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Candidate takes on website

In an election that is already shaping up to be one of the ugliest and most litigious in recent years, another aspect of the 31st District State Senate race may be headed for court.

Challenger Matt Richardson, R-Sumner, and his attorney on Friday sent out a cease and desist letter to the owners of a website that was created last month and appears to be a campaign site for the candidate.

Though the domain name includes his name, visitors to the site do not see pro-Richardson campaign literature. Instead, they view a litany of rumors and documents and a banner urging Richardson to resign from his seat on the Sumner City Council.

“The things on the website are illegally obtained documents, altered documents, falsified documents and out-of-context documents,” Richardson said Friday.

Richardson also sent a copy of the letter to the campaign of his opponent, Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn. Richardson and his lawyer believe the longtime senator is involved.

“We’ve known about it for a month and we let it go to see how many state and federal violations she and her campaign would break. We’ve seen enough now and believe its time for the authorities to do what they’re paid by the taxpayers to do, and that’s to enforce the law,” Richardson said in an e-mail.

Though the website is registered anonymously, local political activist Chris Clifford of Renton has claimed responsibility.

As of Monday, the site’s opening page contains mention of the letter and a link to a copy under the heading “a threat from Matt.”

Clifford, who in the past has worked for Roach, said Richardson’s letter is “worth about the paper it’s printed on” and invited a lawsuit.

Clifford also denied that the site was affiliated with the Roach campaign.

Roach also denied that her campaign had any affiliation with the site.

“No, we certainly don’t,” she said Monday. “But I’m glad it’s there.”

Roach said she had visited the site twice and appreciated that someone is making the information available.

As of press time, the website was still accessible.

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