From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Senator Prentice Calls Local No Casino Group A “Hate Group”

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net 
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

Senator Prentice Calls Local No Casino Group A “Hate Group”

Press Release Below.

Washington State Alert  -  This affects all local grassroots groups in Washington State.

Immediate Action Is Requested

In a Vancouver, Columbian article Tuesday, May 11th Senator Margarita Prentice called Cowlitz Casino opponent Stand Up For Clark County Citizens a “hate group”

A press release by the American Land Rights Association follows.  A copy of the press release sent out in response by Stand Up For Clark County Citizens is below.  

American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400
Battle Ground, WA 98604
(360) 687-3087
FAX (360) 687-2973

Contact:  Chuck Cushman, Executive Director  (360) 687-3087

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Senator Prentice Uses McCarthyism To Attack Cowlitz Casino Opponents
Clark County Advocacy Groups Call For Her Apology Or Resignation

“Senator Margarita Prentice should be ashamed of herself,” said Chuck Cushman, executive director of the American Land Rights Association today.  “She used the term “hate group” to describe a local group just trying to have a legitimate say in the Democratic process.”

“Senator Prentice is engaging the most appalling kind of McCarthyism and should be censured by the Washington State Senate,” Cushman said.  “Apparently anyone who opposes her views needs to fear her using slurs and slander unless they agree with her position.”

“The remarks by Senator Prentice are intended to silence decent and peaceful public comment and intimidate local grassroots groups across Washington State.  She should know better and should publicly apologize immediately to Stand Up For Clark County Citizens and its director Kamie Biehl,” he said.

“American Land Rights is calling for all grassroots citizen groups and individual citizens in Washington State to call Senator Prentice’s office all day Thursday, Friday and Monday to register their opposition to using these kind of McCarthyism tactics.  They should send faxes and e-mails too,” Cushman said. 

“In addition, every citizen in Washington should call their own Senators to complain about Senator Prentice abusive comment and urge that the entire State Senate censure her,” Cushman said.

“Her demeaning comments reflect badly on every State Senator.  The public and especially children should be able to look up to their elected officials.   It is completely appropriate for the Washington State Senate to formally register its displeasure with this loss of civility,” he said.

“Senator Prentice needs to either apologize or resign for her inappropriate behavior,” Cushman concluded.

Contact:  Senator Margarita Prentice
16 John A. Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0411

Phone:  (360) 786-7616
FAX:  (360) 786-1999
E-mail:  prentice.margarita@leg.wa.gov


Press Release by 

Stand Up For Clark County Citizens
PO Box 1860
La Center, WA 98629

     Thursday, May 12

For more information contact: 
Randy and Cindy Goolsby – (360) 263-8752
Kamie Biehl – (360) 263-2582

Senator Prentice Calls Stand Up For Clark County Citizens ”Hate Group”

“In response to a recent statement in the Columbian by Washington State Senator, Margarita Prentice (D-Renton), the Stand Up For Clark County Citizen's group is demanding a public apology,” said Kamie Biehl, Chairman.   

Prentice, who has elected to become involved in the controversial request by the Cowlitz and Mohegan Tribes to build a destination resort, Class III casino at the Ridgefield/La Center, junction, made public inflammatory statements against the citizen group during an interview that ran on the front page of the Columbian on May 10th.  

The article providing information on the Jurisdictional Roundtable included quotes by Kamie Biehl, and other local citizens and elected officials.  Senator Prentice, as the article pointed out, is not from the potentially impacted areas, yet inferred that the tribe has a legal right to their request.  She referred to Stand Up For Clark County Citizens group as a  "hate group," adding "I find the attitudes and activities of this group completely appalling.”   Prentice said she has fought other groups like Stand up for Clark County Citizens but did not identify them by name.  Prentice said such groups "want to keep tribes from achieving what they're legally entitled to."  
The Stand Up for Clark County Citizen's group was initially formed to gain information about the proposed casino development at the junction.  Its members are all Clark County residents, including members who live adjacent to the development site.  According to the group, their position on the issue is one of homeowners and residents concerned about detrimental impacts they fear will occur if this development is approved.   These include loss of current area quality of life and social, economic and environmental impacts.  

According to Kamie Biehl, members were stunned by Prentice's remarks, "Our members are citizens who care about their homes and communities.  Prentice's remarks were not only uncalled for, but they are totally without basis and could be considered outright slander.  We feel that Prentice owes our citizens group a very public apology.  It does not matter to us, who is developing this development.  The bottom line is the development is wrong, it is being sited in an inappropriate location and it will cause harm to this area,” she said.  

“Local groups should have the right to stand up for our homes and maintenance of our current environments, human and otherwise without being accused of racism or hate,” Biehl continued. 

While we are still not quite sure what Prentice's involvement in this issue stems from, we do feel that she has stepped over a major line here.   Biehl shared that Senator Prentice has not attempted to contact her or other members of her group to voice any previous complaints or discuss the issues and has not attended any of the many informational meetings that the group has hosted during the last year.  She added, "It seems like some ethics or rules of professional conduct have been violated here.  This was nothing more than a unwarranted, unsubstantiated attack against our group and we are owed a very big apology.”
Senator Prentice recently invoked controversy by sponsoring a Senate Resolution that among other things urged Federal agencies to expedite the Cowlitz Tribe requests.  In response, elected officials, including State Senators who represent constituents from Clark County, were forced to immediately respond to the Prentice sponsored resolution.  

That was after the regional BIA Director, Stanley Speaks, admitted that he would view the resolution as support of the Class III casino.  Twenty-two Senators signed a letter disavowing the Senate Resolution pointing out that the Senate had been misled.

Senators who signed that resolution, admitted that they had no intent, as far as supporting a casino and were not aware of potential implications it could have.  "We are all really wondering at this point just what exactly Senator Prentice's involvement in this is all about and why she is so intent on seeing this development go through.  We also support the Cowlitz Tribe's right to gain economic benefit.  We just don't believe that should be at the expense of others and with this location, it would cause harm." Biehl concluded.

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