Community members meet with Patty Murray’s Eastern Washington Director

Patricia Vanderbilt

A group of around 20 Walla Walla Democrats gathered in the First Congregational Church tonight, March 6, to meet with John Culton, the Eastern Washington Director for U.S. Senator Patty Murray. The meeting was moderated by Walla Walla city council member Barbara Clark.

Culton traveled to Walla Walla to hear the concerns of Walla Walla community members on behalf of Senator Murray. He is one of six regional directors in Washington State, and serves 12 counties in Eastern Washington.

Many at the meeting expressed dissatisfaction with government spending, particularly in regards to the Department of Defense budget. Senator Murray serves on the Senate Budget Committee as well as the Defense Subcommittee within the Appropriations Committee.

“I got a real sense of frustration with how much we’re spending with defense . . . in regards to how much we’re spending on social services,” Culton said. “That is the crux of what I think this conversation was about.”

Several present also discussed their frustration with United States funding of Israel and concerns over escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. The prominence of corporate lobbying in politics was also a major concern.

Culton said that he would relay the topics of discussion to Senator Murray’s policy advisers, and added that he was happy to see a community of Democrats in Walla Walla. He has tentatively scheduled a return to Walla Walla on Thursday, March 22, as part of an ongoing effort to connect with Murray’s constituents in Eastern Washington. Culton was also interested in the possibility of a roundtable between Senator Murray and Walla Walla community members.

“That this has been productive for you, I think that’s the biggest thing,” Culton said about the meeting.