Janet Leth’s July 26 letter to the editor about members of Congress holding town halls needs correcting. There’s a lot to it that makes me very suspicious of Janet’s motives. 

First, Brian Baird stopped holding town halls — an important detail that is often revised out of the history told by local Democrats, including Janet. More specifically, he got yelled at by citizens for supporting Obamacare, compared constituents who disagreed with him to “brown shirt” Nazis, and said his life was in danger and he’d no longer hold them.

Second, when was the last time Patty Murray or Maria Cantwell held a town hall? Never, that’s when. That’s also the same number of letters Janet has sent criticizing her U.S. senators for their absences. Why is that, I wonder? Could it be because they agree with her politically?

And third: Jaime Herrera Beutler is an incredibly effective member of Congress who does more than just pose for photo ops. She and her staff host a weekly office here in Chehalis. She’s gotten more bills signed into law in the last 12 months — one to help sick kids access children’s hospitals, one to help Purple Heart recipients own homes, one to remove sea lions destroying our salmon, and one to help the Chehalis Tribe complete an economic development project — than any other Washington representative. With that kind of action on Herrera Beutler’s part, anyone care that she’s not holding out-of-date town halls as much? Me neither.

Until people like Janet and Congresswoman Herrera Beutler’s opportunistic political opponents can start telling an honest story about town halls, I’ll file their complaints in the recycling bin.


Anthony Ahrens


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