The following letter to the editor, written by Anita Christy, was recently published in both the Payson Roundup and the Arizona Republican Caucus.
"This is a response to a recent Op-Ed (April 30) written by Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. It was titled, “Lawmaker Embraces A Racist And Violent Movement.” Suckling made numerous false statements about Arizona Representative Bob Thorpe, Cliven Bundy, and the Americans who traveled to Nevada to stand with Mr. Bundy.
"How could I forget that name? Kieran Suckling. He, along with three other employees of the Center for Biological Diversity, were ordered to pay $600,000 in a lawsuit back in 2005. The judge in that case awarded this amount to Jim Chilton, a fifth generation Southern Arizona Rancher. The press release stated that Executive Director Kieran Suckling “set the tone for making false statements” against Mr. Chilton. In fact, the Center for Biological Diversity was found guilty of making “false, unfair, libelous and defamatory statements” against Jim Chilton. Suckling and his Center for Biological Diversity went so far as to use misleading photographs in an unsuccessful attempt to block the renewal of Chilton’s grazing permit.
"The lawsuit-happy Center for Biological Diversity makes its living off of suing the federal government. It has received over $2 million in taxpayer dollars between 2009-2012 in settlement costs resulting from Endangered Species Act (ESA) related attorney fees and court cases.
"Suckling falsely calls Cliven Bundy a ranting, disgraced racist. This accusation is based on a video tape of Cliven Bundy that was heavily “edited” to distort his statements. This hacked up video traveled like wildfire from one media outlet to another. In response, one of Bundy’s volunteer body guards, who happens to be African American, spoke in defense of Cliven Bundy stating “I’d take a bullet for him.” A black Marine who was with Bundy stated, “He might not be tactful, but one thing he isn’t. He isn’t a racist.”
"Suckling calls the militia who arrived to defend Bundy thugs. But he purposely ignores the fact that the BLM arrived first, heavily armed, and posted snipers on hilltops. It was the BLM that blared over loudspeakers to unarmed men and women, including a Fox news reporter, “Leave the area or you will be fired upon.” The BLM thugs tased unarmed citizens, and even threw an unarmed woman to the ground. The BLM has a long history of thuggish cattle seizures.
"Kieran Suckling, known for making libelous, false statements, has attempted to damage the reputation of one of the finest representatives in the state of Arizona: Bob Thorpe.
"Thank you, Representative Thorpe, for demonstrating great courage by standing up for what’s right."