Letter to the Editor: Chronicle Editorial Board Gets It Wrong on Mill Closure


On May 16, the editorial board at The Chronicle published a poorly-researched opinion piece on my campaign ad, which featured the closure of the pulp mill in Camas, Washington.

The article extensively cited comments made by the mill’s attorney, who claimed that “a portion of the mill was shut down in 2017” due to “the ongoing decline in use of copy paper.” Based on that excuse, The Chronicle asserted that Georgia-Pacific was simply following the law of supply and demand.

In reality, the DOL found the closure of the pulp mill was due to competition from Chinese companies. The comments offered by the attorney were the excuses used in an attempt to deny workers their retraining benefits. Similarly, labor leaders at the Camas mill stated that the pulp mill closed because Asian markets offered pulp at lower prices. Mindlessly repeating that the mill closure was due to diminished demand, rather than globalization and outsourcing, is disingenuous.

Koch Industries, which owns Georgia-Pacific, has been outsourcing Georgia-Pacific’s jobs for well over a decade, resulting in over 2,000 layoffs nationwide. Last year, hundreds of jobs were lost at the McCall, Kentucky plant. Labor leaders there stated the jobs were outsourced to China. In response, Koch Industries recycled the same boilerplate excuse they used for the Camas closure: a decline in the use of copy paper.

Koch Industries is not an American company if they outsource the lion’s share of their labor to China. The endless pursuit of profit and increasing share prices at little to no benefit for the consumer is not worth destroying American families by taking away the jobs that they have relied on for generations.

Establishment Republicans and Democrats have no qualms with the destruction of the American economy. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler has received more than $20,000 from Koch Industries. She has been complicit in the economic destruction of the Pacific Northwest’s pulp and paper manufacturing base. The “America first” economic and manufacturing policy that I advocate for is critically necessary for our nation’s future success.

Though it claims its piece is a defense of the “free market,” The Chronicle’s editorial board is simply parroting the misinformation and lies of the Koch family, in order to damage my campaign and bail out Congresswoman Herrera Buetler.


Joe Kent

Candidate for Congres