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Tenacious but civil — tall order for new group

The editorial board met this morning with some of the founding members of the Columbia Basin Badgers, a new club that’s hoping to sponsor an ongoing “community forum for civic discourse.”

It wasn’t difficult for them to get in to see us, since one of the club’s founders is Matt Taylor, former editorial page editor, part-time editorial writer and member of the editorial board.

But this wouldn’t be a hard sell in any case. The Badger club’s mission — to promote public discourse about the issues of the day — is our bread and butter. That’s the foundation for everything the Herald’s opinion staff tries to do.

The Badgers plan to invite politicians and other opinion leaders on a variety of topics to address Badger club meetings. Anyone can attend, but only members will be allowed to ask questions.

The group is not-for-profit and nonpartisan. The founders cover a wide range of political thought, and I’m convinced no one will be able to manipulate the Badger club to advance a political agenda.

The goal is to learn more about public issues by inviting “well-versed speakers to share their expertise.” And to do it with humor and civility. And the tenacity needed to get straight answers.

There’s nothing more than that. The Badgers won’t take positions or take on civic projects. The sole objective is to provide of forum for the community to hear about, and think about, the issues affecting our future.

We’re planning to support the Badgers editorially, and at least some of us will support the group personally. At least two members of the editorial board are already members and more plan to join.

Dues are $60 a year to offset the costs of providing speakers and venues. The group is working on a website. For now, send e-mail to for more information or to request an application form.