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In response to the Oct. 7 letter titled “Suppression at Council Forum,” I wish to set the record straight regarding the League of Women Voters candidate forum on Oct. 4. Planning how to run a forum is not straightforward, and a major consideration is the limited time available. At the beginning of the meeting, I explained the format we would follow. Members of the audience were invited to ask questions, but told not to make statements and to ask only one question. All questions were limited to 30 seconds and all answers to one minute. Asking and expecting those in the audience to adhere to the pre-established ground rules does not constitute a violation of free speech. We were gathered to hear the candidates’ opinions, not those of the audience.
Mr. White broke these ground rules by running over the allotted time for framing a question, and by making a statement of opinion. His accusation that the League, a nonpartisan group, planted “fluff” questions with certain audience members is totally false. Many Leagues do not permit members of the audience to ask questions directly. Instead, they are told to write them out on cards to be sorted and screened by League members and read by the moderator. Perhaps the Los Alamos League needs to consider taking that approach.
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