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News / Clark County News

Clark County GOP party may censure Herrera Beutler

'Poor voting record' cited

By Lauren Dake, Columbian Political Writer
Published: January 12, 2015, 4:00pm

The Clark County Republican Party is expected to vote at its next meeting on whether to censure U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas.

If passed, the move could mean Herrera Beutler would be banned from speaking at any campaign events sponsored by the Clark County GOP or from being featured in any of the local party’s literature.

In part, the motion reads: “Please understand, we receive no satisfaction from disciplining one of our own. However, silence is acceptance, and we cannot accept your poor voting record; therefore, we cannot remain silent. We hope this will cause you to reflect upon your actions, and we look forward to the day when our differences have been reconciled that we may repeal this censure from your record.”

The motion for consideration to censure Herrera Beutler was introduced Thursday during a meeting of the local party’s precinct committee officers. PCO Joseph Wagner was the one to introduce the motion, and it was approved 59-49.

The party is expected to discuss the motion at its next meeting, likely in March.

Clark County Republican Party Chairman Kenny Smith said it’s important to have the discussion.

“This has to do with the vision of the different people’s interpretation of what the party ought to be doing,” Smith said. “I think people want to have a discussion about this, and I welcome the discussion because this is exactly what we need to do is talk about the purpose of the party and the proper role of government, and that’s at the heart of the debate.”

Wagner’s resolution outlines a list of votes that he believes “established a pattern of voting with Democrats to increase spending, increase the debt and increase regulations.”

It included votes in favor of the final version of the farm bill and for John Boehner as speaker of the House.

Casey Bowman, Herrera Beutler’s spokesman, said the congresswoman will be communicating with the local party in the coming days and “welcomes the continued support of Clark County Republicans.”

“Jaime stands by her record of voting with Southwest Washington 100 percent of the time. This includes helping reduce the federal deficit by more than two-thirds since taking office, supporting the Paul Ryan plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years, and fighting on behalf of Clark County residents to oppose light rail across the (Interstate) 5 Bridge,” Bowman wrote in an email.

One local conservative activist blog, “Called Unto Liberty,” reported that while precinct committee officers considered the motion Thursday, one of Herrera Beutler’s staffers told the Clark County Republican Party that they were considered the “laughingstock” of Southwest Washington.

Smith confirmed something along those lines was said at the meeting by Jonathan Egan, who is also a precinct committee officer and staff assistant for Herrera Beutler.

Bowman said Egan attended the meeting on his own time and was not acting as a representative of the congresswoman.

“I attended last week’s Clark County Republican meeting on my own time and in a strictly personal capacity. I made comments that I regret, and I apologize for them. I went too far. In no way did my words express the views of Jaime Herrera Beutler or any member of her staff,” Egan said in an email.

Columbian Political Writer