ECM Editorial Contributor
Anyone who has attended a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters knows the forum is impartial. It is so impartial and so middle of the road with its questions that the forums sometimes become a little boring.
That’s not the way the four running for county commissioner in Carver County and the mayor of the city of Ramsey see it.
They refused to go to the league’s forums because of what they call liberal bias, claiming that as conservatives they wouldn’t get a fair shake. The four commissioners contend if such a forum were to be fair, it would have to be co-sponsored by a conservative group like the Tea Party.
Carver County Commissioner Tom Workman told a newspaper reporter, “Take your eyes off the seemingly gray hairs of these honorable ladies and they sure do have an agenda. They like to stick it to Republicans.”
Granted, the league has taken some positions the commissioners don’t like on gun control, national health insurance, immigration and opposition to the marriage amendment, among others.
Mayor Bob Ramsey, running for re-election in Ramsey, says the league has a very aggressive and liberal agenda.
Laura Fredrick Wang, executive director of the Minnesota League of Women Voters, says the league does not endorse candidates and parties. “We work on issues, not candidates,” she said.
As for cancellations of forums, there are two or three every election cycle, just as there are new ones.
The league, however, is opposing the amendments on same-sex marriage and voter identification, which some could say is a liberal agenda.
You have to wonder how questions about Carver County and the city of Ramsey could be skewed toward a liberal agenda.
Come now. These questions for the commissioners and the mayor weren’t going to be about the national debt or the affordable health care act. They were going to be about the issues involving Carver County and the city of Ramsey; both are supposed to be non-partisan.
Instead of talking about county and city issues, these candidates are taking on the League of Women Voters.
The Ramsey forum has been cancelled and the Carver one featured one race, depriving voters of a good discussion of issues.
Isn’t that what the election should be all about?
– Don Heinzman is an editorial writer and columnist for ECM