Letters to the Editor for March 22, 2018

Long should replace Herrera Beutler in 3rd congressional district

I support Carolyn Long as our next congresswoman for the Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, because she is strong, competent and cares about people. Our current representative’s record proves her to be weak, absent and ineffective. We need Carolyn in the U.S. House of Representatives, working for us.

(Editor’s note: The current representative for Washington’s 3rd District is Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, whose current term expires in 2019.)

Our current representative has one of the worst records for missed votes in the House of Representatives, according to GovTrack.us. She has missed more than one out of every eight roll call votes, five times more than the median for the current House of Representatives. Ironically, our current representative recently proposed legislation called the Chronic Absenteeism Reduction Act as an effort to improve student attendance. In her nearly eight years in office, our current representative has been the primary sponsor of only two bills that were enacted. While both are worthwhile — affecting crab fisheries and protecting breastfeeding mothers traveling on commercial airliners — what about the other pressing needs of our district?

I am convinced that Carolyn Long will get more done for the 3rd Congressional District. Carolyn is an informed supporter of education, equality, health care, jobs, economic growth and infrastructure, including bringing high speed internet to the rural areas in our district. She is hardworking and cares about all the people in the 3rd Congressional District. When we send Carolyn to Washington, I know she will be there, working hard for us.

Our current representative misses votes and she misses in-person town hall meetings with her district constituents. She is not working in D.C., and she is not working here in our district either. Carolyn has had at least 12 town hall meetings all around the district, and there are more planned in the future. They are listed on her website. If you attend one of her town hall meetings, you will learn that she is both well-informed on many issues and ready to listen to the concerns of the people in our district.

On Jan. 24, 2018, our current representative met with The Columbian editorial board, and responded to questions regarding the new tax bill she voted into law. She said she would take ownership of it and that, if it is not working five years down the road, she will think about change. We can’t afford to wait five years. Asked, why the tax relief for individuals expires in 2025, she responded: “I cajoled as many of the committee members as I could on that issue.” Cajoled means to persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing and flattery. Is that the skills she has for making change happen while working with people in her own party? She also said that she is going to introduce legislation to make the tax cut for individuals permanent. Given her weak record for successful legislation, I don’t find that answer encouraging, and I don’t believe her legislation will ever get enacted. I would like to know why the corporate tax cuts never expire, while the modest tax cut for individuals phases out rapidly? I would like to know how taxpayers are going to pay for the increased deficit created by her new tax law. I would like to see her have an in-person town hall meeting to explain her positions. I would like to see her do her job and stop making excuses about the promises she does not keep.

I support Carolyn Long for the 3rd Congressional District because I know I will never have to ask Carolyn to show up and do her job. Carolyn Long is an expert at bringing people to the table. She is not afraid to work with and listen to people who have viewpoints different from her own. Carolyn knows how to find the common ground needed to make real change happen that benefits all of the people in the 3rd Congressional District.

Betty Cooper, Washougal

Camas School District employee upset by behavior at walkout

As an employee of Camas School District, I was able to attend the walkout on Wednesday, March 14, at 10 a.m., at the middle school, to make a stand against gun violence out of respect for the 17 people killed in the Florida shooting. Boy, was I disgusted. Most of the students were laughing and playing around, showing very little respect for those 17 victims. There was a small group of students that remained silent, or held quiet conversation regarding the shooting. However, the majority of the students were outright disrespectful. Upon entering the building, I even heard a boy asking, “Wasn’t that fun?”

Leslie Levesque, Vancouver