We are writing in response to Doug Wellumson’s letter, “Decomposition,” of July 12 in which he assumes that people representing the League of Women Voters (LWV) were in attendance at Rep. Magnafici’s listening session in Grantsburg. 

Not only does he accuse the LWV of “converging” on the listening session, he accuses those people of taking over “limited speaking time with volleys of criticism.”  As League officers, we can assure you that we did not promote League participation at the June listening session. Wellumson also leads the readers to websites that are five to seven years old and based out of Virginia and Florida. As officers of the LWV-Upper St. Croix Valley, we direct Sun readers to the Wisconsin LWV site and invite you to look at the League’s current positions on Government, Natural Resources, and Social Policy. (www.lwvwi.org) The League takes positions on key public policy issues after study, debate and consensus by League membership statewide; the national league does the same (www.lwv.org). 

In the same letter, Wellumson also writes that Laura Tiede’s recent letter (July 5) to the Sun editor reflected the LWV’s positions. Ms. Tiede never claims to represent the LWV’s positions, nor is she a member of the League of Women Voters Upper St. Croix Valley. 

The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech.  The listening sessions offered by Gae Magnifici and other elected representatives support this amendment, allowing them to hear from their constituents. Thank you. Letters to the editor are also a vehicle for freedom of speech. Kudos to Ms. Tiede for speaking up! Mr. Welllumson, it is not your place to impede the freedom of speech. Stop super-imposing your political opinions on people or organizations who are committed to working on behalf of improving the lives of people in Northwest Wisconsin. 

Carolyn Saunders, chair LWV-USCV

Barb Wetzel, vice chair LWV-USCV

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