I was mystified by comments made by attorney Blair Henningsgaard for the article on the Linn County timber lawsuit ("Counties win $1 billion timber suit," The Astorian, Nov. 21).

He was told, by someone, that the Clatsop County commisssion's decision to opt out of the lawsuit was a "political statement," which he likens to the commission "having a tantrum," then "what they're saying is we're not going to tell you what we think." His remarks seem off the cuff.

I am not interested in parsing words with Henningsgaard, but a political statement is made to sway opinion toward a particular political point of view. It is not a temper tantrum, and instead of trying to conceal what the person or organization thinks, it is intended to make their position very clear.

Those who attended the final commission meeting on the lawsuit heard the lengthy and cogent statement by Chairman Scott Lee, justifying his vote. He pointed out that the commission has supported balanced forest management since its inception in 1998, and that "the overwhelming message from public testimony (was) in favor of balanced forest management and against the Linn County lawsuit."

There is no defiance of logic in the commission's vote, as Henningsgaard asserts. Neither is it political, since all of the other 13 counties had already indicated that they would pursue the lawsuit.

The vote was based on an increasingly rare commodity in our country, principle. The commission upheld principle over the pursuit of money, which is perhaps illogical to some lawyers.

ROGER DORBAND

Astoria

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