Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

A Tribute to Dottie “Pepper” Roberts


2 March, 2016

Dottie Roberts, RIP

My friend and fellow ex-con, Curt Beseda, called this morning to inform me of the death of Dottie Roberts. (I am sorry to give this news up to the enemy, but the fact that Dottie died on 26 January suggests that we conspirators must not be in very good communication.  Less able, therefore,  shall we be to maintain our conspiracy personae.)  Fellow defendants were these two in an obscene RICO case filed against them in the 80s.  Curt and I were not tied together in any case prosecuted by our pro-abortion federal government.   But we were each defendants due to our own anti-abortion (read: baby-saving) deeds, the which were treated as criminal acts in our widely separated venues.

We did have in common this excellent friend, Dottie “Pepper” Roberts, who was a supreme conservative political activist and a diligent anti-abortionist  in Washington state.  Like the militant liberals who have pas d’ennemi a gauche, she, on the other side,  had no enemies among the serious baby rescuers.  Rather than shun them as she had been shunned by the likes of  Ken Eikenberry, she stood beside us “terrorists” or “violence” advocates when most politicians were running from us, the  real-life-saving activists as from a contagion.   Curt  was jailed  for doing damage to buildings on the west coast in which violent murder of innocent children is tolerated by a decadent general public.  I was jailed for conspiring to do the same to abortuaries on the east coast.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reportedThree Abortion Foes Lose Clinic Lawsuit Jury Awards Damages for Breaking Rackets Law” (August 12, 1989):

Three abortion protesters – including a convicted arsonist now behind bars and a woman active in Republican Party politics – violated federal law by conspiring to drive an Everett abortion clinic out of business, a jury ruled yesterday.

The U.S. District Court jury returned its verdict yesterday in Seattle after deliberating for more than three days.

Two other defendants in the civil trial were cleared of blame.

The jury found that Curtis Beseda, who was convicted in 1984 of firebombing the clinic three times, violated federal civil racketeering laws by committing acts of extortion, including setting the fires at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Everett.

Republican activist Dottie Roberts and Sharon Codispodi, both of Lake Stevens, conspired with Beseda to violate the federal laws, called the Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970, or RICO, the jury ruled.

Dottie was unashamed to be associated with those whose reputations would besmirch her own in the eyes of her fellow political ladder climbers. But Dottie was not one to pander to those whom she knew to be morally bankrupt.  The “Republicans” and “Conservatives” who maintained a tacit or fruitless “prolife” witness in order garner necessary votes were not people that she cared to avoid offending on the one hand.  And on the other hand,  she was not ashamed of those who took radical, effective action in order save those genuine children who are otherwise butchered in the nation’s “abortion clinics.”

Doug Parris, a fellow political activist and friend of Dottie, posted  “In Memory of a Titan,” on 15 February, in which he included another article he had written in her honor August, 1993 in the now-defunct Washington State periodical, Why We Fight [See at https://thereaganwing.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/in-memory-of-a-titan/], entitled  “Life Inside the Big Tent: The GOP, RICO, and Dottie Roberts.”  There he honors the character and recounts the glorious deeds of Dottie Roberts.

I did not observe Dottie’s citizen services way over there, but I did know her as a friend and as the friend of a mutual friend, Curt Beseda.  She always encouraged both of us, and it was always good to know the support of people who had lost something for the sake of the Truth and Justice.

Parris extols her service as follows with our abridgements:

I did not observe Dottie’s citizen services way over there, but I did know her as a friend and as the friend of a mutual friend, Curt Beseda.  She always encouraged both of us, and it was always good to know the support of people who had lost something for the sake of the Truth and Justice.

Parris extols her service as follows with our abridgements:

But it is an undeniable fact of life that the children of ambition hold a perennial advantage over the children of principle. So while people barely qualified to man Dottie’s support staff ran the Party, Dottie herself spent the decade standing, almost alone, against the worst elements of the far-left.

In 1983 and ‘84 Dottie was a dominant figure not only in the Republican convention process but in demonstra­tions against the Everett Feminist Women’s Health Center, a notorious assembly-line abortion mill . . .

In Feb. ‘86 the Feminists named Dottie Roberts, Mike and Bonnie Undseth, twelve other individuals and three pro-life organizations as defendants in the kind of lawsuit whose very existence is a symbol of judicial corruption.

The Feminist Center filed its civil case under the “RICO” statute that was designed only for the criminal prosecu­tion of organized crime. This law specifies that a prosecutor must prove: 1. That a group engaged in conspiracy, and 2. That it committed at least two felonies, and 3. That the group did this with criminal goals. If you, the reader, have ever been to a meeting or planned a vacation or made an appointment you, like all Americans, are guilty of the first item: you have conspired. What is required under the RICO statute is to prove the felonious nature of the conspiracy. This, of course, was impossible, and after exhaustive deposi­tion it was clear to the court that not one shred of evidence connected Beseda’s arson to any other defendant. The RICO requirements were absent before the trial began! Allowing the apparition of RICO to be used against any non-felon is like using arson laws to prosecute someone for lighting a cigarette. Yet District Court Judges Carolyn Dimmick and Thomas Zilli adamantly and repeatedly refused to dismiss the case! As trial judge, Zilli, in addition to suppressing important testimony, devised fifty-two pages of instructions that convinced the jury they could assess damages against someone for being committed to ending abortion! What was afoot had nothing to do with law: it was part of a long-term plan to do to the pro-life movement what Joseph Goebbels did to the Jews . . .

When the civil suit, Everett Feminist Women’s Health Center vs. Roberts, et al was front-page news in Seattle, the media’s agenda was to distort the proceedings to convince the public that the defendants conspired together in the arson. In fact, every defendant except Beseda was specifically acquitted of every single allegation of illegal conduct the plaintiffs had concocted (to make the case juicier and more expensive). Nevertheless, Dottie Roberts and Sharon Codispoti were declared liable for engaging in pro-life rhetoric and non­violent political action in opposing abortion. Acting independently, the judge ordered them to pay a quarter of a million dollars or so for exercising what they (and most Americans) thought was their right as U.S. citizens. It would be quite the same if former Gov. Dan Evans were to be found guilty of conspiracy with Ted Bundy to murder and mutilate women because Bundy worked on Evans campaign staff and the two shared liberal views on sexual morality. Dottie’s experiences provide a living example of forces that now threaten the very existence of our democracy.

We know from taped and written records that the political wing of the abortion industry, its pockets swollen with funds from the lucrative business of killing pre­natal children, targeted pro-life leaders nationwide for individual financial destruction through costly civil suits and that the Roberts case was to be their prototype. The Feminists’ legal expenses were underwritten from New York City by two major liberal political organizations. Their friends in the judiciary have allowed them, in the Roberts case, to use their financial muscle to make endless unfounded accusations against, and run up horrendous legal costs for those originally charged for simply availing themselves of the right of free speech. It cost Mike and Bonnie Undseth about $200,000, and they were totally exonerated . . .

During the course of her leadership in Washington State she became a historic figure, changed the course of more than one State GOP Convention, and mentored a generation of Pro-Life and conservative activists that dominated the grassroots for almost three decades (without once taking the State Republican Chairmanship).

About fifteen years ago, Dottie moved out of Washington where she had lived since 1962 back to the state where she had spent her childhood years.  But to a smaller town.  To Cawker City, Kansas, population, 500.  There were no abortuaries in town;  she would live a more peaceful life, run for mayor as a sexagenarian, win, and finish out her days caring for a sick husband and dealing with other family needs.

I will always remember her as one who worried about nothing but fidelity to the truth.  She shared jails with mutual friends including Jayne Bray and fearlessly pressed on as a faithful disciple of Jesus.

Comments are currently closed.