Politics

“It’s put up or shut up time”

Vancouver philanthropist Ed Lynch was honored in 2012 by the Salvation Army with its most prestigious service award. He and his wife Dollie, who died in 2010, were the first couple to receive the First Citizens of Southwest Washington Award in 1992 and were named philanthropists of the year by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington in 2005.

The Lynches have supported a number of causes, including the Fort Vancouver National Trust, Identity Clark County, Columbia Springs Foundation, Construction Education Foundation for Oregon State University, Vancouver Methodist Foundation, Northwest House of Theological Studies, and Southwest Washington Medical Center Foundation. They gave $1 million to Southwest Washington Medical Center in 2006 during a $50 million capital funding drive. They gave to the I Have a Dream Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club, among other children’s causes.

But Lynch, 92, who retired in 1985 as president of Kiewit Pacific Co., also supports the Columbia River Crossing. And he has stopped giving money to the local Republican Party because, as he said today, “they are not my kind of Republicans.”

So in the eyes of some people who are against the CRC, this makes Lynch corrupt.

Branding Lynch as such did not sit well with another community philanthropist (and longtime friend of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney), David Nierenberg, who sent this email in response to one regarding Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt’s “special interest friends.”

From: David Nierenberg

Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 3:25 PM
To: ‘info@crcfacts.info
Cc: edlynch@pacifier.com; ‘Susan Lynch’
Subject: Lies about Bill Turlay from Tim Leavitt’s Special Interest friends

To the peculiarly named CRCfacts, whoever you are:

Calling Ed Lynch a “special interest” and linking him with “continued corruption” displays a shocking disregard for the truth about one of the finest and most selfless benefactors of our community, a man who for decades has shown us how to make ours a better community for all of us.

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for characterizing such a model citizen in this false and shabby manner. Your claim is truly shameful. Are you going to take on the Pope next? Where will you stop? As Army Counsel Welch asked Senator McCarthy during McCarthy’s witch-hunt: “Have you no sense of basic human decency?”

It’s time for decent members of our community to hold you accountable for what you are saying.

I am copying Ed on this, to be certain that he receives and reads what you have written about him. He will make his own decision about how and whether to respond.

I suggest that you substantiate your claims of “continued corruption” or refrain from making them in the future. I come from New Jersey originally. I know what real corruption looks like. I know it when I see it.

If you make any false and libelous claims about me and my wife you will need a first rate attorney to defend yourself. It’s put up or shut up time.

David Nierenberg

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or 360-735-4508.