Politics Blog

One forum on TV; another drops I-517

Candidates are appearing in dozens of forums across the county this election season. We have notes today on two of those, both put on by the League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County.

Thursday, Oct. 10 County Council forum will be on TV.

If you can't make Thursday's forum, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at Bellingham Municipal Court, 2014 C St., then you can watch it on BTV10, Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 p.m., until Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Saturday, Oct. 19 forum will not include I-517, the "initiative on initiatives."

Initiative 517 provides more protections for signature-gatherers and extends the allotted time for acquiring signatures. Neither side of the I-517 debate was able to attend the forum, which will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at City Hall, 210 Lottie St.

This morning forum will still have two Bellingham School Board candidates, a pro-con debate of a Bellingham school construction bond, and a debate over Initiative 522 on GMO labeling.

The full press release from the League about the Oct. 19 forum follows:


[BELLINGHAM, WA October 8, 2013]  Candidates for Bellingham School Board and Pro/Con speakers on two ballot issues will face off in a forum from 9:30 to 11 am Saturday, Oct. 19 in the Bellingham City Council Chambers, 210 Lottie. 

The forum is a collaboration between the League of Women Voters® of Bellingham/Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham with the Bellingham Herald as media partner.

A previously announced discussion of Initiative-517, which proposes changes in the initiative process, has been canceled. “We regret the cancellation,” said League Co-President Annette Holcomb. “Both sides of I-517 were invited but have informed us they are unable to attend.”

Doors open at 9 am and audience members are encouraged to arrive early. The live telecast will begin promptly at 9:30 am.

The forum includes question and answer sessions with Bellingham School Board candidates Steve Smith and John Blethen, a Pro/Con discussion of the Bellingham School Bond ballot proposition, and speakers for and against Initiative 522 concerning the labeling of genetically engineered foods.

The League-moderated forum will be telecast live and repeated on the City’s channel BTV10 (Comcast cable channel 10) and available live and on demand from www.cob.org/services/education/btv10. Radio stations KMRE-LP and KAVZ-LP will also repeat the audio.

A final candidate forum, featuring Bellingham Port Commission and Bellingham City Council candidates will be held from 6:30-8:30 pm Thursday, Oct 24, in the Bellingham Municipal Court, 2014 C Street.

Founded in 1920, the League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization with 800 affiliates across the country. It encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership is open to men and women of all ages.