Letter: ‘I prefer our current congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler, who serves our community tirelessly’

Camas resident Brad Jensen shares his thoughts about a recent editorial by candidate Carolyn Long

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com 

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “… wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government” or democracy needs an informed public.  As a society we have rushed to support propaganda media that pleases us because it reinforces our personal prejudices.   We need to be challenged by other views.  Jefferson wrote, “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day”.  Maybe we are experiencing “evil spirits” because we have abandoned free discourse, pursuit of truth and become ignorant of our history.

Brad Jensen
Brad Jensen

A Clark County area newspaper recently posted an editorial by candidate Carolyn Long criticizing the Paycheck Protection Program and did not allow any comments.   

With the current crisis striking small businesses across the country, I’m so very grateful leaders like Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that gives small businesses forgivable loans so that they can meet payroll and pay rents. Given the state-mandated closures that protect us, it was a brilliant and creative tool to keep them as ready as possible to reopen their doors when they’re allowed to do so.  Nearly 19,000 loans have been distributed to small businesses in Clark County and around our state. Over 70 percent of these loans were for less than $150,000 – meaning they went to main street businesses.

For some perspective, the USA has a current population of 331,000,000 and 3,531,905 square miles.  Recently the PPP program had approved 1,680,000 loans from 4,700 lending institutions.  The US Census bureau considers the US to have 16,055 corporations with over 500 employees. Indeed, Forbes reports that the application rate has dramatically slowed down.  This week, the loan forgiveness application was released.  We all know the PPP was approved five years ago (how long it took to implement “Obamacare”), right? No, actually two months ago.  So, John’s Fresh Produce would have survived in 2020.

There is no question that the PPP had problems with implementation over the last two months and is still not comprehensive, but I think history will view this as a remarkable bipartisan achievement.

So, it was majorly disappointing to read Herrera Beutler’s opponent, Carolyn Long, criticize this incredibly effective program that was passed unanimously out of Congress.  With the criticism, one must consider that Long would have opposed the bill and opposed the PPP if she were in Congress.  She criticizes employers affiliated with large corporations though we have thousands of people employed by these types of businesses in Clark County. Would it have been better if large companies had laid off thousands, or tens of thousands?  Do you work for one of these companies?  If the employers were truly in need of assistance, and they qualified, do these jobs not count?  Why not?

Candidate Long doesn’t say what she would do differently.  She doesn’t propose any ideas of how to help America survive this pandemic of epic proportions any differently.  Just criticisms, ugly envy and resentment politics.  And remind me what experience Long has successfully working with businesses?

I prefer our current congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler, who serves our community tirelessly, providing hopeful solutions, and acting decisively to help us weather this storm.  To see what has really happened review all the resources she has identified and helped put in place at jhb.house.gov/coronavirus/. Check it out.  There is a good chance you will find something helpful.

Brad Jensen