover, and then they get all wrapped up on something like this. Unreal.”

August 28, 2009

DCCC Mirrors The Columbian

by lewwaters

Upon opening my email this morning, I can say I wasn’t too surprised to see an email from Jon Vogel DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) Executive Director titled, “Documents Obtained Show GOP Tricks.”

The abhorrent GOP trick? Sending out a survey to GOP supporters, which is actually a fundraiser and a “trick” used by both parties to raise funds.

This “trick” was covered recently in the post The Columbian: Mouthpiece For Democrats, addressing how our local Columbian newspaper gave space to a local recently retired couple who claim to have mistakenly received such a survey from the RNC in their mail and how “offended” they were at one question in it.

Remarkably, that same question is the “GOP Trick” Jon Vogel mentions in his email.

Coincidence?

Is the Columbian coordinating with the DNC?

Did the Denny’s, the couple so offended by a simple fund raising question, send it on?

Are the DNC fans of our local paper?

Did the GOP obtain a list of Democrats to send a fund raising letter to?

Questions we will never know the answers to.

But, it is odd that one local couple is offended by a question in a survey mistakenly received and within days, the Democrat Party is sending out their own fund raiser listing that same exact survey question.

The email received;

Lew–

Republicans know the truth is not on their side. Since the beginning of August recess, they’ve come out with one outlandish lie after another to derail meaningful health insurance reform — but this one takes the cake.

In a “poll” mailed to supporters, the RNC is actually suggesting that health insurance reform is a Democratic plot to deny health care to Republicans using voter registration data:

GOP Survey Question.

This is shameless fear-mongering at its worst — and it is just a preview of the falsehoods, fabrications and outright lies Republicans will be pushing when Congress returns in September. We must be prepared to fight back hard and respond immediately to these outrageous attacks.

Help us reach our $100,000 goal before the August 31st FEC deadline: Contribute $5, $10 or more today to support critical Health Insurance Reform.

Millions of American families are just one serious illness or injury away from financial disaster. The cost of doing nothing is just too high.

A GOP spokeswoman is now trying to walk back this outrageous fabrication after being called out by the media, but don’t let them fool you — Republicans are ready to say or do whatever it takes to kill health insurance reform.

They may have scare tactics and shameless lies, but we have the truth.

Help us fight back. Contribute $5, $10 or more today to support critical Health Insurance Reform.

Thank you,

vogel-sig

 

 

Jon Vogel
DCCC Executive Director

It should be noted that the Columbian, in their article GOP fundraising ‘survey’ outrages some recipients, by Kathie Durbin, acknowledges two professional pollsters who state, “It’s standard practice to use such faux ‘surveys’ to raise money for a variety of causes, said Portland pollster Mike Riley. ‘It’s common, trying to stir the pot to see what kinds of issues get attention.’”

Portland pollster Bob Moore said, “It’s a fundraising appeal, is what it is. Everyone does it — Democrats, anti-tax groups, environmentalists. The audience that receives it has given to that organization at some point in time and is on the list to receive solicitations.”

So, even the Democrats send out such “offensive tricks,” but now claim doing so by the Republicans a new low?

It seems to me that the new low is coming out of the Democrat Party for creating an issue out of one of the common practices they too use.

Will the Columbian now grant a Republican front page in the Local Section to address our being offended?

Do we really need a party that resorts to such dirty tactics and lies in complete control of the country?

Help me answer that in November 2010 by voting such scoundrels out of office.

August 25, 2009

The Columbian: Mouthpiece For Democrats

by lewwaters

Conservatives in Clark County have known for some time that the newspaper of record in Clark County, the Columbian serves as a mouthpiece for the Liberal Democrats when it comes to political reporting.

Yes, Editor Lou Brancaccio continually denies it, often claiming the papers 2004 endorsement of President Bush as “proof.” He is often seen in the comments section of his editorials making such claims of how ‘fair and balanced’ he is.

I often wonder if he is embarrassed to admit he is a Liberal.

Many were taken aback to discover editorials two weekends in a row critical of congressman Brian Baird’s announcement of not holding townhalls, Kitchen Too Hot? and What was Baird thinking?

It appears that the Columbian is now trying to make it up to congressman Baird for criticizing him. Apparently the paper did not expect Baird’s “Brownshirt” and “Lynch mob” comments to do any real damage to him and felt safe in publishing two mild criticisms, but as seen in the August 18 town hall, Baird has been hurt as citizen after citizen stood up expressing anger at our congressman.

In a feeble attempt to diminish any damage to Baird, we saw a couple fawning articles lauding Baird’s insincere ‘apology’ for his incendiary remarks leading up to Tom Koenninger’s August 19 editorial, Baird can recover from latest woes. At an earlier Chamber luncheon, according to many in attendance, Koenninger attempted to egg on Senator Patty Murray to encourage her to condemn angry citizens who have stood up at town halls to express their anger. To Senator Murray’s credit, she did not take the bait.

In the evening of the same day, the Columbian’s Kathie Durbin submitted an article, Baird talks health care with Rotary, again fawning all over the congressman, but somehow missed congressman Baird alluding to death threats he claims to have received as the excuse for first not scheduling town halls.

Outrage expressed by county Republicans and a release from Clark County Republican Chair Ryan Hart brought us the next days article, Death threat disclosure by Baird draws criticism, condemning Republicans who were outraged over what is now identified as his explanation for not scheduling town halls when he made the comment, “If there is a Ryder truck parked out front, it has my name on it.”

Ms. Durbin makes no comment on how she too missed the comment as such an explanation.

Questions by readers on the validity of such threats and a blog post from a local blogger stating the U.S. Capitol Police saying there were no such reports filed, led to two more attempts at cover, but fell short as the Columbian had to admit that the U.S. Capitol Police would not release any actual information on such a report being filed, saying only some “matter was under investigation.”

Today, August 25, we again see the Columbian returning to it’s pro-liberal mode as they publish an article hardly worthy of being on the front page of the local section, GOP fundraising ‘survey’ outrages some recipients, by Kathie Durbin.

A quick review of the article leaves one thinking the article would have been more accurately titled, “GOP fundraising survey outrages liberal Democrats Raymond and Louise Denny,” as it is all about the Denny’s, who recently transplanted from Connecticut, being offended by one question seen in a GOP survey accidentally sent to them from the RNC.

The “offensive question” merely mentions that government could use politics to determine who gets health care.

Ms. Durbin even quotes two pollsters that say such appeals are common in fundraising letters in her article.

Yet, Raymond Denny, who describes himself as a “Liberal Democrat,” and who received the letter mistakenly, took special offense at it and the Columbian seems only too willing to accommodate Democrats by giving the mishap undeserved coverage.

One wonders when Republican offense taken at a recent healthcare Fact Check Card sent out in an email attachment by Marlon Marshall, DCCC National Field Director, and containing at least two blatant lies will also be afforded front page status on the Columbian’s Local Section.

See update at DCCC Mirrors The Columbian

Updated August 29, Podunk Reporter Creates Issue, Boasts of Resolution

August 21, 2009

Baird Milks Ryder Truck Comment

by lewwaters

Ron Paul CrybabyBrian Baird, congressman from Washington States Third Congressional District has lashed back at Clark County Republican’s for our outrage at his Ryder Truck Gaffe made before the Rotary Club this past Wednesday.

The Columbian’s Kathie Durbin, still fawning over Democrat Baird, wrote an article, Death threat disclosure by Baird draws criticism, critical of those of us who were offended by Baird’s insensitive comment and claiming he was just “recounting a death threat he received.”

Baird made National News for not holding public townhalls and labeling constituents Brown Shirt’s and alluding to Lynch Mobs.

He allegedly apologized for those cracks, claiming his words were not at constituents and reconsidered his no townhall stance,
holding one Tuesday evening at the Clark County Amphitheater, where he received an earful from several angry voters.

His Ryder Truck crack came the very next day before a Rotary Club luncheon, attended by several Republicans who found it unsavory. Clark County Chairman Ryan Hart issued a statement against the remark and has appeared on the Victoria Taft radio program discussing the insensitive remark.

The Columbian’s Kathie Durbin wrote,

“But after Baird alluded to the threat during brief introductory comments to the Rotary Club of Vancouver on Wednesday, Clark County Republicans denounced him for invoking the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.”

“Commenting on why he was initially reluctant to hold town hall forums on health care reform, Baird told the Rotary Club audience: ‘If there is a Ryder truck parked out front, it has my name on it.’”

Sorry, but that last paragraph doesn’t even make sense. The context presented doesn’t make sense. A “botched joke” excuse would have made more sense.

But instead, our elected representative Baird slaps back at us with,

“This is a new low. Rather than condemn those who made the threat, I am being criticized for talking about the threat.”

No Brian, you are being criticized for your insensitivity and trying to play victim over some alleged poster of Obama as the joker being faxed to you and now, an anonymous phone call that you claim said,

“You think Timothy McVeigh was bad, there is a Ryder Truck out there with your name on it.”

As a Clinical Psychologist, Baird should be able to see this for what it is, if it even actually happened. Disgruntled people make outrageous comments they will never carry out all the time.

Still, I can see it serious enough to report to the authorities, which Baird claims to have done. According to Kelly Love, Baird’s Vancouver district director,

“The message left on Baird’s office voice mail was turned over to the U.S. Capitol Police.”

However, fellow blogger Bob Koski, of Clarkblog.org actually called the U.S. Capitol Police and according to Koski, “there is no record of any such complaint.”

The Columbian, for their part, made no such call to the U.S. Capitol Police to confirm any such threat was ever made or reported. They publish an article critical of voters and subscribers, after not saying anything about voters being offended by the comment, telling us we have “reached a new low” and the more commonly seen Democrat claim, “my words were taken out of context for cheap political gain.”

The residents of Washington State’s Third Congressional District deserve better than to be continually slighted by an elected official who has no problem repeatedly selling out constituents.

UPDATE: If Brian Baird and the Columbian are really so concerned about Death Threats, why not expose Kill a dissenter….save a life?

October 1, 2008

Association of Washington Business Announce Endorsements

by lewwaters

The September 30, 2008 Columbian Political Beat treated us to announcing some of the Association of Washington Business Political Endorsements.

Actually, Kathie Durbin seemed to make more of a point as to which Republicans did not receive their endorsement and informing us that the AWB endorsed 12 Democrats.

To be fair to Kathie, while she did announce which local Republicans they did endorse, she somehow neglected to mention their endorsement for the most important race facing us, the Governorship. They endorsed Dino Rossi over Christine Gregoire.

While mentioning they did not endorse local Republican candidates, somehow the names of the local Democrats they did not endorse escaped mention.

A full list of candidates from both parties they did endorse may be seen at AWB Endorsements.

As I mentioned, Kathie does make a point of letting us know that 12 Democrats were endorsed by the AWB, I count 14 if you include the Lieutenant Governor and State Auditor offices. She does not let us know that they endorsed 58 Republicans, though and 1 Independent.

While I am disappointed at the lack of endorsement of some candidates, they have the freedom to endorse whomever they deem worthy of office. I do not find any criteria used to arrive at their endorsements, so I won’t speculate.

Particularly disappointing is seeing they did not endorse Tom Langston, Joseph James or Debbie Peterson, who Ms. Durbin identifies as, “the Vancouver schoolteacher and third-bridge proponent who is running against Jim Jacks.”

I find Debbie to be much more than that and see Kathie’s description as a slur on Debbie Peterson, especially knowing that the Columbian endorses Jim Jacks, who you may recall answered a question at the League of Women’s Voters Debate on changing Washington’s Tax System with, “I don’t know how to solve it, I’m not a tax expert.”

Debbie Peterson expressed clear and pertinent ideas on solving the projected multi-billion dollar tax deficit we face.

Tom Langston is a very capable candidate, but seems to lack the polish a more experienced politician like Craig Pridemore possesses. That is not a slur against Tom because that political polish often hides true political intent from voters and I find it refreshing to see and hear a candidate who portrays honesty and sound principles. Tom is a business owner himself who would take with him to the Senate business experience in turning a profit without having to rely on raising taxes as the sole means to prevent he projected deficit Governor Gregoire has us currently facing.

Likewise, Joseph James comes with a business oriented background and has received several other endorsements from professionals.

Most disappointing from James’s opponent was seeing his web page resorting to the old dirty tactics of mud throwing instead of standing on his own merit. Aren’t we tired of that yet?

Ms. Durbin also makes a point to let us know that Micheline Doan did not receive their endorsement either. Reading her description of Michelene we see her described as, “the anti-tolling activist and president of the Clark County Republican Women’s Club.”

I find it curious that Ms. Durbin seems to rely on such demeaning descriptions of Republican candidates, especially the women, while not mentioning that the Democrats may be “tax and spend,” “big government proponents,” “leftwing activists” or “Public Transportation Activists.”

She does make certain to mention certain Democrats, but makes no mention that they too did not receive the coveted Association of Washington Business endorsement.

Then again, the Columbian never has reported on Jim Jacks lack of preparation or coherent answer at the League of Women Voters Debate against Debbie Peterson.

Endorsements do make news and are important, if we wish to follow others instead of relying on our own common sense. We can usually expect conservative organizations to endorse Republicans and you can bank on Unions and leftist groups to endorse Democrats, sometimes blindly it seems.

Rather than rely on endorsements, though, I encourage all to study each candidate, read their web sites and if possible, meet them at public events. We each receive but one vote per race and it is up to us to decide who represents us, not the Columbian, Unions or even the WAB.

Listen to why they may endorse or oppose a particular candidate, but place more importance in your own common sense, not what someone wants you to hear.

Look past the bias of our local paper and partisans, do your homework and let’s send the best candidates we can to Olympia.

Give these Republican candidates a chance and you just may discover how they can shine instead of taking away from us for pet projects.