It is with regret and disappointment that we announce cancellation of a planned virtual forum between Congressional District 8 candidates Jesse Jensen and Dr. Kim Schrier. The forum, scheduled for October 17, was canceled due to inability to resolve the demands of candidate Jensen’s campaign with League of Women Voters’ nonpartisan guidelines for forums.
His campaign required the League of Women Voters to add a cohost to the CD 8 event, the American Conservation Coalition (ACC). This group already has endorsed candidate Jensen in this race. The Jensen campaign also required that the ACC be an equal partner in formulating questions, and that the forum be conducted in person.
The League has no problem with the ACC making candidate endorsements. However, we believe it is inherently unfair to declare those endorsements prior to an event featuring the supported candidate, and such an event could not in any way be construed as nonpartisan.
As a 100-year-old nonpartisan organization with widespread public visibility, the League of Women Voters is committed to presenting neutral events designed to help voters learn about candidates and their campaigns without the rancor, name-calling, and theater so common in today’s politics.
Candidates for elected office owe the voters multiple opportunities to answer their questions in depth and demonstrate they have the integrity, experience and dedication to do the job. After all, if elected, their salary is paid by voter taxes.
By forcing this action, Jensen is depriving CD 8 voters of the opportunity to assess each candidate in an impartial setting.
Delores Irwin, President, League of Women Voters of Kittitas County