The League of Women Voters has been my go-to group for a safe, non-biased venue of political candidates and issues. No longer. The recent presentation by the League of Women Voters at the Egyptian Theater on Jordan Cove gave a new definition to unbiased. I had hoped given the tribal society we have today for a presentation on Jordan Cove that would be balanced. In other words, one group would speak in opposition and another would speak in favor. Each group would have the opportunity to rebut the other view point. Out of this exchange we would be able to draw our own conclusions.
The presentation was not unbiased but instead it called on experts that were not in favor of the project. One example I recall clearly involved eel grass. When the berth for the project is built there will be a patch of eel grass that will be removed. Because of the sensitive ecological status eel grass has the removal must be mitigated by Jordan Cove. The expert indicated that the location chosen by Jordan Cove was not suitable and in fact dangerous to other marine life. My question is how was this site chosen? Was it only Jordan Cove's decision or did state agencies have input? If, as hinted, eel grass would not grow in that location is there a backup plan required? Would it make a difference in perception if we were told that a department of the State of Oregon chose the location and insisted that the mitigation be sited there? Would it make a difference if we were told that if the mitigation we unsuccessful Jordan Cove had to keep trying until it was successful? We will never know because Jordan Cove was not allowed to participate.
The League of Women Voters had always created a safe, neutral forum so we the citizens could hear both sides of an issue without outside bias. The League was a jewel in the crown of our free and open process. After the League's Jordan Cove presentation it will be very hard for me to put the League back on its pedestal.