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Disgruntled Reader Needs Barf Bag

After reading your March 1992 issue of the PLN I was thoroughly disillusioned, disgusted, and very disappointed that PLN would allow a prisoners' news source to be used to propagate something very harmful to everyone incarcerated [in this state]. I am speaking of the article on HB 2834 by Carrie Roth. It was to me a sell out. It was originally bad legislation and revised it still smelled of dead fish.

When I heard rumors that things weren't correct with PLN I defended the newsletter, but now that I've seen proof, I can't wish it away and make it disappear or defend PLN because of HB 2834 guilt evidence.

I am liberal and very broad minded, but I can't forgive or come up with justification for not only Carrie's conduct but for PLN's. It even goes beyond whether we have different ideas or opinions. This is serious rubbing elbows with the enemy. It makes a thinking man wonder, how can we be supportive of something that's against our interests?

I'm not making a judgment, but it paints a picture of only one color, black (personal interest black) . And it can't be excused by naivety or claims of being mislead. No one could be that gullible. There had to be a deal cut. Anyone can make an error in judgment, but it couldn't have happened in this case. Why? Because even after the original willing support [for the bill] was still maintained otherwise [sic] the minute the bad legislation surfaced, everyone should have fled from it like it had Bush leprosy. So instead of embrace, you should disavowed, disassociated from them.

Don't you realize supporting HB 2834 is casting doubts on PLN's credibility and your dedication or sincerity of purpose that you claim you possess. What a sad day. I need a barf bag. We don't cut deals with the enemy because then our conscience is our incarcerated, not free. I feel deceived.

D.H., Walla Walla, WA

[Editor's Note: Paul and I do not review every article that appears in the PLN. On occasion our supporters will insert news items on legislative events, particularly in time critical situations, where there is not enough time to send the piece to us and get it back before the publication deadline. Paul and I worked out a deal whereby certain people can insert articles, and if this material should go against the grain of what we are trying to accomplish, we will talk to them about it afterwards. In the PLN's history, this incident was the only time I found it necessary to disagree with the position taken by such a writer. The reader's criticism, however unartfully stated, is well taken.

For the information of readers outside of Washington state, the original version of the bill in question would have abolished the parole board, but at the same time it increased penalties for some future crimes. We held our nose and tried to support the bill, our outside representatives and family members even went to the state capitol to testify in favor of its passage. The part to get rid of the board was subsequently eliminated. Carrie still considered it a reasonably good bill; because it abolished parole supervision and had one or two other positive features. What the above reader experienced was a difference of perception around the value of this legislation. It was very wrong of him to accuse us of being sell outs and in the pay of the state simply because one of our writers supported a bill. If the cops really liked the bill all that much, it would have been passed into law.]

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