8190 Beechmont Avenue #101
Cincinnati, Ohio 45256-6117
November 9, 2015
The Honorable Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Dear Governor Inslee:
Although not a constituent, I write to you with a very serious question:
Is it morally acceptable, or even legal, for your office and Washington State to promote and endorse a cold-blooded murderer?
This, of course, relates to the display and promotion for sale of Leonard Peltier’s prison artwork by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries in Tumwater, Washington.[i]
Whether Peltier is an artist is arguable, and irrelevant.
Nonetheless, Peltier is a convicted felon for the brutal execution-style murder of two already wounded FBI Agents. (Attacked and mortally wounded by Peltier and other AIM thugs.) Peltier, as well, has clearly demonstrated he remains wholly unrepentant for his heinous crimes.
Any celebration of Peltier is the result of decades-long misinformation and promotion of ongoing myth and folklore.[ii] Native America has long abandoned Peltier’s claims of any rights to represent their collective heritage and interests.
Peltier’s conviction, through over a dozen appeals, has been upheld as he has had more critical reviews of the facts than most inmates. Any reasonable review of the legal history would be clearly evident as all the challenges to his conviction have been repeatedly debunked. Please have someone in your office review that history.[iii]
There has been a long and sordid legacy of Peltier’s abuse of his native heritage but when it comes to proving his own guilt, and that he remains a remorseless murderer, we need only turn to Peltier himself for proof.
How can the Governor of any state allow the promotion of a convicted felon who has said:
“I seen Joe when he pulled it out of the trunk and he gave me a smile.” (Relating to June 26, 1975 while two dead and mutilated FBI agents lay at their feet.)[iv] After thirty-five years in a public statement “And really if necessary I’d do it all over again because it was the right thing to do.” (2010) And, thirty-nine years after the murders, “I don’t regret any of this for a minute.” (2014)
Understanding Peltier’s conviction, the events that took place at Pine Ridge and statements like these, it is unconscionable that your state would recognize Peltier for anything, let alone advertising to the public the sale of his paintings.
And, as an aside, there has been a long-standing challenge for Peltier to prove where any of that money has gone, along with his abject failure to document any of his alleged “tax deductible” charitable activities.[v] That part of his history has been an ongoing scam, and sadly the State of Washington appears to have also bought into it.
With all due respect I would urge you to thoroughly review the Peltier matter and remove his artwork from the Tumwater display.
I remain. “In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”
1-Hon. Bob Ferguson, AG, 1125 Washington St. SE #7, Olympia, WA 98501
1-Joel Sacks, Director, WSDL&I, P.O. Box 44000, Olympia, WA 98504-4000
1-Mr. Dusti Demarest, Executive Editor, The Olympian, 111 Bethel St. NE, Olympia, WA 98506
1-Leonard Peltier, USP Coleman 1, P.O. Box 1033, Coleman, FL 33521
Court record and decisions: http://www.noparolepeltier.com/court.html
[iv] As reported by Peltier biographer, Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, p.552, referring to Joe Stuntz stealing Agent Coler’s FBI jacket from the trunk of his bullet-riddled Bureau vehicle.