Sunday, April 18, 2010

A brief reminder of the Jamie Herrera of November, 2007.

Jaime Herrera said a lot to get herself appointed to the vacant 18th District seat back in November, 2007.

And just as a friendly reminder, I thought you'd all like to see that article, in it's entirety, from the Columbian of November 30 of that year, so you'd be able to see if she's kept all her promises.

Excepting for a little highlighting, this is the article in it's entirety, unmodified by me in any way.

18th District seat filled by young conservative

Friday, November 30, 2007
BY MICHAEL ANDERSEN, Columbian staff writer

A young "family values" conservative with a glowing résumé was named Thursday to succeed former Rep. Richard Curtis in Washington's 18th Legislative District.

Four of the six commissioners in Clark and Cowlitz counties voted to appoint Jaime Herrera, 29, a Prairie High School graduate working as a legislative aide for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Colville.

"Every step I have taken since high school has been preparing me for this," she said at Thursday's hearing, her voice cracking slightly. "There is not a job in the world I would rather have."

Herrera, who said she has always kept her official residence at her parents' Ridgefield home, had also been the top choice of her district's Republican precinct officers. She will represent the west and north part of both counties, including every city in Clark County except Vancouver.

She will be one of just 35 Republicans in Washington's 98-member House of Representatives.

Commissioners passed over the district's second and third choices, Camas city councilman Scott Higgins and La Center political consultant Ann Rivers.

Each received one vote from the commissioners' panel: Higgins from Clark Commissioner Steve Stuart, and Rivers from Cowlitz Commissioner Kathleen Johnson..

Rivers said Thursday evening she hadn't ruled out running for Herrera's seat when Curtis' term expires in 2008. Higgins said he would not do so.

Herrera said she decided she was a Republican after leaving home to attend the University of Washington and reflecting on the values she said she'd learned in her small-town family of six children.

"I do believe in smaller government, less government at every possible turn," said the former White House and legislative intern. "People in Olympia have really good ideas. All the time, they have really good ideas. But good ideas aren't always really what we need."

She told commissioners that she opposes almost all abortion rights, that she preferred a 60-percent supermajority rule for school levies and would have opposed last year's law extending legal partnerships to some same-sex couples.

Schools, she said, should "refocus on basic education" instead of following the "latest and greatest" recommendations from Olympia.

She said she supports "common-sense" measures to fight global warming, but wouldn't make them a priority.

"I spend my time on education and health," she said. "Social services. That's where my heart is."

Standing before the group of five Democrats and one Republican Thursday, Herrera occasionally sounded like a Democrat.

She said she would support a gas tax hike if there was a "consensus" that it would be needed for a new bridge over the Columbia River.

The sister of a would-be electrician, she said she would "work to be a friend" to organized labor.

And Herrera, who said her parents adopted three of her cousins as their own after the cousins' lives were "impacted by" methamphetamine, touted the benefits of treatment for drug addicts, as opposed to tougher law enforcement.

"Neither political party has all the answers," she said. "My ear is open and my heart is open to both Republicans and Democrats."

Herrera's father is of Mexican descent. She will be among a handful of Washington legislators with Latino backgrounds, and the only one from Clark County.

Herrera's predecessor, La Center Republican Richard Curtis, resigned Oct. 31 under pressure from GOP leaders after a police account of his tryst with a male porn model during a Spokane legislative retreat was made public.

The man, Cody Castagna, told police that Curtis offered him $1,000 for unprotected sex. Paying for sex is a misdemeanor under state law. Curtis, however, said he offered Castagna only $100 for gas money and has denied doing anything illegal.

All commissioners had praise for Herrera during Thursday's six hours of interview and deliberation.

"We are going to need a person who will work with the other side of the aisle," said Commissioner Marc Boldt, the panel's lone Republican.

Commissioner Betty Sue Morris said Herrera reminded her of herself.

"What I saw you do today was be pleasant and politic and then suddenly hold your ground very well," she told Herrera.

Cowlitz County Commissioner Axel Swanson, a Democrat, said he felt odd to be asked to choose the best Republican for a political job. But he decided to follow the opposing party's preference.

"That's what I would want someone to do if the shoe were on the other foot," he said.

Kelly Hinton, 52, a Hockinson Republican, said he'd driven up to Kelso to oppose Herrera. He said she didn't seem to know much about local issues.

"She doesn't have an apartment," he said. "She doesn't have a house. What she has is a voter registration card."

Several times during Thursday's interview, Herrera confessed ignorance of various issues, saying for example that she hadn't known that Cowlitz County is not subject to the state's Growth Management Act.

Like the other two candidates, she struggled to name every city in the legislative district in response to a pop quiz from Morris - though Rivers forgot only Ridgefield.

"I have a lot to learn in life as in the legislative process," Herrera said. "But I believe I am as well-prepared as anyone I know."

After the Thursday afternoon vote, Cowlitz County Auditor Kristina Swanson immediately swore Herrera into office. Herrera then raced to Olympia, where legislators were already meeting in special session.

At the Capitol, Herrera was swept into a meeting with House Republican leader Richard DeBolt for a quick tutorial on a bill to provide property tax deferrals to moderate-income homeowners. Republican lawmakers were uniformly opposed to the Senate bill.

Herrera was greeted with hugs by staff members who had worked with her during her internship with Sen. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield.

"I'm excited," said Herrera, who admitted that she had not eaten all day. "I'm ready to get to work."

Well, there you have it.

The problem, besides her complete lack of accomplishment or qualification, is that she not only "sounds like a democrat," but she acts like one, thinks like one, and votes like one as well.

Why Herrera supporters would saddle us with a "confessed ignorant" RINO is beyond me.

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