Keep Herrera Beutler in U.S. House

2012-09-19T00:45:00Z 2012-11-06T11:33:47Z Keep Herrera Beutler in U.S. House Longview Daily News
September 19, 2012 12:45 am

Sept. 19 Daily News editorial

While members of the U.S. House of Representatives are required to seek re-election every two years, it's our experience that it takes longer than two years to fairly evaluate their performance in Congress.

It's not a job that's easily learned, let alone mastered.

Washington's 3rd District, of course, was faced with a choice between two first-time candidates in 2010 and chose State Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican, over Democrat Denny Heck.

Rep. Herrera Beutler's chances of re-election were then greatly enhanced by redistricting, which moved some traditionally Democratic areas out of the 3rd District and made it generally more favorable to a Republican. Anything but a comfortable victory for Herrera Beutler in November would now constitute a major surprise.

Even if that were not the case, however, it's likely we'd be endorsing her re-election — as we do today. 

Some of our reasoning:

• One of the primary criticisms of Herrera Buetler's first two years in office is that she's allegedly been "slow" to take positions on a few of the more complex local issues. We can certainly understand a level of caution on her part, particularly since she's in a new arena. We additionally contend it's far too early to downgrade her for being overly cautious. When she's arrived at an opinion, we haven't found her reluctant to state it.

• We're still learning, in some ways, how "Republican" she is. While it's easy to lump her with the rest of the GOP's large "Class of 2010" in the House, her voting record doesn't indicate that she's a lockstep "yes" vote for everything proposed by Republican leadership and backs up her contention that what's best for her district, rather than the national GOP, remains her top priority.

"I don't pay attention to labels or ratings," she said. "I've never called myself a moderate or a Tea Party person. Call me whatever you like, but you should know my focus is always on my district."

• She's improving in terms of relating her views to the public and the press. This was not a strength in her first campaign. Her next step in this area would be to hold more of the open meetings district residents came to expect from former Rep. Brian Baird. We don't regard Herrera Beutler's position that such meetings draw too many hecklers to be productive as tenable over a long term. Experienced, confident politicians don't act out of fear of hecklers.

• We'd call her a realist rather than a conservative ideologue. "You spend your first term in Congress finding out who you want to be with in a foxhole," she told us. "My list includes Democrats as well as Republicans.

"Nationally, political extremes have gotten very extreme. Our 3rd District has an independent identity and national trends don't always bear out here. This is the environment I prefer."

• Herrera Beutler's opponent, Jon Haugen, is a military veteran and an airline pilot from Clark County who struck us as someone who's attempted to become as well-grounded as possible on many of the issues. That having been said, he does not have the endorsement of the Washington state Democratic Party and did not strike us as particularly well-prepared to serve in the high office that he's seeking.

We don't agree with all the positions Herrera Beutler has taken and did not expect to. We do find her sincere in her desire to serve all of her constituents and those in our readership who've sought her assistance have expressed (to us) general satisfaction with the process, if not always the final outcome.

We did not endorse Rep. Herrera Beutler in 2010, but are pleased to do so in 2012.

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. Edward Phillips
    Report Abuse
    Edward Phillips - September 19, 2012 6:07 am
    She gives no indication of being capable of independent thought. She seems a Tea Party partisan to me. I find no real basis for your contention that she exhibits any independence from the conservative wing of the party.
    ed phillips
  2. Cheney119er
    Report Abuse
    Cheney119er - September 19, 2012 7:42 am
    This do nothing republican house has through inaction kept our economy down for political gain. I find their behavior unAmerican and she has been in the thick of it all along. Sending one more back of these slime back to DC will only keep that going. So your conclusion is more experience will make her better at it? I expect nothing less from this shamefully ideological TDN editorial board, you've done nothing but give her a pass all along. You aren't journalists you are their lap dogs.
  3. justthefacts
    Report Abuse
    justthefacts - September 19, 2012 1:24 pm
    She's Tea Party through and through, whether she likes the labels or not. It's obvious because she can't think for herself. She's told by Grover Norquist and A.L.E.C. what bills to support and how to vote. She supported blocking a jobs package worth 2 millions jobs while proud of the 35 jobs filled at her "jobs fair". She seems to get TDN and the Columbian all excited, though.
  4. Liberalism is a Mental Disorder
    Report Abuse
    Liberalism is a Mental Disorder - September 19, 2012 1:48 pm
    Got to have someone for this inept president to blame for his woes. This do nothing president is the reason the country is failing...but blind people cannot see...
  5. TIGER
    Report Abuse
    TIGER - September 19, 2012 4:10 pm
    She is a very qualified candidant, and just because a few that commented here dosen't understand Politics, she is much smarter then even Obama, and has a good outlook for the future Blind peoplewho can not see is you fella. I'm not sure she is a Tea Party favorite, because I am a Tea Party member, and have never heard her name, but the DoDo birds will say anything!
  6. Cheney119er
    Report Abuse
    Cheney119er - September 19, 2012 5:20 pm
    She has never had a private sector job. She's one of the 47% that Mitt is talking about, just like you are Tiger. She's a taker not a maker.
  7. DW111
    Report Abuse
    DW111 - September 21, 2012 12:45 pm
    Wow Cheney, Sticks and stones might break my bones.............
  8. Cheney119er
    Report Abuse
    Cheney119er - September 21, 2012 4:04 pm
    But the truth will hurt the GOP, it's the chickens com'n home to roost.
  9. owlcreekcats
    Report Abuse
    owlcreekcats - September 26, 2012 5:59 pm
    Ms Beutler voted the teapublican way every time there was a vote. How can you say that she is for the entire 3rd district? That is NOT representation for all! She has voted against women everytime. She is a good friend of Ms Cathy McMorris Rogers who is in deep with the tea party favs. How can you support her when she is so partisan? She and other teapublicans need to go. They are the ones who made this country so divided. Fire her behind!

  10. arnie98683
    Report Abuse
    arnie98683 - October 12, 2012 4:33 pm
    Herrera is a Tea Party Republican. She's horrible!!! She signed the Grover Norquist pledge and, as long as she is in office, she and her Republican peers will continue to be obstructionists.
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