All Politics is Local

Elisabeth Veneman says she was mocked while trying to order pizza

Elisabeth Veneman

Elisabeth Veneman

It was a beautiful day at the Ridgefield Fourth of July parade  as people gathered to celebrate and eat pizza. But little did Elisabeth Veneman, a Republican candidate for Clark County Council, know that she would have to endure an unfortunate heckling while getting pizza. The cause of the heckling was just wanting to save Our Fireworks.

On Thursday, Veneman took to Facebook to complain that she was heckled by her opponent, Republican Clark County Councilor Julie Olson, and her supporters who were also at a local pizza place after the Fourth of July parade. Veneman wrote that she brought her 11-year-old son into the pizza place where Olson, “a sitting state Senator,” and the executive director of the Parks Foundation were inside.

Veneman wrote that after she walked past the group to place her order in the crowded eatery, she started hearing heckles such as, “Oh Elisabeth I hear you’re going to save fireworks, how’s that working out for you?” She wrote that the heckles were followed by “mockery and clapping, continued by more comments about me, ‘saving fireworks.’” Here’s the text of the full post (I’m guessing the lack of paragraphs is due to some sort of problem with the “enter” key on her computer):

It’s unfortunate that I have to relay the following information to you but I’m doing so because I think it’s important that the voters of Clark County are armed with an understanding of what type of person now sits on the County Council and represents District 2, as well as the company she keeps.

Yesterday, after a lovely time walking in the Ridgefield 4th of July Parade with family and friends some of us were feeling ready to nourish ourselves with pizza from our favorite local pizza joint. Because we brought our puppy to the parade we opted to sit outside to enjoy our meal but first I had to go in and order. While everyone else stayed at the table I brought my 11 year old son in with me to help decide what we wanted, as we walked in I could see that my opponent and her parade team, which included a sitting state Senator, as well as the executive director of the Parks Foundation were inside dining, that didn’t effect me one way or another so I just kept on walking up to make my order. As I walked through the restaurant I starting hearing heckling and mocking directed towards me in the middle of a packed restaurant on the 4th of July, in front of my young son! As I stood there waiting to order I heard them say things such as, “Oh Elisabeth I hear you’re going to save fireworks, how’s that working out for you?” Followed by mockery and clapping, continued by more comments about me, “saving fireworks”. They seemed very proud of themselves as they clapped and cheered as a part of this embarrassing display of childish behavior. I said nothing as I finished ordering and walked back outside, feeling shocked as I don’t believe any elected official should ever condone or participate in such behavior towards any opponent. Engaging in such behavior would never even cross my mind as I was raised to carry myself with dignity and respect even towards those with whom I may be competing against.

Denies being heckling her opponent while getting pizza

Denies heckling her opponent while getting pizza

I reached out to Olson for a response.

“What?? I have no idea what she’s talking about,” said Olson in a text. Veneman’s post referenced a sitting state senator. In the comments section of her post, Veneman wrote that it wasn’t Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center.

Veneman didn’t return my phone call seeking comment about just who was heckling her. But she responded with an email suggesting that I reach out to state Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, as well as the executive director of Parks Foundation of Clark County for confirmation. I’ve done just that and will update this blog if I hear back from them.

Update

Denies being a fireworks heckler.

Denies being a fireworks heckler.

Wilson called back and she is not happy about the situation. She said she was in a group with Olson eating pizza but denied that her group mocked Veneman.

“This is so contrived I can’t believe it,” said Wilson. “This did not happen … I’m actually blown away by the falseness of this.”

She said that Dianna Kretzschmar did make a remark about saving fireworks. But it’s puzzling that Veneman would be offended by this because she has made saving fireworks part of her campaign. But Wilson said there was no clapping, cheering, jeering or mocking directed to Veneman.

“It really bothers me that she’s making this stuff up,” said Wilson.

Another update

Dianna Kretzschmar, of the Parks Foundation, said in an email that she asked people at her table if “that is the lady running on pro fireworks.”

“There was no more or less than that statement,” said Kretzschmar. “There was no mocking or any other mean spirited behavior as Ms Veneman portrayed in her post. This situation i find myself in on a beautiful Friday is baffling to say the least.”

 

 

Comments