Friday, December 9, 2022
Dec. 9, 2022

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Probst: Candidate Peck is ‘lying’ in TV ad

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State Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, will serve as a state legislator until the end of her term in January, when she will officially retire. A Tuesday story misstated her status.

Despite clear evidence to the contrary, Republican legislative candidate Brian Peck launched a $40,000 cable TV ad campaign Monday that accuses state Rep Tim Probst, his Democratic opponent, of voting “for the largest budget in state history, paid for with higher taxes.”

Probst, the director of a statewide work-force training organization, is running for a second term representing the 17th Legislative District. He was one of a handful of Democrats to vote against the 2010-11 supplemental budget, which imposed new taxes on soda, bottled water, candy and other items.

He has a 100 percent record of voting against state taxes, and the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a conservative budget watchdog organization, has ranked him the No. 1 lawmaker in the Legislature for opposing new taxes two years in a row. He has been endorsed by the Association of Washington Business, among other fiscally conservative groups.

“Brian is lying directly to the voters,” Probst said Monday after reviewing the ad on a conservative website. “He knows he’s lying directly to the voters and it’s insulting to the voters.”

State Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, will serve as a state legislator until the end of her term in January, when she will officially retire. A Tuesday story misstated her status.

In an interview Monday, Peck said he was initially confused about which of Probst’s budget votes “counted.” He said that when he brought up Probst’s voting record in a meeting with The Columbian’s editorial board last week, “I’m not sure at the time what vote I was thinking it was. I had to look up my information.”

‘Yes’ vote cut spending

He said the ad actually refers to Probst’s yes vote last year on the 2009-11 budget, an all-cuts budget that included no new taxes and reduced state spending by $5 billion. In fact, the Legislature could not have mustered the two-thirds vote necessary to raise taxes that year under a voter-approved initiative that has since been suspended.

Probst was happy to defend his 2009 vote.

“I voted for the 2009 budget because it was an all-cuts budget,” he said. “In 2010, I voted against the budget because it was not an all-cuts budget and it was paid for with higher taxes. I voted against it, Brian knows I voted against it, but he’s telling the voters I voted for it. He knows it’s not true and he should pull the ad.”

Probst said he also voted for an “early-cuts” budget in January 2010 aimed at giving the state a head start on cutting spending for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Peck, a political newcomer who owns a Vancouver gas station, defended his ad and said he has no intention of pulling it.

“We had to raise taxes because of the 2009 budget,” he said. “We didn’t fix the problem in 2009 and we didn’t fix the problem in 2010 and now we’re doing it with across-the-board cuts,” he said. “We have not prioritized our spending.”

State Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, who represents the 17th District but is not seeking re-election, accused Peck of “twisting the information.”

“I think honesty matters,” she said. “Tim is fiscally conservative and has really been looking out for the pocketbooks of the people of Clark County.”e said. “Tim is fiscally conservative and has really been looking out for the pocketbooks of the people of Clark County.”

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