The League of Women Voters of Orange Coast feels compelled to respond to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's statement as quoted in your article ("Candidate a no-show at forum," Oct. 25): "Years ago, I participated in several forums by the League of Women Voters and found them to be dishonest and biased, and I decided I would not ever be involved in the League of Women Voters again."
The forum was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast, the American Assn. of University Women of Laguna Beach and the Woman's Club of Laguna Beach and scheduled to be held at the Laguna Beach City Council Chambers.
The League of Women Voters never endorses candidates but does take stands on issues. The forums we conduct are intended to allow voters to hear candidates' stands on issues of importance so voters can make informed decisions on whom they plan to vote for.
Recently, the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast and the American Assn. of University Women jointly conducted a forum for all of the candidates for Huntington Beach City Council, as we do for every Huntington Beach City Council election. Both the candidates and the audience found the forum to be fair, unbiased and informative — always the goal of the League of Women Voters.
Two other well-received city council candidates' forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast were held this fall, one in Laguna Woods and one in Laguna Beach.
The league has a long history of conducting nonpartisan candidates forums and has always taken very seriously its role in helping voters get the information they need. That's why we are particularly concerned when candidates refuse to show up and debate about the issues that are so important to our families and our communities.
When a candidate decides not to attend, it's the voters who miss out. This is a lost opportunity for all voters and denies them their right to hear directly from the person seeking the vote. Skipping a debate is like skipping your own job interview. Don't the voters who are hiring you deserve to hear what you have to say?
ARMIDA BRASHEARS is the president of the League of Women Voters of Orange Coast.