The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

McEntire tackles Blake for 'cronyism'


November 1, 2018

As voters were preparing to return their vote by mail ballots this past week, a candidate for District 19 state representative faced late challenges.

After a news story in the Chinook Observer reported Democrat incumbent Brian Blake has paid former staff member and short term legislator J.D. Rosetti $65,000 for campaign printing and advertising services, Republican opponent Joel McEntire accused Blake of cronyism by channeling an unnecessary amount of campaign funds into his friend’s new business.

Rosetti began operating a start-up Minuteman Press franchise this summer in Clark County. He has been placing campaign advertising for Blake during the 2018 campaign. Blake has responded that he is using Rosetti’s services because of Rosetti’s campaign experience and because of the relationship they established when Rosetti was Blake’s aide.

The explanation didn’t satisfy McEntire.

“It doesn’t look good,” McEntire said in an interview last Thursday. “It’s that kind of political action that destroys public trust.”

The matter has drawn the attention of the state election officials.

“They’re digging into it,” McEntire said. “Every expenditure will be examined.”

A Cathlamet native, McEntire is making his first run for elected office.

He teaches at Thomas Middle School and is a sergeant in the US Marine Corps Active Reserve.

“I want to be a positive force,” he said.

Win or lose, McEntire said he’ll continue to be active in community and governmental affairs. He chairs the Wahkiakum County Republican Central Committee and, if defeated, will continue to try to build that group. He would consider being a candidate for other offices.

McEntire invites people to celebrate voting tomorrow (Friday), 6 p.m. at the Norse Hall on Puget Island.

“I want people to come and celebrate the freedom we have to vote here in our county,” he said.

The Wahkiakum County Republican Party is sponsoring the event; according to a post on McEntire’s Facebook page, Rep. Jim Walsh will be the featured speaker.

Walsh found himself in the news this past week as defendant in a suit claiming he violated two person’s rights by banning them from his campaign Facebook page. See another article in this week’s edition for more details about that situation.


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