‘You Want Me to Yell Louder?’: 20th District Lawmakers on Defense at Town Hall

Drive-In: Constituents Frustrated With COVID-19 Mandates Fume in Meeting With Braun, Orcutt and Abbarno

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Lawmakers representing the 20th Legislative District were on defense Monday night during their first in-person town hall event in many months. There, at the Veterans Memorial Museum, constituents pushed the three Republicans on COVID-19 mandates, questioning why they weren’t doing more, interrupting them and at one point booing.

“I want to see you jumping up and down” about COVID-19 mandates, one participant told Sen. John Braun, Rep. Ed Orcutt and Rep. Peter Abbarno. 

Two separate constituents — including Mackinaw’s owner Laurel Khan, who proclaimed her liquor license was revoked after refusing to comply with state health mandates — urged the lawmakers to revert to Boston Tea Party-era protests, an event precipitating the American Revolution. 

But the Republicans, speaking to a drive-in crowd in addition to those listening and watching from home, generally stuck to a core message: Washington’s response to COVID-19 will only meaningfully change through legislation and the regaining of a Republican majority. 

“You want me to yell louder? You want me to yell at different people? I can do that. It won’t change your situation, alright?” Braun told the crowd, adding later: “I don’t think the answer is 1776. I ask you consider that before you suggest it.”

Braun, the top Republican state senator, framed himself as more optimistic than some in the crowd about the possibility of his party regaining the majority in the Legislature. But when he said the election system “is well-run” within existing rules — some of which he disagrees with — he was met with boos and one person calling him a RINO, or “Republican In Name Only.”

Orcutt also disagreed with Khan — who was greeted with applause and said “we rip up our licenses and disrespect the government that’s disrespecting us.”

Jumping up and down, Orcutt said, “hasn’t worked. It hasn’t changed anything … I’m sorry, that’s just the facts.”

Braun said he supports what he called civil disobedience, but rebuked a frustrated crowd. 

“I spent 31 years in the U.S. Navy defending the U.S. Constitution, alright? You can be mad at me if you want. But you don’t get to challenge my intentions,” he said. “I’ve worked hard for our country and for our state.”

Abbarno appealed to the passionate crowd, pointing to his recent attendance at “unmask” events and Medical Freedom Lewis County meetings held in Adna. 

He added that he hates asking his children if they have their masks for school, but was interrupted by hecklers, one saying “then stop doing it.”

Orcutt urged the crowd to reach out to their friends in blue districts, highlighting his party’s need to change minds across the state in order to gain power in the Legislature. He also told constituents that his legislative work is cutting into his forestry day job. 

“I’ve been working for you. I’ve been doing it at my own expense in that I don’t get to go out and do my job,” he said. 

The lawmakers spent much of the evening event condemning vaccine mandates and other state requirements related to the pandemic. When one attendee brought up campaign donations by Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company manufacturing a FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, Abbarno and Braun both said the donations don’t impact their votes. 

“I think my co-sponsorship of bills and my voice against vaccine passports and mandatory vaccines shows, and is actually proof, that they don’t have any say in my vote,” Abbarno said. 

They also touched on the exemption process for state vaccine requirements, which now impact all state workers, health care workers and school staff. Last week, The Seattle Times reported that while vaccine exemptions are being granted by state agencies, accommodations are proving harder to secure, meaning employees could still lose their jobs. 

Braun expressed uncertainty with how exemptions and accommodations will ultimately play out, adding that it’s “just insane” that exemptions would be granted, but not workplace accommodations. 

“It’s amazing how up until Oct. 18, you’re all safe to teach kids in the school, vaccinated or unvaccinated. But on Oct. 19 it’s no longer safe,” Abbarno said, referring to the deadline for school staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated against the virus. 

When one participant asked about Centralia School District’s strict COVID-19 precautions and policies for staff, Abbarno responded, “I don’t think it’s right.”

The freshman lawmaker framed the district’s policies as “far in excess” of other districts and joined Orcutt in encouraging parents to contact the school board. 

State officials, on the other hand, have this year tried to mitigate anger funneled at school districts following state guidance, instead asking parents to direct their concerns to the state level. 

“I think this give and take is good,” Abbarno said of the lively town hall. “I think this is long overdue and I think this is also a product, a little bit, of not being able to be in person as much as we wanted to.”

Watch videos of the full town hall event at The Chronicle’s Facebook page. 

Comments

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Woaaa

Did you say they got campaign donations from Pfizer and Big Pharma?? NOT a good look. Can anyone tell us how to find out how much. I am curious. Sketchy. Once you take a donation, you are pretty much owned. The Government is systematically working the health care and education system as well as small business owners. You can easily manipulate a sick, dumb, broke human/ Here, take this pill. Here, read our narrative... Here take this EBT card.. Here, take this donation.. Shame Shame Shame.

How long do you all think its going to be before shit gets real.. Time is ticking

Tuesday, September 21
Jesus was Melaoto

Claudia Yaw is a liberal hack. All you need is to see her name and you all ready know how the article is going to go. My 8 year old is a better writer than this. What trash.

Wednesday, September 22
youngcontrarian

I don't know the meaning of "melaoto", but Jesus was essentially socialist.

Wednesday, September 22
Truth

It looks like the three Amigos are having to manage their own mess of a party that they helped feed with their own idiotic rhetoric. I mean, you have to own that right? If you feed the far right enough BS they WANT to hear (that is say the things they want to hear in order to placate them for your own political gain), they are going to get all riled up and eventually have a try at revolution in order to restore the rights they think are being stolen from them by the far left that you helped reinforce. The right to do whatever they want because... well that is freedom right? Screw rules... they are ALL government plots to control their will and limited brain power.

There are too many Woaaa's out there letting their "patriotism" build up into a ticking time bomb. It is only a matter of time before they all whip out their 2nd amendment right tools and start shooting.

Crackpots... YOU are making the issues America needs to fix exponentially worse. You want change? Work for it. Get involved in local government and learn what it takes to work with people with different views. Understand compromise is part of ANY relationship. Educate yourself on the issues you care about. READ something other than QAnon, FB and FOX News. Take some classes on CIVICS or find legitimate sources to learn from that work for you. Stop chitter chatting with your buddies and family about how F'd up everything is and tying your damn stupid US Flag @&*%&#izations to your truck beds to show how "patriotic" you are. Nobody is stealing your damn rights... you are working to destroy what we have with your actions.

Sincerely,

Truth

Wednesday, September 22
HypocrisyAtItsFinest

Youngcontrarian, I think he's trying to spell mulatto, which is a racist term for a person of mixed race (typically half black, half white). Not surprising his/her spelling is not up to par. Also not surprising they don't know or follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Lots of people around here claim to, but clearly, their speech and actions show otherwise...

Wednesday, September 22
CounterfeitPatriotism

Truth,

You are absolutely correct on all points. Thank you for your point of view, which is a breath of fresh air in this cesspool of ignorance we call Lewis County.

Wednesday, September 22
CentraliaMan

Woaaa you really don't understand how things work huh? lol Pfizer donated $1000 dollars to Peters campaign as they did his opponent as they do in every representative race around the country. This is all public record. Maybe take some time off reading facebook articles and do some research for yourself....

Wednesday, September 22
Uintah

Didn't attend. Reasonable voices would have been jeered into silence. Anyone else out there flabbergasted at how our honest, kindly, astonishingly hardworking, generous-to-a-fault neighbors have worked each other into a mob on the edge of real danger to themselves and others?

Wednesday, September 22
Chehalis Mom

The fact that the COVID 19 pandemic has become political makes me furious! This isn't a Blue or Red virus, it doesn't care what your belief's are. Do what's right for your fellow human being, it's so simple.

Wednesday, September 22
PatriotSoldier

Braun and Orcutt? HOW LONG have these posers been in office? They represent themselves and their continual reelection operations. Throw them out and get people who actually represents their constituencies because these establishment RINO's do not. The Democrats know exactly what they are doing and they represent their voters effectively, yet what do we have? Benedict Arnold's to be sure. At what point do people wake up and see that the Republican Party is compromised and bought and paid for? We have been and are being betrayed by these pocket lining Judas's for a few pieces of silver. Many of us have also served this country with honor and yet we don't hide behind our service in the face of just criticisms. We Vote, We are active, and WE are watching.

Wednesday, September 22
Realist

Claudia Yaw, great piece of reporting. Thank you. True Republicans know that they have to work with the other side, especially in a Democratic controlled Washington. The folks out at this event sound a little off the deep end. Remember, most people out there are reasonable. These loud, but small, groups don't represent us all.

Wednesday, September 22
conniemay

I am proud of the work our legislators have done. They all work very hard to represent Lewis County. All the negativity and bitterness directed toward them is unnecessary, and unfair. Sen. Braun, Rep. Arbbarno, and Rep. Orcutt deserve our support and thanks.

Thursday, September 23
@woaaa

Yea all but 3 in the entire state took campaign donations from Pfizer. I believe up to the max allowed donation. The only person I know that refused to take big pharma donations because then they get to make demands of how you legislate was Loren Culp. I believe it was the contentious Braun that was an arrogant jerk on a conference call and someone introduced Culp into the call and Braun sarcastically said “who?” And chuckled. It wasn’t funny. It was after the election loss which I believe either was won or very close and not what has been reported based on the data that has been proven by independent organizations that investigated the electronic parts of our election. It was off by over 200,000 which doesn’t include mail fraud, dead voters voting, multiple ballots or like me, I was locked out of the drop box five minutes before the drop off cut off as well of a long long line of others at city hall to drop their ballot but the people had locked up and gone home already leaving the location unopened and available to turn in my ballot. So we went home and threw them in the fireplace and burned them. Low and behold, I log into my voters reg account and plane as day it says I voted in the election. Nope sure didn’t. Haven’t been able to find out who I voted for but it sure would be nice to know why someone is casting my ballot and not myself. The 2016 election I was registered a dem and got three extra ballots all the same in my name all sent separate with different tracking numbers. Little did they know I was voting for Donald Trump and switching my party preference. So when I took my three ballots to the elections office and asked to change my party affiliation and then pulled out the three ballots I was sent I asked “now did you all want me to vote Trump on these three ballots as well, or were they only for when you assumed I would vote for criminal Clinton? I wasn’t treated very well after that and they snatched all three from my hand and weren’t going to give me my ballot back once I found out which one would actually count my vote. After much chaos, I received; hopefully the correct ballot voted for Trump and submitted. It shows I voted but for who? No clue. Point is. I know there’s fraud. I know when I watch a race get called at 8:07 pm with less than 5 % of the vote and Trump and culp both leading with only 5% in, how on earth was the race called? Fraud. Pure fraud. The criminal in the governor's seat should be jailed for what he’s done to this state. He didn’t win. I know he didn’t win. Culp was the the buzz everywhere. You couldn’t go a half a block without seeing multiple Culp signs while Inslee used our tax dollars and made a few bias commercials with no campaigning and he won? In a destroyed state? Give me a break.

Another thing. Demand the governor remove that blue flag with Washington emblem in the middle. That’s all selective programming so we accept the Marxist commie flag color of the UN and WHO which is all allegiance to the one world order or the alias Build back better. That’s not our flag. Never had been and his selective programming to our state is crap and this man must be put in his place. Call and demand that flag be removed. We aren’t a communist Marxist one world order state. Call and demand it be removed never to be seen again.

Thursday, September 23
@truth

Your perfectly punctuated response with all your idiotic whoa is me victim mentality says more than what I ever could. People like you put on a fantastic front of how educated and responsible you are. Yet when it all hits the fan the first thing you all do is blame some media fabricated group and ideology that you have been indoctrinated with via CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and even our local news stations. Not a surprise when you actually take the time who has the power in deciding what’s airs on all these networks which is biased left wing anarchy. When you have leaders going against law and constitution, which is what has allowed this republic to get as far as it has as long as it has there’s a problem.

The people you insult are typically state educated not in the wake extremest times but rather when being an American and all it stood for which are freedom, life and liberty. With all governments and well run machines there must be law and order. But “Civil” disobedience comes into play when the demands of the people are not being heard because the masses are silenced. Everywhere. Ok almost every platform, we have one media source and that’s fox and even they are leaning commie red. The reporters aren’t allowed to report on the facts or the truth because fox is also owned by the same goons that run your commie sponsored media sources. You know how you get truth? You attend events, you attend community gatherings and listen and watch to the comings and going’s of the people. You pay attention to what’s happening around you and how it’s affecting your family and friends. And when you see your lively hood being taken from you because of a shot that is scientifically unproven, mind you it’s only on stage 3 of clinical trials, and when the actual true data of this “pandemic of the very uneducated sheep” comes to the surface because it will, it’s then we have a serious problem. What are people like you going to say to all the evil right wing people that argued and screamed and lost everything making a stand for your right to chose a shot that is completely not tested and not proven for what the long term affects could or will be. Even 6 months as we see now you must get more and more and more for something that doesn’t work! It doesn’t work and for someone as high and mighty and “properly educated” as you, you would think you would be smart enough to remember how viruses work. Also how your immune system works. Also that people die of the flu, cold and pneumonia every year. Just the flu alone kills 37,000 to 89,000 a year in the US. That doesn’t include the big one which is pneumonia which is actually the “root cause” of almost all covid deaths. People die with covid but of pneumonia or with covid but from a heart attack. Where I got my medical degree, that doesn’t at all mean they died OF COVID! But that’s how it’s been demanded it be reported and documented as a “ covid” death. Or icu beds. You can have covid but be asymteanatic and come in with near fatal wounds from a shooting or car wreck and be tested for covid which when Trump was in office the requirement to use on the pcr test was a 39x magnification of the virus which means a vast majority of people will test positive and have no symptoms reason being because they had a very minor amount of the virus giving a near false positive. But on the very day Biden goes into office the magnification rate on the pcr test is throttled down so a 19-21% rate to then show lower rate cases for the Biden admin. Now that they need to control the people and use fear as a driver they have throttle up the magnification rate again but only to about 30x significantly less then his Predecessor. What’s your genius response for this tactic? I’m sure you must have something fantastic to say about it right? Most viruses become more contagious and less deadly when able to spread as viruses do. We used to be encountered with tons of virus and contaminants which is what makes our immunity strong and able to fight the standard coronavirus. Covid does not = coronavirus as they yet again use manipulation to make fools believe anything. Coronovirus is the parent so to speak of a group of rhino viruses. Covid belongs to the coronavirus of which sars-cov 2 belongs. Sars was manipulated in a lab per the most recent official investigation information including congressional hearings and official documents, as well as emails from head liar Fauci. It shows not only was Fauci part of the team funding the lab in China but has known from the start he was funding and working with technology and science that allows and manipulates for a virus to move from human to animal. Americans have helped fund biological weapons that obviously are being used against the world and the provocateurs funding this research are the same monsters demanding we take their shot that was actually developed prior to the outbreak but held for financial gain as they already planned for this all to take place. Reason fauci is in a conference where he clearly states Trump will be burdened with a very deadly respiratory pandemic he will have to contend with. Also you have Gates who is a massive genocide advocate and someone that funds largely in the production of the shot and has profited greatly from it as well. Philanthropy is not a moment to benefit financially from so save he’s the greatest philanthropist there is He’s not. It all is for his own gain as well as used as a tax fraud to circumvent paying taxes by laundering his business finances through his foundation and then paying out salaries to family members or their endeavors and classifying them as charity write offs or expenses. That’s not philanthropy. Prove me wrong. Anyway I could go on for days spitting facts at your uneducated to facts and reality logic but it’s a waste of time. People like you don’t listen to facts because it’s to easy to go along with a ccp backed media narrative and those funded by not only big pharma and the ccp backed narratives. It’s clear to see who and what you are with the vile and toxic labels and slander you cast at people that actually do what you won’t. Find the truth in all that is happening to us. When you have the facts and when you can produce the science that a shot being forced on everyone works. Then us idiots can and will consider it’s benefits. Until then, destroying Americans livelihood and small business as well as promoting violence hate and racism and then removing all law that kept order to endanger not only those they say it’s intended to protect but hurt them further, while showing exactly how discriminatory, racist and nazi like your kind all are is enough for many to know who is dealing with facts and truth over a bunch of hyped talk and narratives that at first glance do what they are intended. Make the right look bad and the left look superior but once the bias media commits slander and lies near destroying innocent peoples lives with no consequences only to find out had a moment been taken to discover a story is lies or un true or totally not in context, the damage has been done. If I had every arm of media and big tech and now government manipulating the minds of our children, our ignorant and our over educated that think they know all I would easily be able to portray a completely false self loathing image of self just as you are. I’m not morally wired as such. You see by looking down at others that dare disagree with you makes you arrogant and evil. But I don’t and I will be damned if monsters such as you get to continue to belittle and degrade hard working regular Americans that just want to go to work and go home, love their community and country and people of all ages, genders sexual preferences or color freely, coach their kids softball team, Have dinner with friends and family at a local Restaurant without having to provide my medical history and first born have their character tied to some fictional based character that the damn media made a big deal of and casted as terror like and famous while casting the scarlet letter of Qanon on all those different then the collective sheep. I will be damned if you scum destroy this nation of real Americans of all races that built and fought for this nation; we won’t let you rinos or Nazis and Marxist dictators destroy what this nation stands for and it isn’t what the left has tried to make it out to be. We won’t let truth be silenced and innocent be victimized!! You need help and I hope when your day comes you have come to realize what these people you discriminate and fight against in the end, you realize that equality and fairness of all without discrimination and segregation for all is who we are fighting for. Not a narrative. And our flag, stands for all the dead men that have given you the right to share your nazi like opinion with the world! Good luck and god bless. I hope you find truth and compassion in your heart and ditch the hate. It gets us know where.

Thursday, September 23
Realist

It's tough reading some if these manifestos folks are posting in response to the article. Seems like there are lots of concerns regarding Marxism. Wonder how many of you actually read Karl's work, or Kant, or any other philosopher for that matter. Many of Marx's work can be seen in how organized religious operate. If you oppose the fundamental philosophy of Marxism, what philosophy do you stand for? There are many out there, Karl Marx is just the tip of the iceberg. Use you computer to start learning.

Friday, September 24
LL Hauer

Where are the moderate voices in our community? Isn’t it clear that right now the voices that scream loudest and longest (sometimes seemingly without taking a breath) about the most irrational and hostile things seem to have the most influence and take up the most airspace? Suggestions to shift the tide:

Run for office. Get your moderate voice in the game.

Call and email your elected officials. Constantly. Call them out every time you see them pushing gladiator-style, gratuitously oppositional politics. Thank them when they do something that shows political courage and principle.

Write letters to the editor, not just comments. Again, get your moderate voice in the game.

Keep commenting in this online paper. Continue making points grounded in reason, good old fashioned common sense and a spirit of public service. Be polite, respectful. Let’s stop the incessant, obsessive name calling.

Sunday, September 26