[Ed note:  Edited from original that was mailed to include HTML links]

June 22, 2008

Tracy Thorleifson, Senior Counsel
Federal Trade Commission
915 Second Avenue, Suite 2896
Seattle, Washington 98174

Dear Tracy,

I left you a voice mail last week regarding an investigation I’ve been doing in Spokane. This involves the Cowles Co “stranglehold/company town nature” it maintains on this town. Currently the US Attorney’s Office in Seattle has two cases now under review by two AUSAs since the US Attorney in Spokane was forced to recuse himself. One is the River Park Square (RPS) bond fraud (a $100M swindle) and the death of Ms. Jo Savage in the RPS parking garage. Former Sheriff Bamonte and I both believe the death of Savage was a negligent homicide amounting to First-Degree Manslaughter under WA law from the negligence of the owners to do ordinary maintenance after repeated warnings (Read “Girl from Hotsprings” left side rail on www.camasmagazine.com). Both of these cases have Cowles Co involvement. I believe that because of McDevitt’s involvement with the law firm of Preston & Gates this is the reason why no federal case ever gained any traction into the criminal activity of the Cowles Co. McDevitt was heavily involved in this bond fraud (Read “McDevitt’s fingerprints” in the Camas Magazine’s archives) The IRS had a strong criminal case but fell on its sword and got their back taxes through a secret deal with Preston & Gates but never pursued it criminal prosecution. Why?

The Cowles Co also owns the paper of record in town, The Spokesman-Review (S-R). I just sent a complaint letter to US Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan regarding my opinion that the S-R is nothing more than an instrumentality of this ongoing criminal enterprise/conspiracy to conceal its criminal activity. This is done by its active self-censorship of its own stories and through its intimidation/extortion of the other media in town that it doesn’t own. I believe the Cowles Co was responsible for the cancellation of the Mark Fuhrman Radio Show as it was exposing very damning information directly adverse to its interests. There is prior MO by the Cowles Co to silence a TV reporter that was doing hard hitting reports. I’m in the process/preparing filing a FCC complaint regarding the Cowles cross-media ownership in Spokane that it wields as a lethal weapon. As I mentioned in my letter to US Attorney Sullivan I’m also considering filing a FTC complaint regarding the antitrust, unfair business practices, and predatory business practices by the Cowles Co to maintain its unfair competitive advantage in this market to commit and conceal its criminal activity.

Hopefully the US Attorney is now looking seriously at these cases. I don’t think the FBI is doing much yet as it’s waiting for marching orders from Seattle. As in the Mitch Gold [*] case we jointly worked, the involvement of the FTC was the critical factor in getting the FBI to finally take out Gold’s organization. I tried to shop the Gold case to the FBI Cobra Task Force in Orange County but they were turning a deaf ear. It wasn’t until I discovered that the FTC had an active case, gave you my information, and with your efforts were able to cause the FBI to seriously look at the Gold organization. Perhaps the FTC can also play a similar role in this case to excise this evil from our midst. As I said in my letter to US Sullivan:

The local and state criminal justice resources for a number of reasons can’t or won’t excise this evil incestuous, insidious and malignant ongoing criminal enterprise from our midst. The full resources of the federal government are what are needed to dislodge this ongoing criminal enterprise/conspiracy to restore a normal civil culture, business environment, and political/governmental environment in Spokane.

I’m including my letter to US Attorney Sullivan on the enclosed CD in MS Word .doc format that has HTML links to the source documents I reference. Further I’m including the collective works of Tim Connor and Larry Shook award winning investigative journalists of the Camas Magazine. They have been on this story for over seven years. I’m also including the Fancher Report written in the 70’s that is as true today as it was then as to the ruthless nature of the Cowles Co over the last 100 years. Tim Connor recently wrote an excellent primer on the RPS bond fraud that in part laundered a $20M HUD loan into the project without the usual open letter of credit by the developer. See Pieces of Sunshine he wrote for the Center for Justice, Spokane, WA (http://cforjustice.org/2008/06/20/pieces-of-sunshine/ See attached PDF but go to the original for HTML to source documents) The Fancher Report is THE source document for any FTC complaint. The Cowles Co was able to use its political influence to remove it from the FCC’s divestiture list then to force divestiture of the S-R and/or KHQ-TV. The Cowles Co needs to be forced to divest its stranglehold on the media in Spokane from its other business interests. Because of its criminal activity in public/private development projects there is an inherent conflict of interest by its self-censorship and/or squelching of news adverse to its business interests.

In my letter to US Attorney Sullivan I cite two instances where the Cowles Co wielded its power to squash adverse news. Further its my opinion Cowles Co fingers were in the works to silence Mark Fuhrman. Since my letter I now have two more sources where the Cowles Company eliminated alternative newspapers by predatory marketing tactics. Here’s one. I can’t reveal the source yet for the same reasons that Fancher encountered when he did his report.

The above is a poor resolution of one of the covers of the “Spokane Natural” , an underground “hippie” newspaper in Spokane from June ’67 until 1971 when Cowles squeezed out their advertisers by telling them if they bought ads or did interviews from me . . . the Review would not run their ads or their promos. This cut out WWP, the Crescent, The Bon Marche, and every hotel and restaurant, auto repair, print shop and dentist in town. We were left with a couple head shops and a few independent clothing stores that were small and wanted our “hip” audience. They could not carry the paper for long.

That cut off our blood, since subscriptions never cover the cost of ink, paper and staff.

We . . . did a photo-essay on riverfront properties in 1969 with shit coming out of all the mostly Cowles owned properties along the Spokane River through downtown. The outfalls were spectacular at low water flow in late summer, right after the dinner rush, around 7 pm. Water coming out of pipes from all over, shit, foam, towels, toilet paper, you name it, I took the pictures of the flowing pipes standing in the nearly dry river bed, with the building and businesses in the background. We ran it.

Within one year . . . my boss and friend was hassled and shut down.

I know this is not your area of specialty but could you share this information with others in your office that this is their specialty? Is this a case that the FTC would be interested in pursuing? What do I need to do to finesse this information that would increase the likelihood that the FTC would take on this case. What would I have to do to file a formal complaint?

Det. Ron Wright (Retired)


Fraudulent Fundraising Operation Banned from Future Fundraising and Telemarketing Activities

Defendants Were Part of the FTC’s “Operation Missed Giving” Sweep

Network of Deception (Orange Co Register – Note: Read “Inside a Boiler Room” and Right side rail “Raid Report”. The detective mentioned is none other than infamous Ron the Cop)