VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — The race for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District is a rematch between incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler and Carolyn Long. Their dueling political ads dot the airwaves every day and have cost millions of dollars combined.
There are so many complicated issues the candidates are running on, but it’s those ads that go a long way toward framing how voters think about the candidates. Here’s a dissection of some of those ads.
‘Jaime bought into Trump and she sold us out’
Democrat Carolyn Long accuses Jaime Herrera Beutler of being in President Trump’s pocket. According to data trackers at FiveThirtyEight.com, Herrera Beutler has been one of the most independent Republicans in the current Congress.
She voted with President Trump 69% of the time the last 2 years, down from 91% in the prior congressional term. Only 7 members of the GOP voted with President Trump less often.
“He’s tried to do things like sell off the Bonneville Power Administration or drill off the coast, off the Pacific coast to find oil. Those aren’t things that help us. And those are things that are in line with our way of thinking here regionally,” Herrera Beutler said. “And I’ve had to stand up to him.”
“On the issues that matter to Southwest Washingtonians when I’m speaking to them, affordable access to healthcare, tax reform, infrastructure investment, on these major issues, she does vote in line with the president,” countered Long.
‘Are you going to vote for Trump this time?’ ‘I am’
Long points out Herrera Beutler flip flopped on President Trump. The Republican didn’t vote for Trump in 2016.
“I didn’t want to tell my daughter that I’m OK with behavior like this because I think when it comes to leadership character does matter,” Herrera Beutler told the packed crowd at a town hall meeting in 2017.
What changed this time?
“Well I certainly believe that integrity is important,” she told KOIN 6 News. “Right now people are clinging to their livelihoods. I don’t want to support a president who’s going to raise taxes. Joe Biden has talked about it.”
‘Long supports lots of higher taxes, too’
In a rare move, Herrera Beutler is re-using an ad she ran during the last campaign in 2018 that states Long will end the Republican tax cuts. The ad attributes Long’s statements to KXRW Radio.
But if you listen to the interview from 2018, Long said the opposite about raising taxes when it comes to working class families.
“The cuts that are in that bill need to be made permanent,” Long said in that 2018 interview on KXRW.
She added small businesses need tax help. “Small business owners make up a huge number of individuals who are working and a huge part of our economy. Let’s incentivize them so they can be successful.”
In an interview recently with KOIN 6 News, Long said. “We need to make some reforms that prioritize working families and small businesses. It’s been my position for the last 3-and-a-half years, as well as my concern that the bill adds $2 trillion to the national debt that all of us will pay for.”
Battle over the pharmaceutical industry
One Long ad states: “”Politicians like Jaime Herrera Beutler run for Congress and the prescription drug industry funds her campaign.”
One Herrera Beutler ad states: “(Long’s) husband was on the payroll of a drug company that raised insulin prices 700%.” He was a pharmaceutical sales rep.
Asked if that is hypocritical, Long said, “First of all, this is why people hate politicians. She’s very much like Donald Trump, where she’s going after my husband and making an argument about my family who has a retirement account. And she’s doing it to draw attention away from the fact that she’s taken $1.6 million in corporate money.”
The point of this is: do your own research.
The political ads — which the candidates control — lack context and key facts.
Long told KOIN 6 News her polling show’s she’s within 2 points of Herrera Beutler.